There used to be a me
Alfred Molina, well-known for playing the iconic Dr Octopus in Spider-Man 2, 2004 as well as in the stage performance of Oklahoma in 1980, for which he earnt a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in a Play nomination. Alfred Molina is undertaking the narration of the classic Peter Sellers audio recordings, ‘There used to be a me’.
Coming soon, for now why not get to know the man behind the voice with our latest article –
Who is Alfred Molina?
Get to know the man behind playing Dr Octopus in Spider-Man, Satipo in Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code…
Words: Colleen Considine
Unless you’re completely unaware of the Spider-Man universe you’ll instantly know who, Alfred Molina is and the impact he had on the franchise. Of course, you can’t have a film like Spider-Man without Spidey, the hero of course is what makes a good super hero movie. But what makes a great super hero movie? A top-notch villain, of course. No doubt you’ve realised we’re talking about the notorious Dr Octopus, better known as Alfred Molina. An actor who has popped up in more film, tv shows, audio, theatre and video games than you could count.
A London native, son of working-class Italian and Spanish immigrants Alfred Molina has transcended into a variety of roles, whether that’s action, voice-work, comedy or theatre. A master of voices, he has a terrific knack for nailing accents, so much so you might not realise he has a cockney accent that Danny Dyer would be jealous of. Driving with ease from Mexican to Italian, or French, and the next he’s Spanish. When he’s not putting on all the voices, he’s been Brit living in LA for over 20 years, someone who grew-up in the multicultural Notting Hill. Having always wanted to be an actor, it came as a surprise to his supportive parents who didn’t seem to quite understand it. But Molina knew what he wanted, even saying he wanted to be an actor from the age of nine!
And so, it goes, he landed his first film role in none other than Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Art in 1981. He went on to star of course in Spider-Man as Dr Octopus, a role he is reprising in the upcoming Spider-Man ‘No Way Home’ film. But he first rose to prominence in the West End for his performance in the production of Oklahoma! In 1980. A role for which he earnt a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in a Play nomination. And in 2002 he gained wide recognition, BAFTA & SAGA nominations for his portrayal of Diego Rivera in the biopic Frida. And over the past ten years you might have seen (or heard) Molina as Professor Knight in the 2013 film Monsters University, perhaps it might have been in The Da Vinci Code or Ralph Breaks the Internet. Whatever it is, there’s so much more to come from this versatile actor who just doesn’t seem to sit down!
Who is Peter Sellers?
Peter Sellers is a household name no matter your age, he’s best known for his role as Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series of films. But how well do you really know Peter Sellers?
Words: Colleen Considine
Born in Portsmouth Peter Sellers made his stage debut at the Kings Theatre, Southsea at just two weeks old where he accompanied his parents in their touring variety act around provincial theatres. During the war he developed his improvisational skills when working with Ralph Reader’s wartime Gang Show entertainment group which toured Britain and the Far East. It was after the war when he made his radio introduction in ShowTime, and eventually became a regular performer on various BBC radio shows. Sellers from the early 1950s took part in the famous The Goon Show along with Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine which ended in 1960. The Goon Show was once described as “probably the most influential comedy show of all time”.
During the 50s he began his film career, with the bulk of his work being comedic and him parodying characters of authority. It wasn’t until 1959 when he was able to show his artistic range in films such as I’m All Right Jack, Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita in 1962 as well as Dr. Strangelove in 1964. It was Seller’s versatility that enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters using a variety of accents in which he would often assume multiple roles within the same film. Satire and black humour were major features of his films, with his performances influencing a number of future comedians.
Sellers was nominated three times for an Academy Award, twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performances in Dr. Strangelove and Being There. And also, once for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film in 1959.
Outside of his fame and fortune, Sellers constantly battled with depression and insecurities, he often claimed he had no identity outside the roles he played. He had erratic and compulsive behaviour, and frequently clashed with his directors and co-stars. Particularly in the 1970s, his physical and mental health when together with his alcohol and drug problems were at their worst.
He was known to have tantrums like a child, he was the son of an overprotective and controlling mother. And he often demanded his wife’s’ undivided attention. Including this, he was also married four times, to Anne Howe (Sept. 15, 1951), Britt Ekland (Feb. 19, 1964), Miranda Quarry (Aug. 24, 1970) and Lynne Frederick (Feb. 18, 1977). His wives and three children endured the effects of living with someone whose obsessive perfectionist nature meant he was focused on himself and his career.
Sellers was a “tormented soul” and yet he went on to be the star in the Pink Panther series, The Ladykillers, Lolita, Casino Royale and many more. It was on the 24th July, 1980 when Sellers suffered a heart attack and died, but Sellers’ heart condition had lasted for well over 15 years. Sellers was a tormented comedic genius who went on to stay as one of the most prominent comedians during the changing face of the 60s. He influenced Peter Cook, Mike Myers, Rowan Atkinson and so many others who we know as comedy icons of today.