Jeremy Northam, why aren't you a bigger star?

Tudors_lOkay, so I haven’t actually seen The Tudors yet — if you, like me, don’t get Showtime, we can all catch the first two episodes online — but I did spend a recent weekend rewatching Emma on cable. Twice. And after I watched Jeremy Northam (a.k.a. my Mr. Knightley) propose to Gwyneth Paltrow for the second time in 24 hours, I actually sighed to myself, "Where have you been? I’ve missed you."

A quick trip to his IMDB page confirms that Northam (Sir Thomas More on The Tudors) has, in fact, been "around"— just not in anything that I’ve bothered to see since Gosford Park. Not sure who to blame for the loss of our connection, which seemed so unbreakable after he wooed me by playing an ex-con posing as Steve Zahn’s gay lover in Happy, Texas. Him? Me? Casting agents?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Should Northam be a bigger star with better roles?

addCredit(“The Tudors: Everett Collection”)


Comments (4755 total) Add your comment
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  • Jakeem

    This guy won me over with his uncanny portrayal of Dean Martin (opposite Sean Hayes as Jerry Lewis) in a 2002 TV-movie about the great comedy team.
    I am sure he will be heard from more and more in the months ahead. Maybe he should sign up for the sixth and seventh Harry Potter movies!

    • R.

      Yes, he’s a brilliant actor, and he’s so absolutely charming and gorgeous. My god, as in, swoon, seriously. I don’t even care that he’s 22 years older than me, I would marry him in a second.

  • Nicole

    Yes, why isn’t Jeremy Northam a bigger star?? I’ve loved him in everything I’ve ever seen him in. Even as a total skeeze-bag in “The Net”!

    • Tiffany

      OMG, “The Net”! It’s been forever since I saw that one, but yes, he was a quintessential baddie, there! Love that actor’s nuanced performances.

      • Yolanda

        YES YES YES! He was excellent in “The Net,” as the sexy, suave and sneaky assassin.

      • Ana

        He’s such a fine, fine actor that it makes me sad to read how less talented, and imho, less interesting actors are lauded! Eg Clive Owen, Daniel Craig and now, Richard Armitage. All 3 have become famous for doing oen thing – brooding and looking darn miserable and/or threatening. JN has so much more versatility, so much more ability to deliver nuances that enable him to turn a character on a sixpence. That he’s not a bigger star may well be his choice, I’m afraid. Plus, maybe he’s too intelligent and sceptical of the hoo-haaa that surrounds Fame and celebrity, especially in the USA. I love him and would love to see him in more projects, AND on stage again.

      • Gill Fraser Lee

        I think, Ana, you’re quite right to say that it’s partly by choice, but probably also it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Daniel Craig is an excellent actor, imo, but the other two, pretty boys and not anywhere near the calibre of Jeremy. I’m looking forward with interest to see what he’ll be doing next, but in the meantime, you can listen to him read Michelle Paver’s new novel (a ghost story), ‘Dark Matter’. It can be downloaded from Audible and the usual places, and he reads it brilliantly.

  • Mary

    I totally agree! I watched The Net and even when he was holding a gun on Sandra Bullock I was saying, “Just give him a chance! He’s so cute and that accent!!! Yummy!” He was so lovely in Emma and I had forgotten about his portrayal of Dean Martin, but you’re right, Jakeem… he was great. Somebody give this guy some good roles!

  • Todd

    Yeah, where is Jeremy Northam? With all of the British singers hitting it big over here, and Daniel Craig actaully becoming a star, the time is right. Maybe he doesn’t really want to be a star though. He’s taken roles in some fantastic movies (Gosford Park, An Ideal Husband), but they’re not exactly star-making movies. Either way, he’s definitely still got fans over here. If he ever does a movie I’ll see, that is.

  • melissa

    I am happy to see Jeremy Northam get his own Popwatch post. He has been a favorite since I saw him in “Emma” in college. I, too, have missed several of his other projects, but he will always be special to me. And yes, I of course think he’s not as appreciated as he perhaps should be. But I don’t wish him overexposure either.

    • flower

      Love love love Jeremy Northam. He will always be “my Mr. Knightly”. I cannot think of anyone else in that role after him. But I don’t really want him to be a big Hollywood star. I don’t think Hollywood would know what to do with his talent and ruin it.

    • hope

      Me too you have no idea how pleased and happily surprised I was to see his name on the PopWatch file. He’s been my Darling since Emma and more recently on The Tudors. Love him:D Handsome, gorgeous accent, brilliant talent in acting. What more could a girl like me want?

  • Lauren

    I don’t understand why so many other, lesser actors are stars and Jeremy Northam who seems to have the entire package (looks, talent and style) isn’t a bigger one. I remember seeing him in Emma in college and I’ve been a fan ever since.
    Two of my favorite Northam movies are The Winslow Boy and Possession. He’s brilliant in both.

    • Jeannie

      “Possession” is wonderful! So dramatic and passionate; he does costume dramas extremely well.

  • Rachel

    I really haven’t paid any attention to him till Happy Texas! I loved that movie, him & Steve Zaun were so hilarious!

  • Robin

    I have been a Jeremy Northam fan for years. An Ideal Husband is one of my favorite movies. He is great in Emma and The Winslow Boy. Like you, I wonder why he isn’t a major star, because even if a movie he is in disappoints, he never does.

  • Chels

    Kudos to you for pointing this out! I think Northam is great and certainly will see a movie if I know he’s in it. An Ideal Husband is probably my fave :)

  • Laura

    I’ve been wondering the same thing for years. Same thing about Colin Firth too until Bridget Jones.

    • flower

      Plus Colin Firth is now up for Oscars! Yay!

  • Brian Z

    Am I the only one who always confuses him with Jason Isaacs.

  • servo

    I was asking the very same question when I caught the first Tudors episode. I love Jeremy Northam! He’s so yummy in Emma and my fav is Possession. I’d line up to see him in anything.

  • Heather

    Emma, Ideal Husband, Possession, Gosford Park, heck even The Net – I’ll take Jeremy Northam anytime!

    • Lily

      Me too, Heather! He made a string of films I love: An Ideal Husband w/Cate Blanchett, The Winslow Boy by David Mamet, and The Golden Bowl with a smokin’ Uma Thurman and beautiful Kate Beckinsale. He creeped me out in The Invasion with Nicole Kidman and was a swell Dean Martin. He is amazing in The Tudors (I have Showtime). I’m with you, Mandi, he should be a HUGE movie star: he’s gorgeous and a great actor. Hope he gets “that part” that will launch him once and for all.

      • daphneo

        The Golden Bowl is one of my favs!!! Jeremy adopts not only a PERFECT Italian accent, but the gestures and mannerisms too, the sorts of things most actors overlook. With Uma Thurman a dream in delectable gowns and every shot a visual feast, rent it whenever and wherever you can:)

  • Anne Marie

    He was a fabulous Mr. Knightley!

  • fredric

    He’s a VERY talented actor, and I’m sure he’ll always get work, but I don’t know that I would buy him as A-list.

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