When I tuned into the Russell T. Davis, Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, I initially went for John Barrowman (who I’ve fangirled over since his stage days). As I watched through the first series of the sci-fi show, I found myself taking notice of the actor playing Owen. Burn Gorman is a smaller actor, not conventionally handsome, in the wrong situation, he could be easily forgettable. However, as Torchwood played through, it became clear that this wasn’t the wrong situation. As years have passed, Burn Gorman has proven himself to be an interesting, and intense performer, and is on my short-list as one of the best character actors working right now.
Born in the Untied States, but raised in the United Kingdom, Burn Gorman is credited with his first break in the end of the 1990’s, when he appeared in a short recurring role in long-running soap opera Coronation Street. Looking at the first part of his IMDB credits, the talented actor drifted through a number of different television shows in the United Kingdom, before landing his career solidifying role of Owen Harper in 2006.
Since then, Burn Gorman is one of the few actors (along with Mark Sheppard) who could honestly lay claim to the crown as ‘King of the Nerds’. He’s crossed fandoms from the Doctor Who universe to the Game of Thrones universe, to The Man in the High Castle and Pacific Rim.
In each of these roles, Gorman has been a standout. He is able to meld into the darkest and most twisted of character with relative ease, and can quickly turn around and play the comedic relief in a film like Pacific Rim. Ooop! And don’t forget the DC Universe, Christopher Nolan era Batman movies.
As a performer, Gorman is a chameleon. And for me as a critic, he’s very much evocative of an actor like Vincent D’Onofrio as he intensely looses himself in every role. Watching the scope of his work, Gorman often makes the complicated acting process seem easy, as he looses himself into the complicated (and almost shifty) characters he tends to portray.
Burn Gorman continues to impress, and earn himself fans with the continuing intensity of his work. He’s an incredibly talented character actor, and it is my humble hope that his deep and complex portrayals begin to garner the attention they deserve.