I take no pleasure in criticism of the man (have you seen North & South? /swoonerific!), but, well…

The Times – The Water Method Man<br/> For pity’s sake, let actors stick to acting

The actor Richard Armitage, a new member of the cast of Spooks, for the sake of verisimilitude (and, let’s be honest, for good old-fashioned publicity) has submitted himself to “waterboarding”.

The notorious practice – which the Geneva Conventions outlaw but the US Government has sanctioned for use on terror suspects – involves placing a cloth over the subject’s face and then pouring water over his mouth. Those who defend it as an interrogation technique say that it only feels like drowning, and that the fear it induces is therefore irrational. Armitage says it is torture. …

There must be limits: Armitage plays an MI5 agent who has been languishing in a Russian prison for eight years. Perhaps his producers had to talk him out of getting under his character’s skin by subjecting himself to a strict regime of cold goulash in some far-off gulag. “You know, Richard, taking time out for eight years might give us some teensy problems with the filming schedule.”

In the 1990s, when Sir Anthony Hopkins knew no rival as either a face-eating monster or an embodiment of excessive restraint, he was often asked how he did it. “I act,” was his reply. Maybe more actors should give acting a whirl.

Yeahhh…