Friday, 9 July 2010

Like Mercury...

Whenever I love an actor, I mean really love them, I always end up referring to them as "like mercury" and by that I do not mean Freddie Mercury:

Or the planet Mercury:

And to be truthful, I'm not quite sure what I mean.

What spurred this was the fact that Eva-Jane and I are off soon to see Mark Rylance in La Bete, an actor whose performances dwarf those of most humans, he is truly epic and bestrides contemporary acting like a colossus and he also constantly make me waffle on about his work being "like mercury". The best compliment my feeble mind can bestow.

I think I got it from a song by The Wedding Present, it is, unsurprisingly, called "Mercury" and is quite sublime, featuring some grand lyrics:
And I know where you want to be
You're in my hands but I just bet you'll slip away
You'll trickle like mercury
And I won't hear you
I can't seem to find the track online but here is another Weddo's track to hopefully turn some of you onto their great music...

So then I actually looked up what mercury is and discovered it is a quicksilver and bears the chemical element lettering of Hg. It is basically liquid metal, which makes it pretty unique. It doesn't conduct heat well but does channel electricity. It's also pretty toxic.

And that's about it.

I suppose the reference, with regards to acting anyway, is someone who has a raw but flowing movement, pace, excellent physical presence,  coupled with a sheer density of being that verges on the supernatural. To be both fluid and metal, one or the other at times and most of the time both.

I still think it's a cool compliment...


  1. Ahhhhh....

    I was going to say quicksilver. But you beat me to it.

    Heigh ho!

    I remember as a child being fascinated that mercury could be both a metal and liquid. Mercurial - that's a good word.

  2. Yes, I suppose that is what my "like mercury" is about, mercurial but without any sense of the temporary or fleeting.


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