If there was one thing you could count on when Sherlock Holmes went up against Professor Moriarty in Sir Arthur Conan Doyleâ€™s tales of the quintessential sleuth, itâ€™s that Moriarty, that arch-nemesis, could be back at any time for the next adventure. So it was all but inevitable that he would turn up in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the follow-up to Guy Ritchieâ€™s Sherlock Holmes.Â
Portraying Moriarty in A Game of Shadows is Jared Harris, whose storied career currently has him best known for playing Lane Pryce in AMCâ€™s Mad Men. According to Harris, he was understandably excited to play â€śarguably the first uber-villain in modern literature, which was quite daunting. He has to operate on a level that justifies Sherlock Holmesâ€™ high opinion of him in terms of the magnitude of the threat he represents. You have to believe he is as smart as Holmes â€” perhaps smarter â€” like a grandmaster in chess who is able to think several moves ahead of his opponent. But the fact is heâ€™s a sick sociopath â€¦ which made him a lot of fun to play,â€ť Harris laughs.
In A Game of Shadows, Moriarty targets Watson (Jude Law) and his bride-to-be, Mary (Kelly Reilly), as part of his plan to defeat Holmes once and for all. Itâ€™s a deliciously evil role, and one that producer Lionel Wigram was glad to see Harris win. â€śJared plays Moriarty with a wonderful combination of charm and menace,â€ť he explains. â€śHe can appear very demure and kind, but thereâ€™s also a mad glint in his eye, so he conveys the different sides of Moriarty: respected university professor and friend to the rich and powerful, and the diabolical mastermind of a massive criminal enterprise, who sees how industrialization is changing the landscape and is exploiting it to his own ends in a way no one else would fathom. Thatâ€™s his genius.â€ť
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsÂ is available starting June 12 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
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