The scheming Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish (Aiden Gillen) in the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones (2011 -). Based on the novels by George R R Martin, the series tells of the many violent campaigns taking place to secure the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Vivian Mitchell: Despite what you may think, I have nothing against y’all. Dorothy Vaughan: I know… I know you probably believe that.
Kirsten Dunst and Octavia Spencer in the truly inspirational Hidden Figures (2016). Based on the true story as told in the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film tells of three black women who served a vital role in the early period of the Space Race. Highlighting that heroes can be found in all places, it reminds us of the outrageous racist prejudice that existed at the time and the grace, effort and ingenuity needed to overcome it.
I remember that I stood on the library steps holding my books and looking for a minute at the soft hinted green in the branches against the sky and wishing, as I always did, that I could walk home across the sky instead of through the village.
The novella masterpiece We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) by Gothic writer Shirley Jackson, who also wrote one of the finest short stories with The Lottery (1948). As told by the unreliable narrator Mary Katherine ‘Merrikat’ Blackwood, it tells of a family’s ostracising in a small town after a poisoning incident that killed four members of the family.
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Three time Grand Slam champion and four time Davis Cup winner Arthur Ashe (1943 – 1993). As well as his impressive achievements on the court, he was a true inspiration off it. Ashe played a crucial role in forming the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), vigorously campaigned against racism even during his career and set up the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain, And you are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today, And then one day you find, the years have got behind you, No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
Taken from the song Time from the seminal album The Dark Side of the Moon (1974) by hugely influential alternative rock group Pink Floyd. Along with its iconic cover, the album was a worldwide smash, is regularly voted one of the best ever and has sold over 45 million copies. It is one of my favourite Pink Floyd songs, along with Comfortably Numb.
(narrating) Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.
Congratulations to Emma Stone on her Oscar win for La La Land last week at the Oscars. Here she is in her breakthrough role playing Olive in the teen comedy Easy A (2010), which tells of a teen’s attempt to climb the social ladder backfiring spectacularly.
Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) in the much loved romantic drama Dirty Dancing (1987). Made for a low budget and with modest expectations, the film was a phenomenal financial success, had a hugely popular soundtrack, featured an iconic dance lift and led to numerous spin offs on stage and TV.
Saul Goodman: He’s okay? He said he was gonna break my legs. And don’t tell me he didn’t mean it, okay? ‘Cause he gave me the dead mackerel eyes. He meant it. Walter White: Saul, Mike threatened me. He threatened Jesse. He probably threatened someone before breakfast this morning. It’s what he does. Come on. Grow a pair.
Bob Odenkirk and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013). Considered one of the greatest shows of all time, it was a critical and commercial juggernaut that won 16 Emmys and countless other awards in its five-year run. It told of a high-school chemistry teacher who gets involved in the drug dealing world by producing crystal meth so as to raise money for his lung cancer treatment.
You can’t play God without being acquainted with the devil.
Dr Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in the multi-genre hit show Westworld (2016 -). With elements of sci-fi, western, drama and psychological thriller, it tells of a Wild West style theme park filled with droids but controlled by humans.