By now, everybody knows who Martin Freeman is, whether they are fans of The Hobbit or Sherlock or The Office. He has played some of literature’s most iconic characters: Bilbo from The Hobbit, John Watson from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, and Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, none of which share many similarities. He’s also played a variety of new roles that have since become iconic, including the starring role in the world-famous The Office and he’s been a hat-trick in Edgar Wright’s three cornetto films. (A hat-trick, if you don’t know, is when an actor has appeared in all of the films/shows of that particular series or director as different characters.) And no role so far has been able to typecast him out of getting new and exciting jobs. Let’s look at some highlights.
The Office (2001-2003): Likable, half-ambitious Tim is really our eyes into the story. David Brent (Ricky Gervais) may take center stage in the legend that is The Office, but sometimes you need a protagonist who isn’t so much of a prick. Tim is sweet, witty, love-struck, and likes to play pranks on Gareth (McKenzie Crook).
Love Actually (2003): In John’s unforgettable entrance to this soppy rom-com, we see him at work on set doing a sexual scene. The humorous construction here is that he and his filming partner, played by Gavin & Stacey‘s Joana Page, are awkward and sweet. It’s only after the less than romantic sex scene that they introduce themselves to one another. Just don’t tell their future kids how they met!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005): Arthur Dent was originally played by Simon Jones, who inspired the character. Arthur was meant to be tall and gangly, so it’s a wonder that they chose Martin Freeman, who also plays Bilbo in the Hobbit, but as we’ve seen in The Office, Freeman is an excellent everyman. He does well as Arthur Dent. Pity the film wasn’t as good.
Sherlock (2012-present): Recently back from the war, Watson is burdened with a leg injury, instantly cured by Sherlock’s ability to distract him from it. Sherlock senses Watson’s thirst for danger and adventure, so he makes him his lodger and appoints him his sidekick. Sherlock becomes the only thing left that Watson has, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t annoyed or angry with him most of the time.
The World’s End (2013): Oliver is a hard-working business man in the adult world. The last thing he needs is his old school buddy Gary King (Simon Pegg) showing up to whisk him away to a vacation bender, but that’s just what happens, despite his protests. Sadly, when the aliens show up, Oliver is the first to…change.