Coolly authoritative, almost avuncular-looking but with a hint of steeliness, Ciarán Hinds [IMDB page] is making a name for himself as a man to hire when you want a figure of authority who is not necessarily corrupt, but perhaps not quite on the right side of the law either.
He can be seen as the police boss in Michael Mann's handsome Miami Vice, and it was only last year that he was the memorable "fixer" in Spielberg's Munich and an entertaining Julius Caesar in the all-conquering television series Rome. Born in Belfast in 1953, he quit his law degree to enrol at Rada, and never looked back.
He has since been seen in The Cook, the Thief… (1989), Oscar and Lucinda (1997), Calendar Girls (2003), and, showing that he's not entirely above temptation, the second of Lara Croft's ludicrous outings (2003). He should prove a suitably nasty Herod in The Nativity Story, one of five projects currently on the go.