Late into his acting career, the multi-talented Jared Harris is looking quite triumphant. This year on Mad Men, his Lane Pryce began receiving equal screen time alongside Don Draper and the others, as they split apart from Sterling-Cooper to form their own agency. His villainous David Robert Jones is making a return on Fringe, and now, he will appearing on screen as the quintessential arch villain, Professor James Moriarty, in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. He’s also begun filming his role as Ulysses S. Grant in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. That isn’t even the coolest part: he’s also got a very wry voice, no doubt why he keeps getting cast as well-dressed British men.
At Vulture, Harris talks about all things, from his busy schedule to bonding with Robert Downey Jr. He’s got a lot going on in his head; when asked about his own handwriting as compared to Moriarty’s (who’s analyzed by Holmes as "morally insane"), he responds:
I had it analyzed once, but all I remember is that they said I was "really passionate." That’s a good thing, right? It was on some talk show in Nashville, and I got this guy to do my Tarot cards and charts and whatnot, and of course, they all say nice things. No one ever says, "Don’t leave your house on the 13th," because if someone did leave their house, nothing would happen. It’s all bullshit, but it’s entertaining. In fact, Houdini used to spend a lot of time going around investigating psychic claims and he debunked everything. Michael Crichton, who trained as a doctor, wrote this book Travels, and one of the things he explored in terms of his different journeys is the supernatural. He came out saying that most psychics are frauds who just have uncanny insights. There are some people who have some sort of connection, but I don’t think if I were to go off and study tea leaves that I could develop that ability. Edgar Cayce was a physician living in Virginia in the late 1800s. He would go into a trance and be able to diagnose you, and he was incredibly accurate. There was something about the state he could put himself in, because he would start to go to sleep and just stop himself and maintain some part of his consciousness while accessing another part. [Pauses, considers.] Now I sound like a right fucking wacko — what did you do to me? [Laughs.]
Seems like perfect casting to me. Holmes will no doubt bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s vision of exploding trains to life but it’ll be a lot of fun to watch Harris vamp it up on screen, or so we’ll tell ourselves when sitting alone in a theater on Christmas Day, wondering where all the laughter’s gone.