Tcheky Karyo

Tcheky Karyo

Earlier we posted about Rade Serbedzija, as a guy who we see a lot but maybe don’t give enough credit to.  Here is another one.  Tcheky Karyo is almost a carbon copy of Rade, but perhaps a bit more enigmatic.  Karyo is a turkish-born, French actor that often plays a range of characters who are French – but he can also be Russian, or eastern European.  You have probably seen him and would remember him.

He is best known for his breakout role in Luc Besson’s film “Nikita” – where he plays Nikita’s handler Bob.  A role later reprised by Gabriel Byrne in the disappointing American remake called “Point of No Return.”  I sometimes refer to that remake at “No point watching.”  Tchecky shows his range when he goes “Russian” in the bond film “Goldeneye.”  He can be a good guy, and he can be bad, he is a downright evil villain Touchet in Michael Bay’s, “Bad Boys.”  He basically plays the same role in “Kiss of the Dragon” – which incidentally pits him with Bridget Fonda, closing the La Femme Nikita circle.  Generally speaking his strongest performances are when he is asked to be bad.  Even Bob in Nikita, while technically “good” clearly has a dark side to him.  When we see Tcheky as a good guy, in films like “The Patriot” and “The Core” – he still delivers but not as brilliantly.

Tcheky Karyo is downright prolific.  I think he is a great character actor who always delivers even if his surrounding cast (Bad Boys) or script (The Core) aren’t delivering.  You have seen him a lot, but you probably don’t recognize him immediately.  Movieraiders salutes you Tcheky.  So, do you recognize Tcheky in any of these roles?

3 Responses to Tcheky Karyo – you know him right?

  1. Lutz says:

    From an American cross-over perspective, I would suggest Tcheky is the Jurgen Prochnow of our time (think Replacement Killers or Beverly Hills Cop II), but I have a feeling there is so much more to these actors beyond what we see ala Das Boot.

    By the way, I was pleasantly surprised at Tcheky’s performance in The Way. I was similarly surprised at how much I liked the film overall too. Speaking of stereotyped foreign bad guys, let me throw in Joaquim de Almeida (Desperado, Clear and Present Danger). Similar to Prochnow, both were featured as foreign baddies in 24 I believe.

    • John says:

      Yeah- great call. Juergen’s Das Boot role was one for the ages. As you know I am a fan of Dune- Juergen was a good guy (Duke Leto) in that one. He has a steady presence as foreign bad guy. He is always German though. I have a few others that I will post on.

      Robert Davi comes to mind- he’s not foreign but does the supporting bad guy….a lot, but he is even better as the douschebag with jurisdiction (see Die Hard, Predator 2, and TV’s The Profiler)

      • John says:

        Just one more point. Rade Szerbedjia was cast to play a French colonial policeman in the “Quiet American” (2002). Adding another thread to the connection with Tcheky

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