Well, I did notice him…it’s a bit hard to miss Ray Stevenson because he’s six foot-four, and he has a voice…and shoulders…to match.

Ray STevensonThe first time I saw him in anything was Rome and unfortunately his character, Pullo, was a womanizing foot soldier with more brawn than brains.  Although, there were some, um, ‘interesting’ moments in Rome.  Afterall, it was an HBO production, so sex and flesh was everywhere and Stevenson flashed his share.  I just didn’t register him all that deeply because his character was, well, so stoopid.  

I noticed Stevenson in a couple of other places — he popped up as Porthos in the latest version of The Three Musketeers, for example, but it was a role where he was chosen for his size rather than his intellect and I ignored him as I did most of the movie, which was silly in the extreme.

I also saw him cross the screen in Thor and The Book of Eli, and still didn’t do much more than mentally ear-mark him as “the guy from Rome” because the roles were both side-kick/hired muscle types.

Then Mark and I settled into Season 7 of Dexter, and one of the bad guys of the season was Stevenson, playing British-educated Ukrainian hit man Ivaak Sirko and oh…my…god!

Do you know, I didn’t even recognize him at first?  It took two episodes for his eyes to register.  Then I scrambled for IMDB, and confirmed what I only suspected right then.  Holy moly!

dexter-season-seven-ray-stevensonOne:  the Sirko character was not just a thug, he was a sensitive intellectual, who had long conversations with Dexter about the meaning of life, and they were some of the best scenes of the season.

Two:  Oh man, the accent!  Stevenson is Irish, but he’s got that British actor training thing going on, and the accent is rich, deep and sends shivers down your spine.

Three:  The eyes, the eyes, the eyes!!  Blue, moody and full of experience.  Mmmm…

Four:  Six feet four and shoulders to match — I know, I’m repeating myself.  But it’s worth repeating.  This guy is built.  Plus he wears designer suits and a heavy gold watch.  It looks like Rolex or one of the expensive brands.

Here’s a YouTube clip of one of Sirko’s and Dexter’s conversations — one of the better ones, although they’re all thought-provoking.  Beware, there are huge spoilers in this scene, so if you’re a Dexter watcher and haven’t caught up with the whole of Season 7 yet, skip it!

Dexter has placed Ray Stevenson firmly on my “interesting” list.  It just goes to show the difference a decent role can make.  I’m looking forward to seeing him in something other than a muscle-bound thug-type role in the future.