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Top 10 Marvel MCU Performances by British Actors

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Sean Harris From superheroes to super-sinners, the Brits do it best. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Marvel MCU Performances by British Actors! For this list, we’ve gathered a glorious group of British actors, all of which have had a heroic (or villainous) impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Marvel MCU Performances by British Actors


From superheroes to super-sinners, the Brits do it best. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Marvel MCU Performances by British Actors!

For this list, we’ve gathered a glorious group of British actors, all of which have had a heroic (or villainous) impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

#10: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver


Having already starred in the “Kick-Ass” films, Taylor-Johnson was no stranger to superhero flicks when he entered the MCU as Quicksilver. Debuting in “Age of Ultron”, after a brief appearance in an end credits scene for “Winter Soldier”, Quicksilver teams up with his twin sister, Scarlet Witch, after the Avengers bust both of them out of a Hydra lab. And, with a storyline that lives up to his superpower, the speedster’s screen time comes in short sharp bursts. There’s just no catching him.

#9: Idris Elba as Heimdall


The “Thor” films feature a few standout British performances, not least Anthony Hopkins’ godly turn as Odin, but Idris Elba deserves particular mention, playing a character who has grown into the series. As Heimdall, Elba is Asgard’s gatekeeper and the overseer of the Bifröst bridge. An all-seeing, all-knowing figure, he holds a lot of sway in Thor’s world, and becomes an important leader in “Ragnarok”, fronting the resistance against Hela. This bloke gets more badass with every movie he’s in.

#8: Charlie Cox as Daredevil


Switching to the small screen for the first MCU series on Netflix, London’s Charlie Cox takes the title role in “Daredevil”. Playing Matt Murdock – an apparently unassuming, blind New York lawyer – once the day job’s done he suits up to fight crime across the city. A brutal but brilliant vigilante who was blinded at a young age, Cox taps into Daredevil’s determination to succeed, as well as the character’s constant vulnerability. And this series is stacked with awesome fight scenes, with show creators rewriting the rulebook on what a Marvel Melee should look like.

#7: Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One


Signalling a seismic stylistic shift in the MCU, “Doctor Strange” is another film peppered with pristine Brit performances. Special mention to Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo and Benedict Wong as one of Strange’s closest allies, but Tilda Swinton takes the most significant supporting role, as Stephen’s mystic mentor, the Ancient One. While her casting did trigger accusations of whitewashing, Swinton steps into the previously male role and totally makes it her own. Still, we’d expect nothing less from one of cinema’s most enigmatic actors.

#6: Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S./ Vision


As one of the longest standing MCU actors, Paul Bettany has been involved with Marvel since the Cinematic Universe started. He voices JARVIS in “Iron Man” one, two and three, and in the first Avengers film, before gaining glorious physicality in “Age of Ultron”. As Vision, Bettany brings unique and exciting elements to the superhero stable, assuming an omniscient, supreme quality throughout the otherwise chaotic fight scenes. A voice of reason and intelligence, nothing gets past this guy.

#5: Karen Gillan as Nebula


Previously best known as Amy Pond in “Doctor Who”, let no one question Karen Gillan’s dedication to this MCU role. The Scottish actress famously shaved her head to play Nebula in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, revealing her drastic new look at Comic-Con in 2013. And having boldly gone bald, she puts in a gutsy performance to match. Up for the fight, and furious most of the time, Nebula proves a prize pain in the arse for the Guardians, before beginning to switch allegiances in the sequel. Watch this space.

#4: Tom Holland as Spider-Man


Marvel roles don’t come much bigger than Spidey, and Tom Holland’s take on the friendly neighbourhood fighter of crime has earned the Englishman widespread critical acclaim. Having made his bow in “Civil War’ before fronting a standalone Spider-Man film in 2017, Holland plays up Peter Parker’s high-school anxieties better than most movie versions of the character. He’s seriously handy in the big battle scenes too, converting the web-slinger’s carefree nature into an inventive and unpredictable fighting style. Tony Stark should be proud.

#3: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange


Backed up by the stellar supporting cast we’ve already saluted, Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is easily one of the most exciting and intriguing Phase Three inductees into the MCU. Transforming from an arrogant-but-brilliant surgeon into a humble-but-gifted mystical maverick, the character commands a unique origins story and unprecedented powers. Inspired by all of Strange’s complexities and sporting one of the coolest Marvel costumes around, Cumberbatch delivers a trippy, time-turning portrayal worthy of even the Ancient One’s approval.

#2: David Tennant as Kilgrave


Another Brit at the centre of Marvel’s Netflix projects, but this time as one of the MCU’s most memorable villains. David Tennant’s turn as Kilgrave proved a clear highlight throughout the first season of “Jessica Jones” – and no, he didn’t just force us to say that. Combining mind control powers with unmitigated malevolence, Kilgrave stops at absolutely nothing to get what he wants. Leaving a trail of calmly discarded dead bodies in his wake, Kilgrave turns every scene into an awesome, edge-of-the-seat moment.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue

Martin Freeman as Everett Ross

#1: Tom Hiddleston as Loki


Hiddleston was a relative unknown when cast as Loki in 2011’s “Thor”, but the London-born actor has seen his stock rise immeasurably throughout his time in the MCU. As Loki, he brings to life one of Marvel’s most important and individual characters, whose motivations are never easy to nail down. A villain for the most part, but a baddie we all unashamedly root for, Loki’s always on hand with a well-timed retort and a fiendish grin. Redefining what’s meant by ‘brotherly love’ and ‘sibling rivalry’ with every word he says, he’s an icon of twenty-first century cinema.
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