With the debut of
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, it feels like the universe finally caught up with the Lee Pace crush some have been harboring since his debut on Wonderfalls way back in the day. Pace has been acting professionally since graduating from the Juilliard School’s Drama Division. (He was a member of “Group 30,” which also included Anthony Mackie and Tracie Thoms.) If you’re just getting here, let’s review the essential Lee Pace movies and TV shows you need to watch.
The recent surge of Pace thirst began with his role in A24’s
Bodies Bodies Bodies, in which he plays a veteran with a habit of not wearing a shirt. As one of the prime suspects in the black comedy/horror thriller (until he gets offed), his 6’5 frame has been the subject of Twitter memes since the film debuted in theaters. (It will only get worse/better when it moves to streaming later this year.)
But Pace has been on screen since guests starring in a 2001 episode of
Law & Order: SVU (which is practically a right of passage for young NYC-based actors), and there is a much larger body (body, body) of work for viewers to check out. Here’s a rundown of some of his most significant roles. Love this list? to save these recs to your own watchlist and follow Create a Likewise account Elite Daily for more. You'll always know exactly what to watch next.
One of Bryan Fuller’s one-season wonders,
Wonderfalls was a fantasy series about Jaye Tyler who is inspired by muses to do things that save people’s lives. Pace played her brother, Aaron, a Ph.D. student of comparative religions and the only one to figure out the extent of his sister’s abilities.
All episodes of
Wonderfalls are on YouTube.
Pace’s first film was the made-for-TV movie
Soldier’s Girl, and he also landed a small role in the big screen film The White Countess. But his first significant appearance was in the 2006 Truman Capote biopic Infamous, starring Toby Jones. Pace played Richard Hickock, one of the two murder suspects Capote interviewed for his seminal In Cold Blood. Daniel Craig played his accomplice, the book’s main subject, Perry Smith. Infamous is available as a streaming rental on Amazon.
Wonderfalls follow-up was the two-season wonder Pushing Daises. He cast Pace in the leading role of Ned, a pie-maker who brought the dead back to life. Fuller called it a “forensic fairy tale” in which Ned teamed up with a coworker (Kristin Chenoweth), a PI, and the crush he resurrected and solved murder-of-the-week mysteries.
All episodes of
Pushing Daisies are streaming on HBO Max. 04 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
If you’ve seen
the Amy Adams quote going around Twitter about being unable to take her eyes off Lee Pace on set, this is the film she was talking about. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a rom-com starring Frances McDormand as the titular Miss Pettigrew and Amy Adams as the new employer Delysia Lafosse, who gives her a makeover as the two solve each other’s romantic problems. Pace plays Michael Pardue, Lafosse’s penniless suitor, who, with the help of Miss Pettigrew, Lafosse realizes is her true love. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is available as a streaming rental on Amazon.
Pace’s role in The
Hobbit trilogy is substantial, considering the source material. He appears in all three films as the Elvenking Thranduil. Though his role in the original Hobbit novel is small (his name never even gets mentioned), the movie built it up substantially. Pace became a primary antagonist as Thranduil, an isolationist leader whose choices directly lead to Sauron rising again.
The Hobbit films are streaming on HBO Max. 06 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
Team Edward? Team Jacob? Call me when we are talking about Team Garrett. Pace has a small role in the vampire quartet of films, playing Denali coven member Garrett, who is passionately mated to Kate (Casey LaBow).
The Twilight Saga films are all streaming on Prime Video. 07 Guardians of the Galaxy/Captain Marvel
Hobbit trilogy and Twilight weren’t Pace’s only major blockbuster appearances. In 2014, he starred as the main Kree antagonist Ronan the Accuser in the original Guardians of the Galaxy — though to be fair, he was barely recognizable under the tons of blue paint and prosthetics. He reprised the character again in 2019’s first Captain Marvel film, called in by that movie’s main antagonist Yon-Rogg, only to have his butt whipped by the titular heroine. His survival (and vow to be back) had fans assuming his time in the Marvelverse is far from over, though he has not been confirmed to return. Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel are both available on Disney+.
Pace has starred in a steady stream of films since 2015, but the best one is
Revolt, a 2017 science fiction movie that’s better than it has any right to be, primarily due to Pace’s performance. Pace played Bo, an American Special Forces soldier who wakes up imprisoned to learn alien machines have invaded the world. As Bo escapes, he discovers he now possesses the ability to absorb, conduct, and discharge electricity, making him the perfect soldier to fight this battle. Revolt is streaming on Hulu.
Pace returned to TV as lead character Joe MacMillan in the 1980s/1990s period piece
Halt and Catch Fire. The series was a fictionalized insider’s view of the growth of computer culture and the internet, with MacMillan as a Don Draper-like anti-hero tech visionary with zero actual computer skills, always chasing the “next big thing.”
All four seasons of
Halt and Catch Fire are streaming on AMC+.
Pace’s current project is the Apple TV+ big-budget prestige show
Foundation, loosely based on the series of stories published under the same name by Isaac Asimov. Pace plays Brother Day, who turns out to be a clone of Emperor Cleon I, who ruled the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire, and whose clones continue to do so to this day. Pace plays multiple roles, including Cleon I, Cleon XII, and Cleon XIII — a Pacefest, if you will. Foundation Season 1 is streaming on AppleTV+. Season 2 is in production and is expected in 2023. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is playing exclusively in theaters. It is expected to start streaming via Showtime and then on Paramount+ later this year. Don't miss a thing
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