Two days ago it was officially announced that Ray Stevenson is the first actor to join the seventh season of Dexter. In all probability, he will play the (SPOILER) Big Bad of the season. Here are some things you need to new about his life and career: George Raymond "Ray" Stevenson (born 25 May 1964) is an Irish film and television actor. He is known for playing Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO television series Rome (2005–2007), and in film as Dagonet in King Arthur (2004) and as Frank Castle/The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone (2008) and The Super Hero Squad Show. Stevenson recently appeared as Volstagg in Thor, based on the Marvel Comics character. Read the rest of the post after the jump...
Movie Career: Stevenson has starred in several feature films, primarily in supporting roles. He made his debut in The Theory of Flight (1998) with Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, where he played the part of a gigolo hired to help Bonham Carter's character to lose her virginity. In 2002, Stevenson starred in a short film No Man's Land, which was the antipodal picture from actor/director Edward Hicks prior to his graduation from the London Film School. In the 12.5 minute film set during the First World War, Stevenson portrayed an experienced Private who is forced to help a novice Officer (David Birkin), back to safety after they both find themselves trapped and isolated in "No Man's Land" during the battle of Ypres. In 2004, Stevenson starred alongside Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in King Arthur. He portrayed Dagonet, a knight of the round table who sacrifices his life for his comrades.
Stevenson's first leading role in a film was in the Scottish horror picture Outpost (2008), portraying a mercenary pitted against Nazi zombies in a bunker somewhere in Eastern Europe. That same year, he also starred in Punisher: War Zone, based on the character by Marvel Comics. He portrayed Frank Castle, "The Punisher," a former Marine turned vigilante after the murder of his family. In 2010, Stevenson played the primary antagonist in the comedy The Other Guys, alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.
In 2011, Stevenson appeared in the film Kill the Irishman, based on the book To Kill the Irishman as Danny Greene who took on the Italian mob in Cleveland in the 70's. He worked with Kenneth Branagh again, this time as a director, in the adaptation of Marvel Comics' Thor, starring in the role of Volstagg, one of Thor's trusted comrades. Also that year, he played Porthos in Paul W. S. Anderson's adaptation of The Three Musketeers. On July 8, 2011, Stevenson was cast as Firefly for G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Stevenson is said to be in consideration to play The Kurgan in the remake of Highlander.
TV: He is perhaps best known for playing the character of legionary Titus Pullo in the BBC/HBO television series Rome. He shares the lead starring role in the series with Kevin McKidd. His portrayal of Pullo's fierce and loyal character and the character's development and adaptation to the changing circumstances of life and history has won both critical and public acclaim.
His other TV-work includes guest appearances in popular TV series like Waking the Dead and Murphy's Law as well as lead roles in City Central and At Home with the Braithwaites. He has also appeared in several TV movies such as Some Kind of Life in 1995, in which he co-starred with Jane Horrocks, and The Return of the Native, which also featured Catherine Zeta Jones. Some of his earliest parts were in two Catherine Cookson movies: The Dwelling Place (1994) and The Tide of Life (1996). Ray reprises his role this time as the voice of The Punisher in The Super Hero Squad Show. Stevenson is slated to star in the seventh season of Dexter in 2012.