Character: Howard Paige
Actor: Henry Goodman
Episode: Fifty Ships

Henry Goodman believes Foyle (Michael Kitchen) has met his match in rich American Howard Paige.

"Paige is as insightful and canny as Foyle but in a Machiavellian way. He is driven by selfishness, as Foyle is driven by humanity. He belongs to the powerful industrial elite and is used to a world of winners and losers. Paige has been trained to be a winner and he is willing to tread on people."

Paige is a supporter of America's alliance with Britain, but offends some of the locals in Hastings with his brash ways."He is very wealthy and wears tailored camel suits and he's charming and attractive on the outside. His style and richness is an irritant against the rough hessian world of Britain in the 1940s. What is interesting about the 40s is that we needed the Americans to win the war, so we had to inherit some of their tough mentality.

"This episode is very contemporary and it was chilling opening the papers on set and reading about doing deals to go to war today," he adds.

Henry has enjoyed playing a range of powerful characters, from Richard III for the RSC to Shylock in Trevor Nunn's film of The Merchant of Venice.

"I get the powerful roles, although I'm very different to the people I play. But unless you have these resources inside you and an understanding of ambition and selfishness and their dangers you can't reveal it. The world sees dark eyes and dark hair as evil. That's why I go out of my way to balance the roles.

"I've done many American accents but I also played the Glaswegian father of Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly, a Russian accent for The Saint with Val Kilmer and I was English with Hugh Grant in Notting Hill.

"I had five months on Broadway playing Tartuffe so I went straight from a religious hypocrite to a more modern industrialist. Now I'm playing Dennis Selinger, who was Peter Sellers' agent in the new film about Sellers starring Geoffrey Rush.

"I didn't know Dennis but my agent Michael Foster was trained by him. He was respected and liked, a gentle old school manager, which is nice to do after such a nasty piece of work as Howard Paige."

Henry's other credits include Unfinished Business, Cold Lazarus and 99-1.

October 2003; Publicity Release