The Elementary series (2012-2019) premiered exactly 10 years ago, on September 27, 2012. Unlike other productions inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), the series showed a new side of Sherlock Holmes thanks to the talent of Jonny Lee Miller. Before playing the renowned detective, the actor had a very busy life. The 49-year-old Briton was married to Angelina Jolie and also shared an apartment with Ewan McGregor.
Did you already know this side of the Sherlock Holmes interpreter? Jonny Lee Miller received his first big Hollywood break in Hackers: Computer Pirates (1995). In the film about technology, the Englishman became closer to his colleague Angelina Jolie. The pair engaged in an intense relationship and got married.
However, the relationship only lasted 18 months. In 2000, the couple announced their divorce, which did not affect the friendship between the actors. Since then, the Elementary protagonist has exchanged alliances and had a child with model Michele Hicks. But that relationship also ended. He was even seen riding in a car with Angelina last year — was he a remember?
Before his complicated love life, Jonny Lee Miller had a companionship relationship with renowned British actors. In his teens, the Sherlock interpreter met and became friends with none other than Jude Law.
Even Computer Pirates colleague —Matthew Lillard— told the IGN website as he was surprised by the actor and his friends. “When we arrived in London, Jonny Lee Miller wanted us to meet his roommates. They ended up being Jude Law and Ewan McGregor.”
That’s right, Miller shared the same apartment with Dickie Greenleaf (Law) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor). The jedi interpreter even helped the Elementary star with her casting in Trainspotting: No Limits (1997). The partnership transcended social life, and the actors worked together in this 1990s cult classic.
Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting: No Limits
Disclosure / Alpha Films
Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary
English had a very difficult task in Elementary. In addition to playing the most iconic detective in history, he had to do it in the United States and in the present day. And if the mission already seemed complex, its predecessors made the job even more complicated.
In Sherlock Holmes (2009), the protagonist was played by Robert Downey Jr.. And, obviously, the renowned Hollywood actor delivered a solid performance. With a touch of Tony Stark, he managed to replicate the swagger, clever humor and physical abilities of the character.
Sherlock (2010-2017) brought a completely different narrative. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the series took the detective to the present, but in London. The Doctor Strange interpreter also took another path with the character. Despite being methodical, cold and on the verge of sociopathy, the protagonist also enchanted the audience.
Another who got a chance to play the charismatic detective was Henry Cavill. But unlike his Hollywood counterparts, the man behind Superman’s mantle didn’t have much room to give Sherlock depth. Supporting Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes (2020), the star brought only the usual (and bland) attributes of the character.
Jonny Lee Miller, then, came closest to Sir Conan Doyle’s version. In addition to bringing the classic elements, such as the methodicity, humor and speed of the character, Elementary implemented one more characteristic of the detective: addiction.
In the series, Sherlock (Miller) met Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) because of her problem with illegal drugs. During the episodes, addiction became a recurring theme and had great importance in the narrative. And his interpreter was fundamental to incorporate this element: his performance exalts adversity with substances and brings elements of real life to fiction.
Elementary is available on Globoplay and Paramount+. But, if you want to check out some more recent work from the actor, Miller is confirmed in the fifth season of The Crown. The new episodes debut November 9 on Netflix.