Mark Strong prefers to play villains to heroes and he thinks his love of dark characters comes from him being English.

The 54-year-old actor has portrayed bad guys in 'Syriana' , 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Green Lantern' and has been cast as main antagonist Doctor Sivana in upcoming DC Extended Universe film 'Shazam!', which is being directed by David F. Sandberg.

Strong has never shied away from villainous roles because they are always fun and he admits it's a bonus that many Hollywood directors like to cast English actors in those parts.

When asked if actors have more fun playing baddies, he said: ''I think so. In Britain we don't shy away from villains, whereas American culture is much more geared towards the hero. We can go all the way back to Richard III and Macbeth. They (Americans) have John Wayne.''

Strong - who can currently be seen playing spy Max Easton in new FOX espionage TV drama 'Deep State' - says the thing he enjoys most about his career is the challenge of playing people completely different to himself.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, he said: ''I always thought what made acting interesting was playing what you're not, whether it's wigs, costumes or accent. Although I'd say Max Easton is as close to me as it might get. I couldn't base him on anyone so I had to rely on my understanding of how someone would react in the circumstances he faces ... The most important thing is that Max is a guy trying to protect his family. Anyone can relate to that. He joined MI6 to make the world a better place, gets involved in something he can't stomach, courts their wrath and puts his family in danger.''