James Purefoy

James Purefoy

Infobox actor

caption = Purefoy as Mark Antony in "Rome"
birthdate = Birth date and age|1964|6|3|mf=y
birthplace = Taunton, Somerset, England
birthname = James Brian Mark Purefoy
yearsactive = 1990 - present
occupation = Actor
spouse = Holly Aird (1996-2002)

James Brian Mark Purefoy [http://www.filmreference.com/film/31/James-Purefoy.html Film Reference.com.] (born June 3 1964) is an English actor.


Early life and work

Purefoy was born in Taunton, Somerset. He was a boarder at Sherborne School which he left with only one O-level. Later he went to night school and got 11 more, then took his A-levels. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1982628,00.html "When in Rome..."] interview with Hannah Pool. "The Guardian". 6 January 2007.] He then studied acting at the British drama school the Central School of Speech and Drama, while selling, with difficulty, copies of the "Socialist Worker" in his spare time.


Purefoy's early professional roles included Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet" in Leatherhead, Walter in "Mary Morgan" at the Riverside Studios and Alan Strang in "Equus" on tour.

The RSC and other stage work

Purefoy subsequently joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 1988 and appeared in "The Constant Couple", "Macbeth", "The Tempest", "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (Gene Saks, Barbican) and "King Lear" as Edgar.

Elsewhere, he has also appeared as Laertes in "Hamlet" at the Bristol Old Vic (1991) Brian in William Gaminara's "Back Up the Hearse and Let them Sniff the Flowers" at the Hampstead Theatre (1992), Roland Maule in Noel Coward's "Present Laughter" at the Globe Theatre (1993), Biff in "Death of a Salesman", alongside Ken Stott and Jude Law, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (1994), Tony in "The Servant" at the Birmingham Rep (1995). He returned to the RSC for Simon Callow's stage adaptation of the film classic, "Les enfants du paradis" at the Barbican. He also played Hugh de Morville in Paul Corcoran's "Four Nights in Knaresborough" at the Tricycle Theatre, (1999) and Loveless in Trevor Nunn's production of "The Relapse" at the National Theatre in 2001.

Film and television

His appearances in films and television have predominated. He played James McCarthy, a young man accused of murdering his father, in "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," in Granada's "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes". One of his notable roles was as Nicholas Jenkins in the eight-part miniseries "A Dance to the Music of Time" for Channel 4 in 1997. He played Edward, the Black Prince in the film "A Knight's Tale".

He has played major roles in several television costume dramas, including "Sharpe's Sword", "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall", "The Prince and the Pauper", "The Mayor of Casterbridge", ', ' and "Rome".


He plays Mark Antony in the HBO/BBC original television series, "Rome". His full frontal nudity in episode four of the series caused a sensation among the show's viewers. When his Wikipedia entry was brought up in an interview with Alastair McKay, published in the January 2007 issue of "Out" magazine, Purefoy said, "I won't say whose it was, but there was a penis in the series that may have been slightly enhanced. But it wasn't mine. Mine's all mine, I'm afraid." [McKay, Alastair. [http://www.out.com/detail.asp?id=21656 "All Hail James Purefoy"] . Out.com. ]

Lost roles

Purefoy was attached to star in the 2005 film "V for Vendetta", but was replaced by Hugo Weaving. (Both Purefoy and Weaving starred in the 1998 gay British comedy, "Bedrooms and Hallways".) It was later revealed that Hugo Weaving had been originally first choice for the film, but was involved in the Australian film "Eucalyptus". Later, production of "Eucalyptus" had been halted, freeing up Weaving, and Purefoy had willingly left "V for Vendetta" because the Guy Fawkes mask made him extremely uncomfortable. [Grossman, Lev. [http://www.time.com/time/europe/eu/article/0,13716,1172195,00.html "The Mad Man In The Mask"] . "Time", 12 March 2006.]

Purefoy was screen tested for the role of James Bond in 1995 for "Goldeneye", [imdb name|id=0700856|name=James Purefoy] but ultimately lost the role to Pierce Brosnan. Throughout 2004 and 2005 Purefoy's name was rumoured as a possible candidate to replace Brosnan as agent 007 in future James Bond films. Rumors and speculation suggested that Purefoy's departing of "V for Vendetta" was due to an opportunity to play James Bond in the 2006 film "Casino Royale". [Morris, Clint. [http://www.moviehole.net/news/5762.html "McMahon still in the running for 007"] . MovieHole.com. 10 June 2005.] However, this news was confirmed to be false when Daniel Craig was announced as the new James Bond. In the commentary track of the "A Knight's Tale" special edition DVD, director Brian Helgeland stated his opinion that Purefoy would be the perfect choice to play the "next" James Bond, well before Purefoy was being considered for the "Casino Royale" role.

In March 2007, Celtic Films indicated on their website that they have a series of Flashman TV films in development, based on the popular fictional series of novels of the same name by George Macdonald Fraser. Picture Palace Productions announced they were developing Flashman at the Charge, (the fourth novel in the series of twelve), for TV [1] in conjunction with Celtic Films and that the script was prepared by George Macdonald Fraser himself. Both companies took an extensive role in developing Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe (TV series). Purefoy was rumoured to have provisionally accepted an offer made to play the titular role of Harry Flashman.

Producer William J. MacDonald announced that James Purefoy would play Simon Templar in a new TV series of "The Saint". The new series was scheduled to start shooting in Berlin and Australia in April 2008. [ [http://www.saint.org/blog/2007/12/james-purefoy-to-play-simon-templar-in.html "James Purefoy to play Simon Templar in The Saint"] , "The Saint Club". 5 December 2007.] However, production ultimately did not occur and in August Purefoy was reported as negotiating with NBC to star in another series. ["The Hollywood Reporter": " [http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i1da5db18eb0203bb6af7cdc7aa6f647c James Purefoy circles NBC series] , July 21, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2008.]

Personal life

Purefoy has a son, Joseph (born in 1997), with actress Holly Aird, from whom he separated in 2002. He dated Gwyneth Paltrow for a brief time in 2002 and has also dated "Coyote Ugly" star Piper Perabo and "Cold Feet" star Fay Ripley, with whom he spent 11 years.Grice, Elizabeth. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/2006/10/06/hfay06.xml&page=1 "'People cross the road to tell me how ridiculous I look'"] , "The Daily Telegraph". 6 October 2006. Retrieved on 2007-02-15]



External links

*imdb name|id=0700856|name=James Purefoy
* [http://www.james-purefoy.com James Purefoy fansite]
* [http://www.jamespurefoy.es James Purefoy España (Spanish fansite)]
* [http://www.jamespurefoy.us America's Home for the Marvelous and Very Sexy British Actor, James Purefoy]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/image_galleries/james_purefoy_blackbeard_gallery.shtml James Purefoy as Blackbeard]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2006/03/10/james_purefoy_beau_brummell_feature.shtml James Purefoy as Beau Brummell]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2005/09/16/james_purefoy_interview_feature.shtml Interview] with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, September 2005
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2006/01/10/james_purefoy_live_phone_in_feature.shtml Interview] with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, January 2006
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2007/02/05/james_purefoy_rome_series_two_interview_feature.shtml Interview] with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, February 2007
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1982628,00.html Interview] in "The Guardian", January 6, 2007
* [http://www.mensvogue.com/arts/television/articles/2007/02/last_emperor_jpurefoy "Men's Vogue" profile]

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