I spy fame in Hollywood

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I spy fame in Hollywood

Message  Matthieu le Mar 1 Déc 2009 - 19:45

Par James Rampton (Sunday Express s:2, 3 octobre 2004).
[2 pages scannées]
Leaving Spooks was an emotional episode in Matthew MacFadyen's life. But, he tells James Rampton, he'll soon be back in a new disguise - as Jane Austen's Mr Darcy
Spooks has made Matthew MacFadyen a bona fide star. He would be the first to acknowledge that "it's made a significant difference. To play the lead in a highly successful series is just fabulous for your profile". The series was no doubt the reason why Hollywood's Variety magazine recently named him as one of its coveted "10 actors to watch" alongside rising British stars Parminder Nagra from ER and Chiwetel Ejiofor from Dirty Pretty Things.

So it was a hard decision to quit Spooks after two episodes of the new series. "When I left," the 29-year-old actor sighs, "there was a huge lump in my throat. I did a scene with Keeley [Hawes] and David [Oyelowo], and it was quite upsetting."

The crew reacted with even greater emotion. Executive producer Simon Crawford Collins reveals that "there wasn't a dry eye in the house."

Over the past two series, MacFadyen's character, Tom Quinn, has been the linchpin of Spooks. By turns mercurial, moody, mean and magnificent, the MI5 senior case officer has been the heartbeat of the show.

For all that, Macfadyen had no second thoughts of quitting while ahead. "Inevitably, you feel quite proprietorial and think, 'How can they be carrying on without me?' But I also thought, 'What else can you do with Tom?' In series two, he suffered quite a lot and it was really time to go.

"I'd done enough. Eighteen hours of Tom is enough for anyone! If you do anything too much, it becomes too stolid and repetitious. It's also good to be a little apprehensive about what you're doing next. I do worry a little about the mortgage, but part of me knows it'll be OK. If it isn't, however, no one's going to die." Whether the same is true of his character remains to be seen.

After filming has finished, Macfadyen is unwinding with a cup of coffee in a swanky West End hotel bar. Thoughtful and self-deprecating, he lacks the show-off "look at me" gene present in many actors and so makes for winning company.

"Tom is in a dark place," says Macfadyen, who also headlined in The Way We Live Now and Perfect Strangers. "He comes back solely to clear his name and get revenge, but there's part of him that's lost enthusiasm."

With or without Tom, MacFadyen reckons viewers will continue to watch Spooks. He certainly gets a lot of reaction. "The other day, I was somewhere terribly glamorous - Brent Cross - and a guy came up to me and said. 'I've blown your cover.'"

It's this double life that makes spies such absorbing viewing. "Spies can never relax," says MacFadyen. "In researching the series, we met some real spies, and they told us about a spy who didn't tell his wife who he really was until their wedding night.

"There is a recruitment drive gat MI5, but there is a height restriction. If you're over 5ft 11ins, you won't be allowed in because you stand out too much."

Away from work, MacFadyen lives with his co-star Hawes - they got together two years ago while making the first series of Spooks. The liaison caused problems as she had only been married for a few months to Spencer McCallum, the father of her young son, Myles.

The affair briefly turned Macfadyen and Hawes into targets for the paparazzi. "I never thought I'd have my picture in the papers," he says. "I can't say it was pleasant but it's blown over now. Some people court that sort of coverage, but we just kept our heads down.

"It's lovely to work with Keeley," he beams. "The only downside is that you can't say 'Guess what happened at work today?' There's no element of surprise when you come home!"

Now they are looking forward to the birth of their first child in December. "I'm over the moon."

MacFadyen has plenty to occupy him until then. He stars with Miranda Otto (Eowyn from The Lord Of The Rings) in In My Father's Den, a New Zealand murder mystery. But he is also shooting his most high-profile role to date - the lead in a classy British movie version of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice, with a cast including Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Penelope Wilton and Rosamund Pike. It's a role which could catapult him into the Hollywood majors.

All the same, MacFadyen realises that the part of Mr Darcy comes with heavy baggage. "It's so indelibly associated with Colin Firth. It's scary and challenging because you've got Colin Firth in your head. But I've never seen his version, which helps. Anyway, that was a while ago now - you have to make the part your own."

There is one key question pertaining to Mr Darcy and it concerns the most celebrated moment in Firth's career.

"Would I emerge from a lake with a shirt clinging to my love handles?" MacFadyen asks with a knowing smile. "I don't think that particular scene is in the movie."
THE SPIES HAVE IT: MacFadyen in his last series of Spooks with Rupert Penry-Jones, top, and with co-star and real-life partner Keeley Hawes, above
A RIPPING YARN: MacFadyen is leaving the spy world behind as Mr Darcy in the movie version of Pride And Prejudice
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Matthieu
Fan libre

Nombre de messages : 6842
Age : 55
Localisation : Lorraine
Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

http://www.matthew-macfadyen.org/

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