Last Thursday, the talented and ridiculously handsome British actor turned 42. Most TV watchers know him as Dr. Jacob Hood in the recently canceled CBS show Eleventh Hour — which I personally think wasn’t exactly worthy of his talent. But there’s so much more to this versatile actor, whose compelling performance is always the highlight of any movie he’s in. Whether he’s portraying a villain (The Legend of Zorro, The Illusionist), charming bad boy (Jasper in The Holiday), or historical statesmen (Alexander Hamilton in HBO’s John Adams, Thomas Clarkson in Amazing Grace), it’s hard to take your eyes off him!
Among his diverse body of work, my personal faves are the 1998 period drama set in Venice called Dangerous Beauty, followed by acclaimed sci-fi crime thriller and cult favorite Dark City. There’s also his scene-stealing role as noble Lord Marke in Tristan + Isolde, one that made me wish I had Isolde’s dilemma. With a betrothed subject like that, I definitely wouldn’t be fretting over my long lost lover!
Rufus’ versatility also stretches to theater work. He performed as Jan in Tom Stoppard’s Rock and Roll at the Royal Court Theatre in London, which he later reprised on Broadway until March of last year.
My friend — and fellow Roof admirer — Becky also tipped me about this 45-minute harrowing UK documentary as a tribute to the 9/11 tragedy called 9/11: out of the blue, narrated splendidly by Rufus. It’s based on a specially-commissioned poem by award-winning poet Simon Armitage. To call it a narration is a gigantic understatement. Anybody with a decent voice can do a narration, but it takes a special artistry and no less than sheer brilliance to pull off what Rufus did here. It was mesmerizing and heartbreaking at the same time.
Rufus will appear next in a TV miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, based on a historical novel by Ken Follett about the building of a cathedral in Kingsbridge, England. More on that in a separate post.
With special thanks to Becky, here’s the bridge scene in Tristan + Isolde that stole her heart (and I’m sure countless others alike, including yours truly):
And here’s a scene from ShakespeaRe-Told, a BBC four-part adaptation of Shakespeare in contemporary form. Rufus plays Petruchio in the Taming of the Shrew episode. Enjoy!
Here’s wishing Mr. Sewell many happy returns! And of course, a long lasting cinematic career.