A Birthday Tribute – 44 Reasons We Love Rufus Sewell

On Saturday, 10/29, one of my favorite actors Rufus Sewell is turning 44! So in honor of his b’day, my pal Becky (a.k.a. Prairiegirl, Roof’s number 1 fan) and I thought it’d be fun to list 44 reasons why we love the guy, starting with Becky’s list…

  1. Believe it … he’s just as hot as a cross-dresser in a skirt and knee-high, high-heeled boots (Taming of the Shrew, TV, 2005) as he is in a sharp Italian suit and Persol sunglasses (Zen, TV, 2011)
  2. He is very generous with his time and attention to his fans.
  3. He has no problem baring his lovely bum (Gone to Seed, (TV 1996), Dark City (1998), Helen of Troy (1999)
  4. Because he had a leading role in one of my favorite films ever – A Knight’s Tale (2001) which also includes a hunky bonus in the form of James Purefoy.
  5. He will compel me to watch a genre I rarely, if ever watch: vampires! (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, coming in 2012).
  6. He has one of the most distinct, easy-to-listen-to voices ever (narration of 12 of Ian Fleming’s James Bonds books, among many of his voice-over projects).
  7. He has one of the best fan sites, with the best fans, with the best name: The Rooftop
  8. There’s no way you can’t fall in love with him as the benevolent Lord Marke during the Bridge scene in Tristan and Isolde (2006). And that scene is more than halfway through the film… whatever took me so long? [the video of the bridge scene has been removed but here’s a lovely tribute of Rufus in that film]

  1. He really mixes up the type characters he plays, and does them effortlessly, even though most don’t know this… everyone thinks he is only a period player or the bad guy.
  2. He’s had three films set in one of my favorite places, Italy. Dangerous Beauty (1998, Venice), The Tourist (2010, Venice)  and, of course, Zen(TV, 2011, Rome). It’s hard to think of a better combination than Rufus AND Italy.

    Rufus as Aurelio Zen
  3. Speaking of The Tourist, another classy bonus along with Ruf in the film was Timothy Dalton.
  4. Even though Eleventh Hour (TV, 2009) only lasted one season on CBS, and Ruf’s part of Dr. Jacob Hood could have had been written with more impact and emotion, I have all eighteen episodes to see him in almost every scene on DVD whenever I need another dose of Dr. Ruf.
  5. Because I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him in his very first role in a film, Twenty-One (1991). As Bobby, he’s one, very, very convincing drug addict.
  6. He has the most amazing, expressive, wide green eyes.
  7. One of his most quoted sayings is “my favorite day is a happy accident.” My favorite day was discovering Rufus!
  8. He makes me laugh out loud when he is woken from a sound sleep by the Italian prosecutor, Nadia Pirot in Zen, the Cabal episode. She asks him if she woke him, and he says, not entirely convincingly, “no, no, I just got back from the gym.”
  9. He looks protective and caring holding a newly-acquired puppy.
  10. He’s as comfortable on a theater stage as he is in a film or on TV.
  11. He can play an addict, a working-class bus driver, renaissance royalty, a Dark Ages king, an adventurous entrepreneur, a scheming knight, an inconsiderate ex-boyfriend, an early American statesman, a detached husband, a brilliant scientist, a Medieval stone mason, an honest but slightly flawed detective, and a vampire… whew!
  12. He has a wonderful sense of humor.  When asked the question, “Looking at your own life, what would most like your legacy to be? Answer: I’d like an omelet named after me.” 😀
  13. He’s hot, hot, HOT in an elevator. (Taming of the Shrew, Zen)
  14. He keeps getting better with age. A very happy 44th birthday, Rufus!
  15. All right, those high check bones certainly deserve a mention. His features look as if they’re carved by Michelangelo!
  16. The soulful and emphatic way he narrated the 9/11 poem Out of the Blue
  17. He was swoon-worthy as Kate Winslet’s crush in The Holiday… he’s a cad yes, but a juicy one at that!
  18. His sexy, throaty voice to match that smouldering look.
  19. I read an article describing his character in Zen as possessing an enigmatic charisma, the same can be said about Rufus himself.
  20. I love how self-deprecating and humble he is. In his interview with Telegraph for Zen, he was asked if he fly economy? ‘Absolutely!’ he says with no hint of shame.
  21. Some men can pull off wearing eyeliners, and Rufus is one of them, as displayed in his drag outfit in BBC’s The Taming of the Shrew.
  22. I kind of like the name Rufus. It actually means “red-haired” in Latin.
  23. Speaking of hair, I LOVE his dark, wavy hair and he looks good w/ pretty much any hairstyle.
  24. Even in a brief cameo (i.e. The Tourist), he still manages to steal scenes and made even a banal movie worthwhile.
  25. He was a vile count in A Knight’s Tale but he you really can’t take your eyes off him… whenever he’s on, he made me forget about the leading man Heath Ledger.
  26. As many British actors do, he’s got stage-cred on top of his movie career. He earned rave reviews in his performance in Tom Stoppard’s Rock and Roll, which he played both at the Royal Court Theater in London and on Broadway.
  27. He looked like a Greek god in the miniseries Helen of Troy… he’s perhaps too ridiculously good looking as Agamemnon, but hey, I’m not complaining!
  28. His dark, almost exotic look makes him versatile enough to play people of different ethnic groups believably.
  29. He proves to be a capable romantic leading man in Dangerous Beauty. I’d love to see him in a sweeping period drama like that again in the future.
  30. There’s a regal air about Rufus that I don’t find in other actors of his caliber.
  31. He’s got an exquisite taste in automobile. Check him out looking like James Bond in his vintage red Alfa Romeo Spider convertible!
  32. He can pull off both a clean-cut look and a full beard one, such as the one he’s sporting in The Pillars of the Earth miniseries
  33. He was perfectly cast in one of the most underrated sci-fi, Alex Proyas’ Dark City
  34. He’s got such an expressive, melancholic eyes… perfect for romantic roles, thus I cast him as a British suitor in my fantasy romantic drama Last Voyage of the Valentina.
  35. I love his professional attitude… it’s as if no job is too small for him. No matter how low-budget the movie, he always gives his all.
  36. And lastly, since this job is not on IMDb yet, I’ll take the time to announce Rufus’ latest movie project!

    I first heard about this project from Leo Gregory’s tweet, a British actor who has a supporting part in the film. Rufus will co-star with Gabriel Byrne and Toby Stephens in newcomer George Isaac’s directorial debut.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rufus has agreed to play the maverick law enforcement official. Byrne signed on to play the sadistic crime boss. And Stephens is all set to play Riley, a criminal trying to play both sides of a dangerous situation.

    I LOVE the cast and UK crime thrillers sounds awesome!! Check out the on-set picture of Rufus in London, click on the photo to see more pics. I’ll be sure to blog about this once we hear more about this movie.

So happy, happy birthday, Rufus!! Please join me in wishing this talented actor many happy returns!

54 thoughts on “A Birthday Tribute – 44 Reasons We Love Rufus Sewell

  1. Wow. That’s a lot of reasons to love Rufus Sewell. I’ll definitely second the praise for Dark City, which is a great movie and criminally underrated. Sewell is good in the lead role, and the art direction of the entire city is just stunning.

    1. Yes, and we could go on, ahah. I wish more people had seen Dark City! Well sounds like Rufus might re-team w/ Proyas again on Paradise Lost.

  2. “He was perfectly cast in one of the most underrated sci-fi, Alex Proyas’ Dark City”

    So glad you mentioned this in your tribute, Ruth. ‘Dark City’ doesn’t get enough credit, IMO (probably because it is sci-fi). Nice post.

    1. It’s such a gritty and well-made sci-fi, it’s a shame it’s not as celebrated as it should be. Rufus should’ve been a star just because of this film.

    2. ackackattack

      Yeah, big fan of Dark City here. Brazil is a fav of mine so I love films like Dark City, City of Lost Children, Blade Runner, etc.

      Wow… I looked at his filmography and didn’t see or like any other film by him except the John Adams miniseries and The Illusionist. Oh well. I am looking forward to hin in this though: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton.


      1. Well, he’s got something for everyone 🙂 Yeah, that Abe Lincoln one is intriguing for sure, I mean even for non-vampire movie fans would be compelled to see it. I only saw one movie from Timur (Wanted) and that was pretty good. Hope he’ll deliver again.

  3. Happy Birthday, Rufus! Can’t wait to see him in “All Things to All Men.” And his work in the visually superb and narratively demanding “Dark City” was absolutely outstanding. Plus I agree about King Marke, too. Thanks for making this great list for his birthday!

    1. Thanks Stella. I’m so thrilled to have two of my favorite actors to be in the same movie, set in the UK no less. This definitely will be my most-anticipated movie of next year!

  4. PrairieGirl

    Hey Flixy, you never cease to amaze… your half of the list (the second half), along with all the pics is superb. Glad to see this is just in time for the start of filming on his new movie, All Things to All Men. What a cast! I LOVE celebrating Ruf’s birthday here every year. Thanks! ;-D

    1. Ha..ha.. I knew you’d be happy with those pics, it really was fun to do this post. Thanks for doing this with me, and for the top about ‘All Things’ and the pictures. I can’t wait for the movie!

      1. I was quite ambivalent towards him to be honest. But, after reading your list, I am a fan! I really liked him in Tristan + Isolde (one of my guilty pleasures) and even though he is a cad in The Holiday I thought he was very crush-worthy! 😀

    1. PrairieGirl

      Hi Claire, I’m glad our list intrigued you. Well, the puppy is adorable, but it’s putting the two of them together that really makes it special ;-D

  5. Happy B-day to RufRuf.
    Loved him in TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, one of the most likable roles ever.
    Didn’t know he starred in THE HOLIDAY? I haven’t noticed him there.

        1. Oh Dezzy, that’s harsh. I actually quite like Jack, he’s pretty funny in this one. I’m actually glad they didn’t cast another gorgeous looking man like Jude as her love interest.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Oh yes, my Dezzy dear, he is most benevolent in Tristan and Isolde. Just watched it again, and for the life of me can’t figure out why they spent so much time on the young, star-crossed kids when Ruf was there in all his glory!

      Well, actually, he had a very small, but pivotal part in The Holiday, he will stand out in it for sure if you ever see it again.

  6. Twenty One was 2nd film albeit terribly brief role in that strange film but more noticed him previous in Cold Comfort Farm & Middlemarch. Sadly I never did catch him in any of his tv roles recent years only clips. Every film he has done I have seen it and the fact that he turned 44 before me males me feel old. I had heard he has been married twice and had 2 children No matter how dedicated I have tried to be seeing most of the above I could not sit though ‘Pillars’ but Tristan and Isolde he was delish as he was as a villain in The Illusionist. Looking at the list I can say I have seen him in 17 of the list of tv and film. As he and I are under the same sign Scorpio though I am a later one except he has aged better than me makes me adore him even more.


    1. Hi Stella, glad to hear you’re a big fan of Roof. Yes he is delish as both a good guy & villain, basically he’s always so watchable in every role 😀

  7. PrairieGirl

    Stella, too bad you haven’t been able to see much of his recent TV work… most of it is truly good, especially most recently the Zen series. Even his earlier TV works like Gone to Seed and Arabian Nights are excellent. He has one son, Billy, who is about nine years old now. And yes, he certainly has aged well, hasn’t he?

  8. Ted S.

    Wow guess you guys really like Rufus. 🙂

    I like him as an actor and it’s a shame he’s always been cast as the villain in Hollywood films. I’m one of the few who didn’t like Dark City, I was so excited to see the film when it came out in theater, went to see it and I actually hated it. I tried giving it another shot when it came out on Blu-ray couple of years ago but I still can’t stand the film.

    1. Yes we do, Ted. Roof is one of the 3 actors both Becky & I share the love for, along with Gerry & James Purefoy 😀 I guess we both have a penchant for the tall, dark, and British, he..he..

      Too bad you’re not into Dark City since you like sci-fi, but eh, to each their own I suppose.

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hi Ted, Rufus is one of those rare actors (along with Gerard Butler and James Purefoy) who is good in almost every role they play. Even big hitters like Hugh Jackman I only like in one or two of his roles, even though there are dozens of them.

      And as for Dark City, I’m not a sci-fi fan at all, but to my surprise I loved the film and Rufus’ role in it. One thing I can say about you, you ALWAYS keep me guessing about your taste in films ;-D

    1. PrairieGirl

      Hi Scott, glad you enjoyed. I’ve discovered one of my purposes in life is to now shout to the “rooftops” how great an actor he is!

      And this post was a joint effort, the first 22 reasons are mine, and the last 22 are from our very own favorite, Flixy (rtm). ;-D

  9. #45- You loved him as Fortinbras in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’!!

    haha, wow, a lot of great reasons. I will admit to not being as enthusiastic about him as you, (although he’s a great supporting actor IMO), but this is a well thought out list my friend! Happy B-day Ruf!

  10. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Mr. Sewell caught my attention early on in ‘Dark City’. There was a relaxed ease about him and his character that was appealing. Especially when confronting Kiefer Sutherland and The Others. And that ease has been present in countless roles since.

    His role as Aurielio Zen fits him like a glove!

    1. Hey there Jack, yes you are so right about his relaxed ease about his acting style, he’s such a natural. He can be both intense and playful believably. I almost forgot Kiefer was in Dark City!

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hi Jack, thanks for the great description of Rufus’ acting style. You’re right, he can be so at ease AND commanding at the same time. And so right about Zen, I could watch 50 more episodes!

  11. I had hoped when I had heard rumours of ‘LoveJoy Mysteries’ coming back albeit it was the idiot Hoff who threatened it at the time thought to myself well if Rufus and Ian McShane did Lovejoy into a new series with Rufus as his brother and Ian did a cameo or something. I had heard they cancelled his last series because they felt that there were too many crime shows on British television I can’t remember whether it were BBB or not. Since I don’t use cable and haven’t in the last few years catching anything other than Pillars was rare and hard to find and if I see Zen or 11th hour it will have to be on DVD

    1. PrairieGirl

      I first saw Zen on DVD before it made it here on PBS, so if you can get ahold of the DVD, go for it, it’s SO worth it!

  12. Fantastic actor that I love ever since I saw Dangerous Beauty! You are right, it’s wonderful and surprising how many different roles he has played until now!Wishing him all of the best!

    1. Hi Aziza, welcome to FC! He really was dashing in Dangerous Beauty, such a capable and swoon-worthy romantic leading man. He is versatile indeed.

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hi Aziza, just want to welcome another Ruf lover to FlixChatter, glad you found us and let us know how much you like him. Yeh!

  13. Ah you’re a fan of him! No wonder you notice I didn’t mention him in my Holiday review 🙂 He’s charming though, strong presence. Seem like a great actor 🙂

  14. Fun list ladies, that’s a lot of reasons to love Rufus Sewell indeed 😀 Hopefully, we will get to see more of him on the big screen in the near future!

    1. PrairieGirl

      Ah, yes, Rufus on the big screen. 2012 will bring us Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with Rufus as the lead vampire and All Things to All Men, a contemporary thriller where he will have another law enforcement role, and a prominent one at that.

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