An appreciation + belated birthday tribute to Toby Stephens

TobyStephens

Ok, here we go again. Some of you who follow me on Twitter might’ve already known about my new crush but I want to make it official here that I’ve been suffering from Toby-itis. This kind of *infection* happens once in a blue moon… the last time this happened was with Gregory Peck nearly three years ago. With Toby, it appears to be a slo-burn kind of crush as I’ve noticed him a while ago and have always liked him on and off… but ever since The Machine, this casual admiration has turned into a full-blown obsession. Well, since he just turned 45 a few days ago on April 21, this post doubles as a belated birthday tribute for my new crush.

Yes, it seems I have a type… like most of my crushes, the London-born Toby is drop dead gorgeous, massively talented, incredibly versatile yet sadly VERY underrated… plus he’s both an eye + ear candy… Toby’s smooth voice is absolutely to-die-for. He definitely would’ve made my top 10 actors with smoothest voice list. I LOVE this fan-made vid that highlights my sentiment perfectly:

Though he has a lot in common with my other crushes, there’s a lot of *firsts* with my crushing on Toby…

  • He’s the first red-head I’ve ever had a crush on… but with those glass-cut cheekbones, his freckles are downright adorable.TobyStephensHotRedHead
  • First actor whose mother I’m actually a huge fan of… Dame Maggie Smith, one of my three favorite British Dames. His dad is the late Sir Robert Stephens.
    Toby_MumMaggieSmith
    Toby with mum Maggie Smith backstage after a Coriolanus play
  • He’s also the first living actor I have a crush on who’s married with little kids. In fact he’s been married for 14 years which in this entertainment business is pretty impressive!

You know you’ve got it bad when you’ve practically watched every clip of him posted on youtube, scoured every tumblr on said actor, read every single interview you could find… and still you can’t get enough. Oh and my tumblr is on fire once again 😉 I don’t drink so this must be what being intoxicated feels like. I finally ordered three Toby dvds from Amazon today: Jane Eyre (2006), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996) and Cambridge Spies (2003). Can’t wait to watch ’em all!

I’ve always loved actors with theater background and Toby attended LAMDA and has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In fact, back in 1994, he won the Sir John Gielgud Prize for Best Actor and the Ian Charleson Award for playing Coriolanus at RSC. [per IMDb] I stumbled upon this clip of an RSC workshop where young Toby (who resembled Tom Hardy a bit then) did a reading with a bunch of famous actors, see how many of them you can spot in this video. It’s always fun to think about the career trajectory of these actors.

How do I love Toby? Let me count the ways …

Oh where do I start? Words fail me to describe how I feel about him right now. I’m having heart palpitations every time I watch him, whether he’s being goofy, intense, sad, angry … he’s always magnetic.

I think the word most apt to use here is awe. I’m in awe of Toby’s sheer screen presence and incredible versatility. Of course I say that about a lot of actors I like but some actors seem to suit a certain genre more than anything, but Toby seems comfortable playing ANY role, whether it’s comedy, drama, action adventure, he always fits right in effortlessly. I think even the most famous Hollywood actors of today aren’t remotely as versatile. Oh and he can master any accent too, as you can see in a couple of clips below, his American accent is quite flawless.

The more I watch his performances, the more I think ‘why isn’t he more famous??’ just like I always say about Richard Armitage. But at the same time, I admire him for being a working actor, an artist who cares about his craft rather than clamoring for the fame and fortune.

SmilingTobyHe tells the DailyMail: I’d like to keep it at the “I’ve seen you in something, not sure what” level. Having a life and being grounded is really important to me. In this business, especially for guys, you can become so obsessed with where you’re at and where you think you should be that you get angry and screwed-up, and forget to value what you have.’

Beautiful AND sensible. That is quite a rarity in this business.

This year alone, he’s juggling theater work in Noël Coward’s Private Lives with Anna Chancellor on London’s West End. Oh how I’d love to see this live, his comic timing is impeccable!

Toby_PrivateLives

That same year he also portrayed Captain Flint in STARZ’s series Black Sails, a role that combines tremendous physicality to do the action stunts as well as dramatic chops.

FlintGreenEyes

My colleague was the first one who told me about this show and though it’s not really my cup of tea, I’ve been watching clips of the show. I’ve never seen him so battered, bruised and covered in blood, yet I can’t take my eyes off him. I love how the show’s lighting made his green eyes sparkle against his pale, freckled skin.

Highlighting some of my favorite Toby performances

 

It pains me that most people only know him as the Bond baddie Gustav Graves (he’s the youngest actor to play a Bond villain) in the worst possible Bond movie ever, Die Another Day. I mean, Gustav is supposedly a Korean who’s been genetically grafted into being a Caucasian. Say what?? Even Toby himself said how exceedingly silly that role was, and how he had to *disappear* from Hollywood for a few years as he’s only getting offered villain-y roles.

So in case you’ve never heard of him or only seen him in a couple of things, I’d like for you to acquaint yourself with Toby’s amazing body of work. Here are just a small sampling of his multifaceted career in both TV and movies:

ManyFacesOfToby

Jay Gatsby – The Great Gatsby (2000)

Ok so I’m not crazy about this adaptation but at least it didn’t put me to sleep like the 1974 version with Robert Redford. Toby certainly has dashing, refined but enigmatic charm, more swoon-worthy than Leo any day. I only wish they don’t have him grinning too much here. As much as I love his beautiful teeth, it just gets creepy after a while. Still, Toby is never NOT fun to watch and I enjoy listening to his flawless American accent. Paul Rudd is pretty decent too as Nick Caraway.

Mr. Rochester – Jane Eyre (2006)

My pal Becky is laughing at me as I used to have a very different opinion on his performance as Rochester in Jane Eyre, as I’m so partial to Dalton’s portrayal, but now I’ve fallen for his passionate and decidedly more sexual take of the character. I couldn’t decide which scene I should include here, there are way too many highlights, but I find Toby’s voice so intoxicating in this very scene where he explains the story of his Parisian mistress Céline Varens.

“You do not know how it feels to the very beat of someone’s heart within one’s breast …” The way he looks at Jane… and THAT voice… it’s a potent combination if there ever was one.

Prince John – Robin Hood (2009)

The only character who manages to avert my eyes away from Richard Armitage’s Guy of Gisborne. Now, if you know me at all, that is quite something. It’s funny but I’d be watching the exact same Robin Hood clips but this time I couldn’t take my eyes off the deliciously hammy, caddish Prince John. Toby at his naughtiest best.

Frank Arlington – Strike Back (2010)

It’s amusing to see Toby and Andrew Lincoln are now stars of American cable shows. I sure hope Black Sails will have as huge following as The Walking Dead and that it will bring him more opportunities in Hollywood. Toby’s talent needs to be seen, people!! Erm, in any case, Toby’s sporting American accent once again, as a CIA agent no less.

Detective Jack Armstrong – Vexed (BBC Two – 2010-2012)

I LOVE LOVE his goofball performance as the lazy, immature and irreverent cop. The show itself reminds me of Moonlighting with all the bantering between him and his clearly-superior female partner. It’s too bad there are only two seasons, I could watch this all day! Lucy Punch is great in the first season, too bad she didn’t stay on for the second. But Toby is a hoot, he’s really the only reason to watch the show for me.

… and finally, here’s a clip from The Machine (2013) that I’ve already reviewed here. First time I saw him in a sci-fi but again he fits the role of a mad-but-compassionate scientist perfectly. Once again he plays another tortured soul like Gatsby and Rochester, which is definitely his specialty.

I could go on and on… as right now all I want to watch and talk about is Toby. Thanks for letting me indulge on my new crush. I better just stop here … I can always blog about him again in the future 😀


So, what do you think of Toby Stephens? What movie/TV series did you like him in?

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84 thoughts on “An appreciation + belated birthday tribute to Toby Stephens

    1. And yet you took the time to comment! 😀 I appreciate that Keith. Yes I know he’s not well-known in the US which is why I felt compelled to dedicate a post on him. I hope you check him out in The Machine, it’s available on iTunes now. I doubt you’re interested in Black Sails though from what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty darn good, but then maybe I’m biased 😀

        1. Oh me neither, but I scour Hulu and Youtube to watch his stuff! He played Jay Gatsby in one of the many, many adaptations. It’s on Netflix streaming if you’re ever curious about that one also.

    1. Yay! Glad you’re familiar with his work! I really think he’s one of THE best working actor today, I mean he can do stage, TV, film, radio, practically ANY medium and he does ’em all so well. What is it w/ the Brits? 😉

  1. I saw a trailer for that Noel Coward play he’s going to be in. Looks like fun. I’m glad he was able to get over that awful performance in Die Another Day. That is still the worst Bond film I had ever seen. My dad recently saw it and he hated it.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been watching clips of it, wish I could see it live. I don’t think Toby’s performance was awful, I mean he still made the best of the preposterous writing. It really is the WORST Bond film of all time.

  2. Hi, Ruth! I saw Toby in Jane Eyre and was just blown away! I watched Black Sails just for him. Odd, but I think he is even less known in the US than Richard Armitage, who certainly isn’t well known at all. What a shame that these fabulous actors aren’t appreciated the way they deserve. Hopefully that will change! Toby with Black Sails, and Richard with The Hobbit and Into the Storm this year. Fingers crossed!

    1. I can’t believe I used to resent his performance as Rochester, now I can’t get enough. He’s absolutely mesmerizing. He’s perhaps the only reason to watch Black Sails. I guess I have a penchant for the obscure, he and Richard are so grossly underused. It’s fun watching the two of them in Robin Hood. Yeah, fingers crossed their careers are only gonna move up from now on.

  3. Kaye

    Hi, Ruth. I totally agree about Toby’s phenomenal acting skills. I discovered him in Jane Eyre about 6 months ago and have since managed to watch as many of his performances as I can get my hands on. Watched Black Sails just for him, and loved the show. Vexed is a hoot and my gut is wrenched by his performances in Photographing Fairies and Waking the Dead. His talent never ceases to amaze me, and he is so easy to watch and listen to! Hope he gains enough fame to be financially comfortable, but not to disrupt his favored lifestyle.

    1. HI Kaye! Phenomenal is the right way to describe it. Jane Eyre must’ve been the first intro for a lot of people but yeah, it’s fun to see the variety of roles he’s done isn’t it? He actually almost turned down Black Sails as he didn’t think he wanted to play a pirate but sounds like the character development on Flint is pretty good, I’ve seen a few eps so far. I love watching AND listening to him too, yeah I hope he continues to get prominent roles but not huge enough where he’d become famous and boring like a lot of celebs.

      1. Kaye

        I guess the fact that I have not had a crush on a celebrity in 40 years speaks to the extent to which I am impressed with the ‘whole package’, which includes not just his looks and talent, but his life choices, priorities and how he seems to respect and appreciate his fans. My brother met Maggie Smith and was impressed with how down to earth she was. Toby obviously followed her example.
        Can’t wait to see The Machine.
        Nice to know there are now more people noticing his talent so that he may have more selection to pick from for future work.
        Captain Flint is a fantastic character for him with all of his complexities. Looking forward to Season 2 of Black Sails.

        1. Hello again Kaye. Ahah well Toby is indeed VERY crush-worthy, I feel bad that I’ve sort of just *discovered* him after admiring him casually for years! He’s definitely the ‘whole package’ which is just so rare. I just came across this fan video of meeting Toby at the stage door https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Jd7QWOKgw and he said something about cycling to the theater every day, oh my, I’d think he’d have someone drive him?!

          Oh you’ll love The Machine, the movie itself is great but Toby’s excellent as always.

          I think I will always be a huge fan of his from now on, the more stuff of his I watch the more I’m in awe and enamored by him.

          Hey would you be willing to do a guest review of Black Sails for this blog? Not sure if you’re blogging yourself or not. That’s be wonderful, seems that Toby’s really the best thing about that show!

          1. Kaye

            Hi Ruth,
            Thanks for the invitation to participate. I have never done any blogging. As a matter of fact, I only started participating in tumblr and twitter because I wanted to find other people’s views and pictures of Toby and learn more about him. My teenage daughter also thought it was cool for mom to do so. I would love to share my view on Black Sails. Do you want something about the series as a whole, several episodes at a time, or what? I have all 8 episodes recorded and have watched them through twice, ready for a third time through with a more critical eye.
            By the way, have you checked out the Canali.com website for his 200 steps interview?

            1. Hi Kaye! Oh it can be whatever you want. Maybe something like 10 Reasons Why I Love Black Sails so it doesn’t have to be a review or focusing on a specific episode. People usually love lists so that’d be a fun one to do.

              Oh yeah I’ve seen that Canali interview. I LOVE that it shows him looking dapper with that impeccably tailored suit, yet his intellect shines through as he’s reading/studying the script. That’s a beautifully-shot commercial.

  4. Wow! Your infatuation is amazing. I never knew his mum was Maggie Smith. Awesome. I think he’s just fine and dandy and I learned a lot about him today from your loving tribute. Fun 🙂

    1. Ahahaha, yeah I have an obsessive streak in me. For some it’s drinking or whatever, but my addiction usually revolves around British actors 😉

      Toby is absolutely marvelous, I hope you check out some of his work. Clearly he’s one of Maggie Smith’s masterful work of art that keeps on giving!

  5. Ted S.

    I think the first time I saw Stephens was in Space Cowboys where he played the young Clint Eastwood in a flashback scene. Of course a couple of years later he appear in a movie that was supposed to be a James Bond flick. I refuse to say the name and I’m glad its director’s career (Lee Tamahori) pretty much died after he made this movie. He’s an awful director and I couldn’t believe he got to make a Bond flick.

    I’ve never seen him in anything since though, would be nice if he gets more prominent role in bigger films. But because he played a villain in a James Bond flick, those big wigs in Hollywood will only offer him villanious roles. Also, he sounds like an actor who refuses to play the Hollywood games which of course would get him blacklisted by most studios.

    1. I just realized he played a young Clint Eastwood in Space Cowboys. That’s quite a compliment that Clint thinks he looked like a young version of him as he’s really handsome back then.

      Ahah, yep Die Another Day is an abominable, it pains me he has to be involved in the worst Bond flick ever. Yet after reading his interviews, as a young British actor who’s still struggling to find work, I don’t blame him for taking it on. I mean, in a way it’s every actor’s dream (esp in the UK) to be a part of a Bond film, it’s the biggest UK film franchise ever. At the time he’d never would have known the movie would turn out to be SOOOO bad. I think he did his best with his character but even he knew it was awful as in his audition, he’s told that his character’s supposed to be Korean who’s genetically altered to be Caucasian and he asked if he should do a Korean accent and the director said no, just do your normal accent. He came out of it thinking, ‘what was that all about?’ Ahah, clearly he’s the sensible one as Gustav should’ve talked Korean to his people if he actually IS Korean!!

      As for this ‘…he sounds like an actor who refuses to play the Hollywood games which of course would get him blacklisted by most studios.’ Well I don’t think he’s blacklisted, as he said he’s offered numerous roles but he turned ’em down as it’s not the direction he wanted to go. I so respect him for that, most actors only want the fame and the paycheck!

      1. Ted S.

        I actually liked his performance as Gustuv Grave but yeah the film was atrocious, ridiculous story and awful direction yet it’s one of the biggest Bond films ever at the time.

        Maybe blacklisted wasn’t what i meant, as you know Hollywood is a strange town, if a certain actor refuses to play their game, it’s hard to get the role they want. Which is why I found it strange that Toby never appeared in any other big films after that Bond flick. I do respect him for not falling into the Hollywood cool aid though.

  6. Haha…such love and devotion Ruth! To be honest, I’m not familiar with much of his work…the most recognizable thing about him is that we share the same last name! 🙂

    1. Ahah yeah, when I love someone, I hold nothing back 😀 You don’t know Toby?? Man if only I live in the UK, I’d go to ALL his stage performances. I’d think he’s quite well-known amongst the theater crowd over there.

      1. I suspect those based in and around London are in-tune with his theater work but that’s where all the theater action takes place. We have to make do with c-grade actors up north! 🙂

        1. Oh right, I forgot you’re not in London. C-grade actors, ahah, well Toby’s definitely A++++ grade in my book, he’s absolutely astounding in everything he does.

            1. Ahah, so you’re into baseball eh? Sorry but I’ve only gone to the Twins game once when I was taking an ESL class years ago, and I absolutely don’t get it. But I get that it’s America’s favorite pass time, ahah.

              1. Yeah. I loved baseball as a child – it was my thing. Then I grew out of it and started following American football. Now I have a harder time caring about that sport, though, because it is just so violent. I guess that means I’ve gone back to the sport with which I started. 🙂

  7. hi Ruth, thanks for this great tribute to Toby! i think he really is the best actor of his generation **.
    Since they weren’t mentioned … you might like him in ‘Perfect Strangers’ with Matthew Macfadyen (who might be your next crush 🙂 … and he has done loads of radio plays on BBC (The Woman in White, various Raymond Chandler and Bond, etc) … and ‘Wired’ … and have you seen his CBeebies Bedtime Hour stories?!
    ** Sorry, Richard Armitage, i do love you too! proof: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN05HMPXLo4IwpihccP0cew

    1. Hi Chrissy! I’m still a fan of Richard but I’m so in awe of Toby’s multifaceted talent, on top of his gorgeous looks obviously. I’ve been watching clips of Perfect Strangers on youtube. Oh I’m familiar w/ Macfadyen but though I like him it’s never on THIS level w/ Toby. Oh yeah, the CBeebies vids are a hoot, too!

  8. PrairieGirl

    Super amazing guy! Now I have a fresh new crop of viewing pleasures thanks to you and Toby. (I expect to borrow your three new TS DVDs, Flixy)

  9. I love Toby Stephens, too. First saw him in Jane Eyre. Did you know you can watch filmed version of Private Lives on Digital Theatre? He was excellent in Mangal Pandey. He is a great stage actor. IMO, he is one of the great screen lovers. He makes you really believe he is in love. Bogart could do that. A few others. I have always thought he had the panache, charisma, and romanticism that we associate with a bygone era. Many of today’s young actors seem as though their faces are botoxed. Not so Toby! He is so expressive! Very like his mother, I think. His father, Robert Stephens, was a great actor as well.

    1. Hi Davanna, nice to *meet* another Toby fan, I think the term is Tobettes? 😉 Yeah I learned that I could watch the entire play on Digital Theater, I might do that this weekend. I saw clips of him in Mangal Pandey, as well as a bunch of others and I’m stunned every time by his range.

      Oooh I like what you said about him being a great screen lovers. It’s so true he has that melancholic face that can look so sincere when he looks at a woman, I mean the way Rochester kept stealing glances at Jane in the 2006 version of Jane Eyre just took my breath away. I love that he keeps it natural and not resort to vanity, he also seems comfortable not looking so ripped like most actors here, though it seems that with Black Sails he’s required to hit the gym daily. But we both know he’s soooo much more than a pretty face & a hot body.

    1. Oh you haven’t? Well I’m glad I did this post then, he’s superbly talented and down to earth, much like Cillian actually. I’m so in love w/ him right now Nov, more so than I ever did for Richard Armitage I think. This is pretty intense 😉

      1. Oh Ruth…you have to learn to be loyal like me 😉

        I have checked him in imdb…and no wonder I never heard of him, I haven’t seen any of his movies. I am curious now. Black Sails sounds great, I will see if I can find it

        1. Ahah, well nobody is considered loyal compared to you 😉 But w/ Toby, I feel like I’ve missed out on his work as I’ve sort of just ‘discovered’ him y’know. He is amazingly versatile, as you can see in this clips, such a chameleon! Black Sails should be right up your alley, it’s kind of a gritty political thriller set in the Golden Age of Piracy in the 1700s.

                1. Oh sorry. I saw the pilot online and saw a bunch of clips of it on youtube. It’s a really gritty show and more like a political thriller set during the golden piracy era, so nothing like Pirates of the Caribbean which is just plain silly. It’s funny but usually I don’t care for actors with a mustache, or even a red-head, but Toby’s soooo sexy no matter what haircut he has, and even battered, bruised and covered in blood he’s still extremely appealing 😛

                  Yes clearly I’m suffering from Toby-itis with no hope of recovery!

                    1. Ahah, well I think I’m always into underrated ones. As soon as they get too famous I sort of lost interest in them, case in point: Gerry Butler & Michael Fassbender. But w/ Toby, he’s already 45 years old now so I doubt he’d be a huge movie star like Clooney or Pitt and that suits me just fine. I just want him to do more films y’know, projects that are worthy of his talents.

                    2. Same with me!

                      You know, I am beginning to have less interest on Benny as he gets more and more famous now. i wish he would slow down a bit.

                    3. Benny’s fame seemed to happen overnight isn’t it? I think because he did Sherlock he became THIS famous. But I like that he still went back to do stage work, that’s what I love about British actors. Hiddleston is the same way.

                      Toby got tons of Hollywood offers after he played a Bond villain so he could’ve gotten far more famous, but he turned most of them down as they’re not the direction he wanted to go w/ his career.

                      I really admire him for doing that. People like him and Cillian really love acting for the craft, not for the fame & fortune. Btw, Cillian is married right? Toby is too, he’s got 3 young kids!

    1. Ha..ha.. well his talent is unparalleled as well 😉 I hope you’ll check out The Machine, it’s out on iTunes now Eric, it’s a great, low-budget sci-fi and Toby’s excellent in it. He’s now starring in Black Sails on Starz as Captain Flint, hopefully he’ll get cast in more roles in the future!

  10. “the London-born Toby is drop dead gorgeous, massively talented, incredibly versatile yet sadly VERY underrated… plus he’s both a an eye + ear candy… Toby’s smooth voice is absolutely to-die-for.” – we both share a type I think 🙂 Although I venture to American territory for my crushes sometimes 🙂

    I LOVED his work in Jane Eyre.Really liked more sexual and aggressive Rochester. Ruth Wilson was also splendid, definitely liked this pair better than Fassbender and Waiskowska, though they were also good.

    1. Hi Sati! I just realized there’s a typo in that paragraph, ahah. But yeah, we do share a type tho I think because I live in the US for some reason I always find the Brits/Aussies more attractive. I guess I always have even when I was still living in Indonesia.

      Toby never ceases to amaze me. I can’t believe I used to shun his version of Jane Eyre! Yes I agree his version, and the pairing of him & Ruth Wilson, is better than the Fassy version. Funny how some people refer to Toby as a cross between Fassy & Damian Lewis, ahah.

  11. Victor De Leon

    Great post, Ruth! Love Toby as Captain Flint. I have fallen a bit behind on Black Sails but I do have the episodes waiting for me on the DVR to catch up with. I was very impressed, as you know, by Stephens in “The Machine.”

    I did not know his mother was Maggie Smith! Very cool. Now, we all know where he gets his acting chops. Nice work, Ruth. Heading over to check out your review of “The Machine” now! Thanks 🙂

    1. Hello Vic! So you love Black Sails, yay! I’ve only seen the pilot & a whole bunch of clips on youtube and I must say Toby is excellent as Capt. Flint. It’s amazing the range he could do as an actor, he’s as convincing as a scientist in The Machine as he is as a pirate!

      Yeah, I knew he’s Maggie Smith’s son as I’m a huge fan of hers as well. This is the first time I’m crushing on the son of an actress I adore, that never happened before, ahah.

      1. Victor De Leon

        If you get the chance to catch up with Black Sails, you should! You won’t be disappointed. Capt Flint and his crew (as well as some other peripheral characters) are very well written and as a fan of Stephens, you will get to really enjoy the material he is given to work with and the good job he does.

        1. I definitely will! I don’t have cable though but I usually like to catch up when it’s available on Amazon/iTunes/Netflix anyway. From what I’ve seen so far, Flint is the most interesting character, the rest of the cast don’t seem to be as experienced as Toby, but maybe I’m biased, ahah.

          1. Victor De Leon

            Once the whole season is available on any of them, you can definitely catch up that way. I do it all the time.

            For example: I have been waiting for Longmire Season 2 to become available on Netflix but had to go over to Amazon to watch it. I guess it all involves contracts and such.

            As far as Flint on Black Sails, he is still the most interesting character with a few others close behind.

            Let me know your thoughts down the line and we can discuss the show after you’ve watched a few more episodes. Have a great day, Ruth 🙂

            1. Yeah, it’s easier to catch up on our own terms, but I can’t help but watching those clips online 😀

              What’s Longmire about? Never heard of that one. You’re right it’s based on contracts, I think Black Sails’ deal is with Amazon.

              Yeah I’d be happy to do so after I watch ’em properly, Vic. Thanks!

              1. Victor De Leon

                Longmire is about Walt Longmire, a Sheriff in Wyoming, who returns to work in his small town after the violent death of his wife. Longmire is played by Robert Taylor. The show is based on a series of books written by Craig Johnson.

                He solves crimes, sometimes on and off a cheyenne reservation, with his deputies and sometimes his estranged daughter. His best friend, Henry is played by Lou Diamond Phillips.

                It is a very nice show with strong performances and stories. Also very current and relevant. I recommend it highly. The first season is on netflix and I believe there are 12 or 13 episodes.

  12. Toby looks aaammmmmaaazzzzzzzzing in Black Sails! I am a fan, I didn’t know any of that about him so it was fun to learn who his mother is and that he’s married and in a play. I thought he was the best thing in Vexed and I liked his Rochester. Hehe. Actually I love when you go all fangirl over an unknown (i.e. I don’t recognize their name) actor! We all learn so much then 🙂 Cheers.

    1. He is aaammmmmaaazzzzzzzzing indeed, not just in Black Sails but in EVERYTHING I’ve seen him, and I’ve seen quite a bit in just one week, ahah. I call it Toby-itis and I’m not kidding, it’s almost like an illness in a feverish kind of way. He really should’ve come with a warning sign: DANGER! ADDICTIVE MATERIAL 😀

      Oh you’ve seen him in Jane Eyre too? Yet you didn’t know his name?? What’s up with that? 😉 Y’know I usually don’t care for shows like Black Sails, or even guys w/ mustache that’s all bruised and bloody all the time but somehow Toby is so magnetic he actually looks sexier with that look, imagine that!

      1. I actually am quite a foreign film/television lover so my head is filled with names of people I love and quite often English speakers are pushed out. Haha. I remember faces a lot better!

        Keep up the fangirling though I really love it 🙂

    1. Ahah well now that I’m crushing on Toby, the villain is certainly VERY watchable, ha ha. He was in the 2000 TV movie of The Great Gatsby as Jay Gatsby himself, you havent seen that one Josh?

  13. LOVING him right now! Ugh sigh dreamy. He looks especially hot with Andrew Lincoln, who is way hotter with his regular British accent than on Walking Dead. I can see why you like Gregory Peck and him, I have to say they do look similar. I don’t normally care for redheads but this one is good, thank you for bringing him to my attention. You are right he is not as well known here, but hopefully he will get more roles. Oh yes and him as a pirate, sure I will have one of those please!

    1. Hi Melissa! It’s about time we go by our names 😉 Dreamy is right. I can’t believe it took me this long (after seeing The Machine) to be obsessed w/ him, as I’ve known him for some time. Yeah, both Greg and Toby have a stage background, which made them better actors I think. Both are incredibly good looking but humble and happily married too, which is rare in Hollywood! Both also have three kids, crazy isn’t it?

      Yeah I like Lincoln too w/ his British accent. I tell you, I’d give anything to be a part of Strike Back as I also LOVE Richard Armitage and all three of those cute Brits are on that show!!

      As I mentioned here, he’s the FIRST ever redhead inducted into my crush *hall of fame* ha…ha… but he’s so fetching no matter what hair color he’s sporting (his hair was dyed black to play Rochester), it’s his eyes and killer stare that got me.

      I hope w/ the success of Black Sails there’ll be more prominent roles for him. But he’s said that he’s not into the Hollywood thing so I doubt he’d ever become a movie star. That’s partly what I admire about him, he’s in it for the craft, not the fame & fortune.

      1. Super dreamy is a good way too put it. Yes that is pretty crazy in Hollywood terms to be happily married with kids, so rare and a nice change to see that there has been normal type of men out there. Gregory was beautiful, similar to Cary Grant, very rarely do you superstars that compare to them.

        Well it’s a nice shade of red, not too orangey, so that helps and he has a gorgeous face. Now I do see the resemblance to Maggie Smith, but that’s a good thing. Yes I agree I would love to see him in more American movies, but hopefully not too much because then everyone will steal your crush. No way!!

        1. I think the thing that’s so addictive about Toby is that he’s not only good to look at but he’s such an amazing eye candy as well. I spend every day whilst I work listening to him, whether his interviews or clips from his films. It’s exciting but soothing at the same time. Same w/ Gregory but Toby’s voice is far more playful as is his personality. I don’t think Toby has as much *movie star* quality as Peck or Grant, but at the same time, his charm is more effortless and natural.

          Yeah, his face is incredibly gorgeous isn’t it? His cheekbones can cut you like glass, plus those expressive eyes are absolutely magnetic. He looks just like a young Maggie Smith really, not much like his father Sir Robert Stephens. I sure hope he’d get more prominent roles, whether it’s TV or films but ha, well he’s not mine for people to steal but I get what you mean 😉

          1. I could see the soothing part when I was listening to the Jane Eyre and Great Gatsby, which by the way I had no idea existed (that version I mean). Well I think if he was to get huge he could def have that movie star nature that would get women to swoon and men to want a bromance. 🙂

            Yes he does look like her, I love her. Ok you can have him fine only because he was yours first. I’m going to send you a pic!

            1. I just finished listening to this interview post his play Private Lives in London https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVlBooI6a5Q Man I could listen to him for hours. He’s just so expressive w/ his eyes AND his voice. I admire him for being able to do his job and not be tempted by all the things that go w/ it, I mean he talks about having chemistry w/ his female co-star that’s so believable the audience felt like they shouldn’t be there watching ’em, yet he said he’s fully aware it’s just a job to him. I know there are other actors who can do that as well, but it seems that he made a conscious decision he’s not going to *go there* so to speak and treat this as just a job like the rest of us.

              THANK YOU for the lovely Toby pic with his ridiculously green eyes. My colleague says he probably wear contacts though, I mean it’s impossible to have eyes THAT green, and it’s never looked like that in his other films.

              1. Ohhh that sounds like a good interview. I will have to give it a shot. Yes he honestly sounds like he is not boastful, nor does he have that jerky Hollywood attitude. As you mentioned, he treats it as his job and with class, which is really hard to find nowadays!

                Oh of course, I am making it my mission to find a pic you haven’t already seen of him. 🙂

                1. He’s definitely a diamond in the rough. I mean he could’ve been much more famous if he had taken Hollywood offers post Die Another Day but he chose to *disappear* and did a lot of theater and TV works instead.

                  Ahah well best of luck and I hope you DO find a photo I haven’t seen before. I’ve scoured the web every day so that’d be tough, ahah.

  14. thamestwo

    I love this! I’ve been a fan of Toby’s for years, starting with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and have had the pleasure of seeing him on stage three times over the past 15 years. Enjoyed him as well in Photographing Fairies, Cambridge Spies, The Rising, Sharpe’s Challenge, Jane Eyre, Robin Hood and Vexed. Can’t wait to see Black Sails and The Machine!

    1. Hi thamestwo, welcome to FC! Nice to see a longtime Toby fan. Oh man, I’m so so jealous you’ve seen him on stage three times!! Which plays did you see, did you take any pics you could share?

      Hope you see The Machine soon, if you’re in the US it’s available on iTunes. Nice to see Toby in a sci-fi movie and he’s excellent as always. I still need to see three of the projects you mentioned, I’ve only caught The Rising on youtube, there’s a clip where he spoke Hindi! What a lovely and impressive actor, I hope his career just keeps going on and on!

      1. Kaye Mede

        Ruth, Sorry this has taken a while to complete. I am a novice blogger, so I have attached my attempt at a top ten list of what I like most about Black Sails. Feel free to edit it how you wish. If you have any helpful comments, I would appreciate them. Toby is definitely one of the subjects that I could go on about forever. I also noted your post on Some Like It Hot. That has been my favorite movie for a long time. Some of Toby’s movies may eclipse that, but it will always be near the top of my list. Still haven’t seen The Machine, but I hope to fix that soon. If you want another great example of Toby’s range, here is the Waking The Dead episode he did. It is called “Subterraneans”. I found it on youtube.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0svGejR8oY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY3YPV8u2Q4

        Warning….get out the tissues. Kaye

        On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM, flixchatter.net wrote:

        > ruth commented: “Hi thamestwo, welcome to FC! Nice to see a longtime > Toby fan. Oh man, I’m so so jealous you’ve seen him on stage three times!! > Which plays did you see, did you take any pics you could share? Hope you > see The Machine soon, if you’re in the US it’s avail” >

        1. Hi Kaye! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to read your post. I just sent you an email where you can attach the file of Black Sails to me. I can’t wait to read it. Oh thanks for sending me the Youtube links, I don’t think I’ve come across that one and I have scoured the web for Toby, trust me 😉

  15. Pingback: Blogathon: 10 Actors I Would See In Just About Anything |

  16. Kasey

    Thank you so much for this tribute to my favorite actors. I ordered Private Lives from digital theater (It was very easy) and laughed till I had tears in my eyes. His wife (Anna Louise Plowman) plays in it also. She is very talented also. Love Toby in everything I have seen. Just watched The Queens Sister, and WOW is he ever HOT in that flick. Any time you feel like chatting about him I am totally ready to do so. Talk about the complete package. OMG. Wishing you peace, joy and lots of Toby moments.

  17. Viola

    Hi everyone! I m so glad I found a blog dedicated to one of the most powerful actors of our times.
    The first time I saw Toby Stephens was in the mini series And then there were none. What struck me first was his precision and intensity. With only two words he nails you on your chair.
    It s only later I realised how sexy he is. His Hamlet is breathtaking (well, only a few scenes on youtube but I devour them again and again). His Orsino in Twelfth Night is whimsy and highly seductive.
    This guy has everything. The looks, the rythm, the fire, the insolence… I didn t see his Rochester yet but I m sure I will.
    And his audiobook of Heart of Darkness is so acute and breathtaking… he embodies the characters, the jungle, the hope and despair… and his voice is so sexy, not smooth like Tom Hiddleston s, but it hit me and caressed me at the same time.
    I think he s scandalously underrated too… And by the way if someone knows where I can find his Hamlet on dvd, I d grant him or her eternal gratefulness.
    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Toby rules!

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