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James Purefoy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 3 June 1964Taunton, Somerset, England, UK
Birth NameJames Brian Mark Purefoy
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Purefoy was born and brought up in Somerset. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he took a succession of different jobs, including working on a pig farm and as a porter at Yeovil District Hospital, before travelling and working extensively throughout Europe. At eighteen, James returned to college to take his A-Levels, one of which was Drama. It was there that he realised that this was something he felt inspired by and so applied for and was accepted onto the acting course at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Whilst playing the title role in "Henry V" in the first term of his final year at Central, he was seen by a casting director from the RSC and invited to join the company, immediately, in Stratford. Although initially asked only to play "Ferdinand" in Nicholas Hytner's production of "The Tempest", he left the RSC two years later having performed in eight productions and been directed by the likes of Adrian Noble, Roger Michell and Gene Saks playing, amongst other, "Edgar" in "King Lear" and "Malcolm" in "Macbeth". Over the next six years, he divided his time between theatre and television. In the theatre, he worked with Katie Mitchell on "Women of Troy" at the Gate; Matthew Warchus, Ken Stott and Jude Law on "Death of a Salesman" at the West Yorkshire Playhouse; Iain Glen on "Hamlet" at Bristol Old Vic; Bill Alexander in a critically-acclaimed season at Birmingham Rep, playing leading parts in "The Servant", "The Way of the World" and "Macbeth"; and with Simon Callow, Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Graves, and Helen McCrory, on "Les Enfants du Paradis", again for the RSC. As well as appearing in the BBC's landmark period drama, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996), he has always chosen to do a wide variety of parts on television, to avoid being typecast. From the psychopathic rapist in BBC1's Calling the Shots (1993) with Lynn Redgrave to the fraudster "Darius Guppy" in LWT's "The Prince"; from the urbane observer "Nick Jenkins" in Channel 4's A Dance to the Music of Time (1997) to the sad stalker in Granada's series, Metropolis (2000), James has always managed to confound people's expectations of him. Over the last few years, he has been busy making feature films, on average at the rate of three a year. Early credits include "Jedd Wainwright" in Feast of July (1995) for "Merchant Ivory", and as the bisexual Irish baker, "Brendan" in Rose Troche's Bedrooms and Hallways (1998). From the alcoholic roustabout "Tom Bertram" in Mansfield Park (1999) to the wannabee "Bond" actor "Carl Phipps" in Maybe Baby (2000); the gambling, womanising "Daniel" in Women Talking Dirty (1999) with Helena Bonham Carter to the noble, enigmatic "Prince Edward" in Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale (2001). He has continued to surprise those who seek to pidgeon-hole him in his film career - always choosing to play parts that juxtapose strongly with the one he has just completed. Last year, he returned to the theatre to play the rake "Ned Loveless" in Trevor Nunn's acclaimed production of "The Relapse" at the National Theatre in London, before embarking on the biggest challenge he has yet faced - playing "George" in the big budget George and the Dragon (2004), with, among others, Michael Clarke Duncan, Val Kilmer, Piper Perabo and Patrick Swayze. This movie will be released in the summer of 2003. He lives alone in London.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Holly Aird (1996 - 2002) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (10)

At his Somerset home, Purefoy personally constructed a tree house for his young son.
At boarding school, he once serenaded the girls at a nearby school with thirteen stanzas of "Greensleeves."
In 1997, Purefoy was voted "hunk of the year" by a British television magazine.
Screen tested for the Bond role in GoldenEye (1995).
The name, Purefoy, is originally Norman French and literally means "good faith" or "my word or bond is in good faith." Some Purefoys went to England during the Norman Conquest and others emigrated to England as French Huguenot expatriates in the fifteenth century.
He has a son named Joseph born in 1997 with ex-wife Holly Aird.
He was cast as the leading man in V for Vendetta (2005) but departed halfway in having had creative differences with the makers of the film.
James' co-star in Rome (2005), Kevin McKidd, also played his love interest in Bedrooms and Hallways (1998).
Lived with Fay Ripley for more than a decade.
James Purefoy has moved out of his Hammersmith, London home, which he shared with actress Holly Aird, and their son, Joseph. [May 2002]

Personal Quotes (5)

In the July 4, 2001 Newswatch, Wild West End column: "There was one woman whom I was absolutely infatuated with, but she had no interest in me. I was very young at the time and thought the way to prove my love was to write a book for her. It ran for pages and pages and I had it bound in leather to give to her. But it still didn't have the desired effect."
The age of chivalry isn't dead, is it? It doesn't even have to be a man or a woman that you could be chivalrous to. If somebody's in trouble you give them a hand.
If you find yourself always playing the villain, or if you find yourself being typecast into a corner where you're not happy then that's probably rather miserable, but if I have been typecast I am reasonably happy about it as what Ive been typecast as ain't so bad"
"Ah, nudity. That's quite a recent thing, the nudity. It's come in the early autumn of my career." (Jan. 2006)
The first job I ever did was Equus on stage, as the boy, and I was 17, and we opened the show with me naked in the spotlight being examined by doctors. That was my entrance to the stage, so anything after that was easy. Also, for some reason, nudity was never shameful, it was never brought up in my household when I was a kid, there was no 'dirty, dirty sex'. It's not like we all ran around naked in some horrid 70s nightmare, it just was never an issue, and because it was never an issue I've never been embarrassed, I guess.

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