|Rupert Graves Online.
Actor Rupert Graves has enthralled audiences with his acting skills in a vast array of film, stage, and television work.
In this biography we take a brief look at his career, ranging from his first television role in 1978 to the present day.
|The Versatile Actor.|
Rupert Graves began his acting life some thirty five years ago, landing the small part of a prefect in the cult television series "Return Of The Saint", sharing the screen with respected film and stage actor Ian Ogilvy, star of the notorious "Witchfinder General", who coincidentally also starred in an earlier production of Noel Coward's "Design For living", a play that Rupert would eventually star in, in 1995.
Prior to this Rupert Graves had his first taste of the acting bug by taking part in Victorian musical nights held at Birnbeck Pier in his home town. As befits the past of all great actors, Rupert Graves did not enjoy his time at school - unable to accept the indignities of authority and it's restrictive rules.
This small television part was quickly followed up with the stronger role of Yan in a television adaptation of Enid Blyton's "Five Go Down To The Sea", from which a raft of more television work came his way.
In between his attempts to make it in acting, a variety of part time employment and a mini excursion into punk rock music followed. Amongst others, Graves worked as a circus clown, in a chip shop, and a shoe factory. However, the acting blood was still in his veins, leading him to join a troupe with the amazing name of "Silly Billy Pickles And The Peanut Street Gang", which entertained children at Butlin's holiday camps.
Born 30th June, 1963 in the seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare, Rupert Graves, even with a clutch of television credits to his name, was far from a confident actor at this point in his life. Indeed, he apologised to director James Ivory for his acting in "A Room With A View", convinced he had "messed up the film".
He promptly signed Rupert Graves to star in a production that was to catapult him into stardom, the award winning and controversial adaptation of another E. M. Forster classic "Maurice".
It was undoubtedly this film, with it's daring subject of homosexual love between two men from totally different classes, that made the name of Rupert Graves. The film was an immaculate piece of production with a cast to die for, with a performance by Graves as Alec Scudder that electrified cinemas and lifted the film to heights probably not expected.
This controversial role, combined with his boyish good looks was to gain Graves a loyal base of fans from both sexes, and also brought about the same obvious if not boring question from a host of lazy or headline seeking journalists - "Are you gay?"
For a period of time Rupert Graves never answered the question, deciding to let the gossips gossip, and fuelling all manner of speculation. For the record, he's not. Rupert is married to production coordinator, Susie Lewis, and they are the proud parents of five children.
Due to his liking for difficult roles and never fearing to go forwards in terms of stretching himself Graves may well have this type of speculation for some time to come - he played a gay character in "Torch Song Trilogy", a transvestite villain in "Open Fire", and the lover of a sex change male in "Different For Girls" (Winner of the Best Film Award at the 1996 Montreal World Film Festival), hardly your typical Hollywood fare.
In the majority of his work, with few exceptions the term "powerful drama" would seem to sit well with the characters portrayed by Graves.
To have a more balanced look at his work and abilities try taking a look at "Intimate Relations" (Rupert won the Best Actor Award in 1996 at The Montreal Film Festival) with it's dark and deep humour, "The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall", with it's undertones of darkness, or the comedic classic "Where Angels Fear To Tread".
Apart from his film and television work, Rupert Graves has a great fondness for live theatre. His many works on stage include the critically acclaimed "Midsummer Night's Dream" at The National, "Torch Song Trilogy" at The Albery, "A Madhouse In Goa" at The Lyric Hammersmith and Apollo West End, "The Caretaker" at The Comedy, the outstanding "The Elephant Man" on Broadway, and not forgetting his superb outings in "Hurlyburly" at The Geilgud, (Olivier Award Nominee) and the award winning "Closer" on Broadway.
Since the break through feature "A Room With A View", headline roles have continued over the years at a furious pace. From the award winning ITV adaptation of "The Forsyte Saga", to the dark and dangerous "V For Vendetta", the hilarious "Death At A Funeral", and the iconic "Sherlock", to name just a few, the years show no respite for this talented and in demand actor.
Apart from his obvious skills and charisma in front of the camera, many will be amazed at how much work he actually takes on, for example, not including the constant interviews, press launches, and other media related duties, from the beginning in 1978, Rupert's workload has seen him complete (up to and including 2013) a staggering ninety plus film and television productions and twenty plus stage appearances.
James Ivory knew what he was doing in 1985 ........
To view a comprehensive guide to Rupert's film and television work, click here.