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Matthew MacFadyen, par Daniel Pierce (Hotdog, juillet 2005).
The freshest face in moviedom
When the BBC first announced a new MI5 drama series you couldn't help but have that sinking feeling as memories of Bugs came flooding back. It could have been more shoddy dialogue, hamfisted acting and, please, please God no, Craig McLachlan. But, as it turned out, Spooks wasn't bad at all.
Headlining the series was Matthew MacFadyen, who bore the look of a young Clive Owen with extra helpings of charisma. Now, the 30-year-old actor is poised to take his movie career to the next level as he stars in New Zealand film ln My Father's Den and then later this year as Mr D'Arcy in Pride And Prejudice - becoming the newest darling of Working Title Films in the process, no doubt.
As Paul Prior in Father's Den, MacFadyen is a long way from the pomp of Jane Austen, however. It is a grim-faced drama that he didn't spend too long deliberating on. "It was the best script l'd read in ages and ages," he says. "I read it in one sitting in the bath, which is the acid test really."
As for Ms Austen, well, the actor who is evidently feeling a bit long in the tooth has little to say. "I haven't read it," he shoots defensively. "It's not the book we are shooting, is it? It's the screenplay. If you've got a good screenplay, which we have, stick with that."
Perhaps MacFadyen is just playing it cool, the newest big-shot actor in town, or maybe he's just a little forceful with his prepared response to a question he's likely to get asked a lot in the coming months. "I think people ought to do what they feel useful at the time. If I do things because I ought to do them, I switch off." Press beware...
ln My Father's Den is out on 24 June and reviewed on page 59
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