New Matthew Macfadyen Interview
In the grand scheme of things, it may not sound like big news. But I can exclusively reveal that Matthew Macfadyen does actually smile. And laugh. He has what you’d call a lovely smile, amicable and warm. And he has a good, old-fashioned hearty laugh.
Not that you’d necessarily know this from looking at his photographs, from which even the ghost of a grin tends to be exorcised as a matter of course. And you certainly wouldn’t know it if you’d been following his progress into the nation’s affections on the small-screen this past decade. Few actors can deploy impassivity and understatement to such effect, but again and again Macfadyen has been called on to give enigmatic variations on the same broodingly intense theme.
Last year, he excelled as the grimly controlling lawyer who gets bumped off by his long-suffering wife in the latest compelling installment of Criminal Justice. He also starred opposite Helena Bonham Carter as the tautly repressed and frustrated publisher-husband of Enid Blyton in the lauded bio-drama Enid.
You couldn’t miss him the year before, either, as Arthur Clennam, the watchful, mournful hero of the BBC’s epic retelling of Little Dorrit, while 2007 saw him receive a Royal Television Society award for his sombre portrayal of a paedophile in the one-off Channel Four drama Secret Life. And we haven’t even mentioned Spooks yet, the Beeb’s beloved spy series, in which he only appeared as the brainy, guarded MI5 agent Tom Quinn for two and a bit series but which stalks his public profile to this day. Oh yes, and then there was the small matter of his starring opposite Keira Knightley as the alluringly withdrawn Mr Darcy in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice.
He got slightly miserable having to prance about so gravely in Pride and Prejudice, he reveals. “All the Bennets were having a great time; it was all very cosy. Then I’d come along and be a bit sullen for a couple of days and then f--- off again! It didn’t help that my wife was pregnant at the time, but I wished I’d enjoyed it more.”
Read full interview here!
'Private Lives’ is at Theatre Royal, Bath (01225 448844), Feb 10-20, then at the Vaudeville Theatre, London WC2 (0844 412 4663), from Feb 24.