Found this 'old' article on Matthew Macfadyen and thought it interesting enough to post. :)
Evening Standard (London), Apr 14, 2005
by FIONA MOUNTFORD
With the big-screen remake of Pride And Prejudice, in which he plays Darcy to Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet, set to capitalise on his success in TV's Spooks, Matthew Macfadyen takes time out to return to his first love, the theatre.
It's a time-honoured truism that actors, in the flesh, tend to disappoint, invariably falling some way short of their imposing working selves. Matthew Macfadyen, on the other hand, does exactly what it says on the television tin. The tall, thoughtful, softly spoken man, whom I meet in a National Theatre interview room overlooking the Thames, differs not a jot from his most well-known character, Tom Quinn, in the hit BBC drama Spooks.
After two-and-a-bit series of Spooks ('I loved doing it but it was time to go') and other television successes such as Perfect Strangers and The Way We Live Now, Macfadyen, 30, is returning to his first love, theatre. He is about to open as Prince Hal to Michael Gambon's Falstaff in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, directed by Nicholas Hytner. This is his first stage outing since Battle Royal in 1999, also at the National.
'I'm thrilled and terrified that I'm back doing it,' he says. 'I'm getting the butterflies now. But it feels right, safe like a normal job. It's a bit more anonymous, there isn't all the bull**** about it. You go past the stage door and then you're off.' He pauses and laughs. 'It's romantic crap I'm talking.' It is a brave move to return to theatre in not one but two plays, and plays in which Macfadyen's character has the longest journey to make. For Hal, initially a dissolute youth, is by the end of Part 2 the future Henry V, all ready to 'Cry God for Harry, England and St George!'. 'He's a young man with this enormous, awful responsibility hanging over his head,' says Macfadyen. 'He's not able to realise his destiny until his father dies. It's the condition of being a prince: you're kind of f***ed.' Hytner has nothing but praise for his new royal. 'Matthew has innate authority and charm and he speaks Shakespeare with an ease that makes it sound as if it was written yesterday. He also laughs at Gambon's stories in all the right places.' After a peripatetic childhood because of his father's globetrotting job in the oil business, Macfadyen, on leaving school, followed in the footsteps of his actress/drama teacher mother and applied to the National Youth Theatre.
The blow of rejection by the NYT was more than softened by the offer of a place at Rada.
With so much time spent on the small screen in recent years, the addition of more theatre to the CV of this classically trained actor would seem a judicious move. Yet he denies that he has any sort of career plan. 'The climate's changed over the 10 years or so that I've been doing this. It's become much more about "Get famous quick". If you can get a part in one of the soaps and be in Heat magazine, why would you go and be a fairy [in A Midsummer Night's Dream] in Stratford for 18 months?' His stint at the National, he says, came about due to a combination of factors. 'Keeley [Hawes, his wife and former Spooks co-star] and I had a baby, and then this came up and it all seemed to make sense.' Strategy or no, Macfadyen's career is set for the heights of Heat this year with the release of two films in which he stars. First up, in June, is In My Father's Den, a low-budget New Zealand family-in-crisis drama that has been garnering favourable notices on the festival circuit. Then comes the big one: Mr Darcy to Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet in the remake of Pride And Prejudice.
Macfadyen had not read the book or seen Colin Firth's legendary take on the brooding, breeched one before filming started and, as a result, had a torrid time with some members of the press. 'I had one really bad interview,' he admits. 'I hadn't even started rehearsing and the interviewer kept asking, "How is your Darcy going to be different?"
and I thought, "Oh, f*** off!".' For the record, he has read the book now ('beautiful, fabulous') and sees Darcy as 'a young man who's lost, who's grieving for his parents and has this huge responsibility of running the house and looking after his sister which is construed as hauteur and arrogance. People are usually only haughty because of fear.' Macfadyen had another good reason to be media wary. His relationship with Hawes started on the set of Spooks at a time when she was notlong married with a young son and, for a while, the pair became tabloid targets. However, the choppy waters have calmed now and they married late last year, shortly before the birth of baby Maggie. The proud new father bursts forth from the somewhat reserved Shakespearean at the mention of her. 'She's sleeping, we're sleeping, and she's just fabulous. She's absolutely she's the coolest baby in the world.'
In light of what he has been through, does he read his own press any longer?
'It all cancels itself out, the good, the bad and the unsavoury.
It's like good reviews and bad reviews, someone saying, "It's amazing, I wept" and someone else saying, "He should be shot".
It's all crap, not to be taken seriously.' So he won't be taking a peek to see what the critics make of his Hal? 'I've always been unable to resist reading my reviews. It's masochistic.
You want to get furious with Nicholas de Jongh. Oh, I shouldn't say that, should I?' Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, from Sat 16 Apr, National Theatre: Olivier, South Bank, SE1 (020-7452 3000).
Pride And Prejudice is due for release in September.
(c)2005. Associated Newspapers Ltd.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.
Watched IMFD tonight and I am so impressed. It's supposed to be a thriller, but it's so much more. As I write, I get goose bumps again all over!
It's about desillusioned war journalist/photographer Paul Prior (Matthew Macfadyen) who returns to his hometown in New Zealand after 17 years of absence. His father died recently. You sense immediately that he had good cause to leave the blasted place. I won't tell the plot, but I can tell you this much though, it's breathtaking and incredibly moving!
Apart from the plot, it's interesting to experience the petty society of that town at the edge of the world, where ghastly things happen under the surface. Even though there's very little for Paul to enjoy in the bloody place he decides to stay and sort out his father's belongings, much to the relief of his brother who prefers to have nothing to do with their father (for reasons we find out later). Anyway, Paul becomes friends with a 16 year old, a sensitive girl who's quite different from her peers and who wants to become an author. On the one hand, Paul teaches her about the world outside her own limited environment, broadens her horizon, and thanks to her, his cynicism gives way to more optimistic feelings on the other. So, they develop a wonderful friendship. But then one bad day... she disappears. What happened to her? Why is she gone?... Little by little the plot's unfolded and, as a spectator,you cannot but feel a part of it, it sucks you in... God, I cried my eyes out!
A magnificent film, with a great cast. MM is absolutely fabulous (and dashing!), as is the girl Celia played by Emily Barclay, who I believe recently won a prize for her performance in it.
I highly recommend it. Here's the link to the official IMFD website
[...]And without revealing anything this is where In My Father’s Den’s success lies. It hooks us within the opening 15 minutes or so and keeps us there until its two hours are up. Macfadyen is partially responsible for this inasmuch as he possesses an almost wooden quality. This isn’t meant as a criticism, however; rather – as with Perfect Strangers in fact – it’s suggestive of a great deal going on beneath the inexacting surface. As with the film itself the potential is there for a multitude of revelations. More importantly, perhaps, the story itself is strong enough to complement this continual tease. Had it been told straight, as it were, then In My Father’s Den would still amount to a cracking piece of cinema. In these hands, however, it’s even better.[...]
"Pride and Prejudice -- Though heavy on the romanticism and sideburns, this new interpretation of Jane Austen's beloved classic is modern-audience and male friendly. Whether you love the book or couldn't get past page 50, Pride is an enjoyable period film with refreshing visuals, a pleasant score and strong, naturalistic performances from the veteran cast, including Matthew Macfadyen as the best Mr. Darcy yet seen on screen."
Aren't you the administrator of Matthew online? I know it, I'm a member. Perhaps it escaped your notice but some time ago I posted a link to your site in the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy linksection on the left side of the site pages. Check it out! Maybe you'd like to post my link on yours as well.
I'm afraid I'm just a humble member of the site, rather than the administrator (PerfectlyMatte). I'll suggest it
Oops! I hadn't visited the forums for a while, but you're right, it's perfectlyMatte! Thanks for drawing her attention to my site.
Talking about Matt, finally... finally... finally... Spooks is on TV in Holland, and I like it so much better with MM than with his successor (I've followed the new episodes so far on the BBC), even though I like him as well. But nobody can beat MM, I'm afraid.
Matthew to play Rembrandt in new film... News I found in an article about the difficulties the British movie industry has...
I'm so excited about it: another Mr. Darcy playing a famous Dutch painter. First Colin Firth as Vermeer and now Matthew Macfadyen as Rembrandt. Lovely.
"[...]Prescience Film Partners, for example, has a scheme that invests in productions such as Nightwatching, a film about Rembrandt, by the British director Peter Greenaway.
It will star Emily Mortimer and Matthew Macfadyen, and filming is due to start in the spring. A release date is pencilled in for the autumn to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth this year. [...]"
"[...]She says: "We have been quite lucky, in the past year I have been filming while Matthew was working at the National so one of us is always around to look after the kids. I think it is important to try and keep that balance if you can. In this industry it is quite easy to work and work and get your priorities mixed up."
It might prove difficult to stick to such ideals though as Macfadyen’s career is going equally well, particularly after playing Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice alongside Keira Knightley. Hawes is jovial about what has been dubbed ‘the Darcy effect’. She concedes: "Doing something like that is bound to have an effect. Actually it has been quite extraordinary the amount of scripts that suddenly have started to arrive. But he still has a lot of integrity about what he takes on. He is currently working on a small-budget film in Northern Ireland called Middletown. He plays a priest and its hopefully going to Cannes and a few of the film festivals."[...]
Read the rest of the interview with Keeley Hawes here
[...]The other reason Hawes is famous, of course, is for her relationship with Pride & Prejudice star Matthew Macfadyen. They met on the set of Spooks in 2002 and it was a coup de foudre. "Matthew just came straight out with it and said, 'I love you,' in the rain one day. I thought, 'Oh dear, here we go'," she later recalled. Hawes left her marriage of eight weeks (her son Myles was only two) to be with Macfadyen. Predictably the tabloids had a field day.[...]
[...]"I think he is absolutely brilliant in Pride & Prejudice and it's very difficult to judge your own partner, I find it almost impossible. But I watch that and I think he's such a brilliant, generous actor to work with - and to watch. He's really wonderful," she acknowledges, collapsing into giggles. "And I don't think anybody's very good really."
"He's got so much integrity that man," she continues. "After Pride & Prejudice you couldn't move in our house for scripts - good and bad, the whole spectrum. Anybody else - well, 95 per cent of actors that aren't used to that - probably would have made their way through them. He literally sits there saying, 'No, no, no.' That's all you ever hear him say: 'I'm really sorry but it's not for me. I'm so sorry.'" [...]
For: Sr. Matthew Macfadyen "you are a wonderful man"-film pride&prejudice(letter in spanish) read this please
Cuando te vi en la pelicula "orgullo y prejuicio", fue la primera vez que te vi actuando y nose si eres igual al personaje pero me senti muy bien al recordarlo en mi memoria he visto el film tantas veces, me llegastes al corazon, veo tus fotos, tu mirada, y me pareces tan lindo! hasta siendo unas cosquillas que me quitan el aliento...mi corazon late demasido fuerte nose porque? es lamentable que solo seas un sueño para mi. te deseo lo mejor y quien sabe si Dios nos coloque en frente algun dia. que lo veo dificil, pero no olvidare la locura de haberte escrito y aventurarme a esto porque me costo mucho hacer que leas esto, no te imaginas cuanto. besos desde Venezuela. firstname.lastname@example.org
Si recibo alguna respuesta de que mi sueño se ha hecho realidad que leistes mi mensaje, quiere decir que lo recibistes y quedare tranquila al saberlo. (siento mucho no saber ingles perfecto para poder escribirte)
My Spanish is very poor, but I understand you express your admiration for MM's part in P&P in your post and you address yourself in a sort of personal way directly to him.
Since the visitors of this site come from all corners of the world, I'd appreciate it very much if you'd post your messages in English, so that we can all understand. No need to be shy, many of us aren't native speakers, including myself, and we all make mistakes.
This is my fave actor since Anthony Hopkins, l think Matthew is just incredible and very handsome but that's won't keep me seeing of his work because he is indeed much more than just a pretty face, pretty guys are every where but he got talent and that voice.. It's hard for me to get his movies,etc but l try anyway, l've finished watching MI5 first season and it's just great, sadly he never smile and he has a beautiful smile!
l saw Warriors and really want to cry because is so real that you can imagine everything and that fear and the feeling of can't do nothing that he and the cast make me live! Thank you, matthew and thank you so much for "Death at a funeral" l haven't laugh so hard in years...