Purefoy at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012
|Born||James Brian Mark Purefoy
3 June 1964
Taunton, Somerset, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Holly Aird (1996–2002; divorced)|
James Brian Mark Purefoy (born 3 June 1964) is an English actor best known for portraying Mark Antony in the HBO series Rome and for his current role as Joe Carroll, a professor-turned-serial-killer in the TV series The Following.
Early life and work
Purefoy was born in Taunton, Somerset  the eldest son of Anthony Chetwynd Purefoy and Shirley (née Taylor) Purefoy. He was a boarder at Sherborne School, which he left with only one O-level. Later he went to night school and got 11 more, then took his A-levels. He worked at Yeovil District Hospital as a porter before studying acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama, while trying to sell copies of the Socialist Worker in his spare time.
RSC and other stage work
Purefoy subsequently joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 1988 and appeared in The Constant Couple, Macbeth, The Tempest, The Man Who Came to Dinner (Gene Saks, Barbican) and King Lear as Edgar.
Elsewhere, he has also appeared as Laertes in Hamlet at the Bristol Old Vic (1991) Brian in William Gaminara's Back Up the Hearse and Let them Sniff the Flowers at the Hampstead Theatre (1992), Roland Maule in Noël Coward's Present Laughter at the Globe Theatre (1993), Biff in Death of a Salesman, alongside Ken Stott and Jude Law, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds (1994), Tony in The Servant at the Birmingham Rep (1995). He returned to the RSC for Simon Callow's stage adaptation of the film classic, Les enfants du paradis at the Barbican. He also played Hugh de Morville in Paul Corcoran's Four Nights in Knaresborough at the Tricycle Theatre, (1999) and Loveless in Trevor Nunn's production of The Relapse at the National Theatre in 2001.
Between March and June 2011 he starred as Peter in Trevor Nunn's production of Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, alongside Sheridan Smith and Sienna Miller, as part of the playwright Terence Rattigan's centenary year celebrations.
Film and television
Purefoy was screen tested for the role of James Bond in 1995 for GoldenEye, but ultimately lost the role to Pierce Brosnan. Throughout 2004 and 2005 Purefoy's name was rumoured as a possible candidate to replace Brosnan as Bond in future films. He played James McCarthy, a young man accused of murdering his father, in "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," in Granada's The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. One of his notable roles was as Nicholas Jenkins in the eight-part miniseries A Dance to the Music of Time for Channel 4 in 1997. He played Edward, the Black Prince in the film A Knight's Tale, Rawdon Crawley in Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon and Tom Bertram in the 1999 production of Mansfield Park.
He has played major roles in several television costume dramas, including Sharpe's Sword, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Prince and the Pauper, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Blackbeard: Terror at Sea, Beau Brummell: This Charming Man, The Tide of Life, Camelot and Rome.
He was originally the actor for V in the 2006 Film V for Vendetta but could not stand having the mask on the entire time while filming the movie and left six weeks into filming. Parts of the film contain (dubbed) scenes of Purefoy. Speculation suggested that his departure was due to an opportunity to play James Bond in the 2006 film Casino Royale.
He played Marc Antony in the HBO/BBC original television series, Rome. At the time there were rumours that at least one nude body in the show had been digitally enhanced. When his Wikipedia entry, which at that time referred to the rumours, was brought up in an interview with Alastair McKay, published in the January 2007 issue of Out magazine, Purefoy said, "I won't say whose it was, but there was a penis in the series that may have been slightly enhanced. But it wasn't mine. Mine's all mine."
Producer William J. MacDonald announced that James Purefoy would play Simon Templar in a new TV series of The Saint. The new series was scheduled to start shooting in Berlin and Australia in April 2008. However, production ultimately did not occur and in August Purefoy was reported as negotiating with NBC to star in another series, The Philanthropist.
He starred as Teddy Rist in the summer television series, The Philanthropist, which aired on NBC beginning on June 2009. His character is a billionaire playboy who decides to use his wealth and power to help others in need.
In 2013, The Following debuted, starring Purefoy as the lead antagonist of the series. He portrays Joe Carroll, a former professor who becomes a serial killer and leads a cult of followers, all whom help create Carroll's "story." Despite his character's apparent death at the end of the first season, Purefoy signed on to re-appear on season two where the character of Joe Carroll was revealed to be still alive.
|1995||Feast of July||Jedd Wainwright|
|1998||Bedrooms and Hallways||Brendan|
|1999||Mansfield Park||Tom Bertram|
|1999||Women Talking Dirty||Daniel|
|2000||Maybe Baby||Carl Phipps|
|2000||The Wedding Tackle||Hal|
|2001||A Knight's Tale||Edward, the Black Prince of Wales/Sir Thomas Colville|
|2002||Resident Evil||Spence Parks|
|2003||Photo Finish||James||Jury Award for Best Actor|
|2003||Lena: The Bride of Ice||Dr. Harper|
|2004||George and the Dragon||George|
|2004||Vanity Fair||Colonel Rawdon Crawley|
|2006||Goose on the Loose||Kenneth Donnelly|
|2009||Solomon Kane||Solomon Kane|
|2012||John Carter||Kantos Kan|
|2013||Wicked Blood||Wild Bill|
|1990||Coasting||Mike Baker||Lead role|
|1991||The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes||James McCarthy||Episode: "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"|
|1991||Boon||Alan Bridges||Episode: "Houseguests"|
|1992||Bye Bye Baby||TV movie|
|1992||The Cloaning of Joanna May||Oliver||TV movie|
|1993||Calling the Shots||Brian Summers||TV movie|
|1993||Crime Story||Darius Guppy||Episode: "The Prince"|
|1995||Tears Before Bedtime||Jimmy Turner|
|1995||Sharpe's Sword||Captain Jack Spears||TV movie|
|1996||The Tide of Life||Nick Stuart||TV miniseries|
|1996||The Tenant of Wildfell Hall||Mr. Lawrence||TV miniseries|
|1996||The Prince and the Pauper||Miles Hendon|
|1997||Have Your Cake and Eat It||Ben||TV miniseries|
|1997||Bright Hair||David Miles||TV movie|
|1997||A Dance to the Music of Time||Nicholas Jenkins||TV miniseries|
|2000||Don Quixote||Sansón Carrasco||TV movie|
|2003||The Mayor of Casterbridge||Donald Farfrae||TV movie|
|2005||Blackbeard: Terror at Sea||Edward Teach/Blackbeard||TV movie|
|2005–07||Rome||Marc Antony||Lead role|
|2006||Beau Brummell: This Charming Man||Beau Brummell||TV movie|
|2007||Frankenstein||Dr. Henry Clerval||TV movie|
|2008–10||The Summit||Thom Lightstone||TV miniseries|
|2009||Diamonds||Lucas Denmont||TV movie|
|2009||The Philanthropist||Teddy Rist||Lead role|
"The Sword and the Crown"
"Lady of the Lake"
|2011||Injustice||William Travers||TV miniseries|
|2012||The Hollow Crown||Thomas Mowbray||Episode: "Richard II"|
|2013–present||The Following||Joe Carroll||Lead role|
- Profile, Film Reference.com; accessed 12 February 2014.
- James Purefoy at the Internet Movie Database
- "When in Rome..." interview with Hannah Pool. The Guardian. 6 January 2007.
- "Official Press Release: James Purefoy And Sheridan Smith Join Sienna Miller In Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path Directed By Trevor Nunn", 27 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- Morris, Clint. McMahon still in the running for 007. MovieHole.com. 10 June 2005.
- McKay, Alastair. All Hail James Purefoy. Out.com.
- "James Purefoy to play Simon Templar in The Saint", The Saint Club. 5 December 2007.
- The Hollywood Reporter: "James Purefoy circles NBC series, 21 July 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2008
- Purefoy supports Yeovil F.C., socceram.com; accessed 12 February 2014.
- "Film recreates Rochester castle siege – in Wales". Kent News. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
- "Purefoy, Haden Church, and Strong for Mars". Empire Online.
- "Injustice". itv.xom.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Purefoy.|
- James Purefoy at the Internet Movie Database
- James Purefoy as Blackbeard
- James Purefoy as Beau Brummell
- Interview with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, September 2005
- Interview with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, January 2006
- Interview with James Purefoy, BBC Somerset, February 2007
- Interview in The Guardian, 6 January 2007
- Men's Vogue profile