|Born||Rupert William Penry-Jones
22 September 1970
London, England, United Kingdom
|Other names||Rupert William Penry Jones
|Alma mater||Bristol Old Vic Theatre School|
|Spouse(s)||Dervla Kirwan (m. 2007)|
|Relatives||Laurence Penry-Jones (brother)
Polly Walker (sister-in-law)
Rupert William Penry-Jones (born 22 September 1970) is an English actor, known for his role as Adam Carter in the British television series Spooks (also broadcast internationally under the title MI-5), as Clive Reader QC in BBC legal drama Silk and for various other notable roles in the British television industry.
Early life and education
He was born Rupert William Penry-Jones in London to Welsh actor Peter Penry-Jones and English actress Angela Thorne. His brother Laurence Penry-Jones is an actor turned ambulance driver while his sister-in-law is actress Polly Walker.
He was educated at Dulwich College in south-east London, until age 17 when he was enrolled at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, only to be expelled in his second year for being a bad influence. His bad influence was a result of a broken relationship, which Rupert stated he tried to recover from by "shagging everything in sight". Being dyslexic, he struggled at school, eventually leaving with no A-levels.
He was cast as Richard in the premiere staging of Stephen Poliakoff's Sweet Panic at Hampstead Theatre in 1996. The following year he appeared in both The Paper Husband at Hampstead Theatre and as the upper-class Pip Thompson in a revival of Arnold Wesker's Chips with Everything on the Lyttelton stage at the Royal National Theatre.
In 1998, he created the role of the Boy in Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby at the Almeida Theatre. In 1999, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, playing the title role in Don Carlos at The Other Place theatre and Alcibiades in Timon of Athens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Both productions transferred to the Barbican Centre in London in 2000, where his performance as Don Carlos won the Ian Charleson Award.
At the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, in 2001 he was cast as Robert Caplan in J.B. Priestley's thriller "time-play" Dangerous Corner opposite Dervla Kirwan, who played Olwen Peel. The production then transferred for a four-month run at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End.
On television, he has played barrister Alex Hay in C4's ten-part serial North Square in 2000; Donald McLean in the BBC's four-part production of Cambridge Spies in 2003; and Grimani in Russell T. Davies' production of Casanova in 2005.
In 2004, he joined the cast in series 3 of the BBC's BAFTA-winning series Spooks. He played the lead role of section leader Adam Carter for four series before leaving the show in 2008. He won ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards for his role in Spooks in 2008. He also went on to play the role of Captain Wentworth in ITV's adaptation of Persuasion.
In 2009, he was cast as the lead in the unaired ABC pilot The Forgotten but was unceremoniously replaced when the pilot was picked up and replaced by Christian Slater. Penry-Jones was apparently devastated and proceeded to give a number of interviews in the UK in which he attacked the US television industry. He has since described American television as a "factory" and the producers as "disgusting".
In February 2009, he took the lead in an ITV drama, Whitechapel, a three-part thriller based on the copycat killings of Jack the Ripper. Whitechapel was the highest-performing new drama in 2009. A second series of the show based around the Kray twins was broadcast in autumn 2010; the third series began in January 2012. A fourth series aired in September 2013. It is unknown whether it will be recommissioned due to poor ratings.
He was scheduled to appear alongside other celebrities in Soccer Aid 2010, but broke a bone in his knee during training, putting him in a plaster cast and ruling him out of the final match on 6 June 2010.
Penry-Jones was also cast opposite Maxine Peake in a legal drama Silk created by Peter Moffat. The show revolves around two barristers, played by Penry-Jones and Peake who are competing to become QCs. Series 2 aired in 2012 and Series 3 premiered on 24 February 2014.
He also joined the cast of the film A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet. The film is directed by Alan Rickman.
Penry-Jones is known to be very critical of the British television and film industry. He stated that Doctor Who is a "very good children's show... but has low production values...and is a pantomime" He also said the Harry Potter films are "shit". He admitted walking out of the first three films.
He married actress Dervla Kirwan in August 2007, following a three-year engagement. They met in a theatre production, Dangerous Corner, in 2001. Both appeared in Casanova in 2005, although they did not share any scenes. They have two children: a daughter, Florence (born 2004), and a son, Peter (born 2006).
On BBC 1's Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast in August 2010, it was revealed that Penry-Jones's maternal grandfather, William, had served with the Indian Army Medical Corps at the Battle of Monte Cassino and that his earlier ancestors had a long-standing connection with the Indian Army. Penry-Jones also discovered that he had Anglo-Indian ancestry from the early 19th century.
Rupert's personal views include loathing award ceremonies, claiming 'there's nothing worse than sitting in a room..having to applaud everyone else's success'. He also states that kissing other men in his career is a 'tough call'.
Filmography and television work
|1994||Black Beauty||wild-looking young man|
|1994||Fatherland||SS Cadet Hermann Jost||TV film|
|1995||Cold Comfort Farm||Dick Hawk-Monitor||TV film|
|1995||Absolutely Fabulous||boy at party||TV series (1 episode: "The End")|
|1996||Kavanagh QC||Lt. Ralph Kinross||TV series (1 episode: "The Burning Deck")|
|1996||Cold Lazarus||militiaman/policeman||TV mini-series (2 episodes)|
|1996||The Ring||Gerhard von Gotthard||TV film|
|1996||Faith in the Future||Sam||TV series (2 episodes)|
|1997||The Moth||Stanley Thorman||TV film|
|1997||Jane Eyre||St John Rivers||TV film|
|1997||Bent||guard on road|
|1997||Food of Love||head office staff|
|1998||Hilary and Jackie||Piers|
|1998||Still Crazy||young Ray|
|1998||The Student Prince||The Prince||TV film|
|2000||North Square||Alex Hay||TV series (10 episodes)|
|2001||Charlotte Gray||Peter Gregory|
|2002||The Four Feathers||Tom Willoughby|
|2002||A Family Man||Tarquin|
|2003||Cambridge Spies||Donald Maclean||TV mini-series (4 episodes)|
|2003||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Roddy Winter||TV series (1 episode: "Sad Cypress")|
|2004–2008||Spooks||Adam Carter||TV series (41 episodes: 2004–2008)|
|2005||Casanova||Grimani||TV mini-series (3 episodes)|
|2006||Krakatoa: The Last Days||Willem Beijerinck||TV film|
|2007||Persuasion||Captain Wentworth||TV film|
|2007||Joe's Palace||Richard Reece||TV film|
|2008||Burn Up||Tom||TV mini-series (2 episodes)|
|2008||The 39 Steps||Richard Hannay||TV film|
|2011- 2014||Silk||Clive Reader||TV series (3 series, 18 episodes, 2011, 2012, 2014)|
|2011||Manor Hunt Ball||Laurence||pre-production (2010/11)|
|2012||Treasure Island||Squire Trelawney||TV mini-series (2 episodes)|
|2012||The Last Weekend||Ollie||TV film|
|2009–2013||Whitechapel||DI Joseph Chandler||TV series (4 series, 18 episodes, 2009–2013)|
- Jones, Alice (13 November 2009). "Rupert Penry-Jones: 'It's nice not to be chasing a bad guy'". The Independent. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- [full citation needed] Red Magazine article, 2010.
- "Casanova". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- Allen, Katie (6 October 2008). "Rankin and P. D. James pick up ITV3 awards". The Bookseller. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
- "Most-watched TV shows of 2009". The Guardian. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "Who Do You Think You Are, Series 7, Rupert Penry-Jones".
- [Times Interview, 2008].
- Radio Times interview, 2012
- Theatre Record and its annual Indexes
- 1996 Jane Eyre-St. John Rivers
- Rupert Penry-Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- Rupert Penry-Jones at the bbc.co.uk official Spooks website.
- Rupert Penry-Jones interview: Sunday Times 15 June 2008
- Rupert Penry Jones Network
- Maxine Peake to star in BBC1 legal drama Silk at guardian.co.uk