Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Strange, Sick, Sad Career of Ioan Gruffudd

This is my third Strange Sick Sad Career essay, and in this case the title seems kind of unfair. There's nothing strange or sick or sad about Gruffudd's career at the moment - in fact, his star is on the rise, thank you very much. I was sort of feeling guilty about lumping him in under the SSSC umbrella with people like Jonny Lee Miller and Michael Rosenbaum... and then I remembered 102 Dalmatians. He might live that one down someday, but today is not that day.

Some general observations about Gruffudd: he's cornering the market on earnest and adorable. Broad comedy is not his forte: he should avoid any projects described as zany or whimsical. He's brilliant at playing characters with names like Horatio Hornblower or William Wilberforce, less so at playing guys named Freddy or Dan. He looks particularly fetching in waistcoats and breeches. He has a beautiful speaking voice and freakishly long eyelashes.

A bit of background: A native of Cardiff, the lovely and talented Mr. Gruffudd got an early professional start as a child actor on the long-running Welsh-language soap opera Pobol y Cwm. Various clips are available for your viewing pleasure over at YouTube; may I just say, first and foremost, how happy I am to live in a world with long-running Welsh-language soap operas? He's kept himself busy ever since.