TV Actor of the Day: RUFUS SEWELL

Rufus Sewell


TV Show: Eleventh Hour which airs Thursdays at 10pm on CBS.

His Character: Dr. Jacob Hood

Why we like him: I’ve been a fan of Rufus Sewell for a while. And although there are too many of his performances that I would like to mention, I do have to point out Dark City, which is the first movie I saw with him (can you believe that was 10 years ago!). If you haven’t seen it yet you should. But back to Rufus Sewell, I am so happy we now get to see him on a weekly basis on CBS’ new fantastic show, Eleventh Hour.


Sewell was born in Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in South West London, the son of William Sewell, an Australian animator, and Jo, a Welsh artist and waitress. Sewell attended Orleans Park School, which he left in 1984. A drama teacher at West Thames College spotted his promise and sent him to audition for drama school. He enrolled at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. After graduating, he was set up with an agent by Dame Judi Dench who had directed him in a play while at Central.

1993 was Sewell’s breakthrough year; he starred in the BBC serial of George Eliot’s Middlemarch and on stage in Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia at The Royal National Theatre (Lyttelton). His film work includes 1995’s Cold Comfort Farm, directed by John Schlesinger, the lead role of John Murdoch in the sci-fi film Dark City in 1998, Amazing Grace, The Illusionist and Nancy Meyers’ romantic comedy The Holiday. Amazing Grace deals with William Wilberforce’s political fight to abolish slavery in Britain, with Sewell playing Wilberforce’s co-campaigner Thomas Clarkson. Sewell is known for his villainous roles, such as those in A Knight’s Tale, The Legend of Zorro, Bless the Child, Helen of Troy and The Illusionist. He spoke of his unhappiness about this, saying that “[I] don’t want to play a baddie again”.

Although best known for his work in costume dramas, Sewell prefers “cravat-less” roles in modern pieces, such as the role of Petruchio in the BBC’s 2005 version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This was shown as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season, and the role earned him a Best Actor nomination at the 2006 BAFTA Television Awards. In this modern retelling of the story the action moves from 17th Century Padua, Italy to 21st Century London. This production marked the fourth time that Sewell had acted in a work based on a Shakespeare play since becoming a professional actor: he previously portrayed Hotspur in Henry IV, Part 1 in 1995, Fortinbras in Hamlet in 1996 and the title role in Macbeth in 1999.

He appeared in the premiere and first run of Tom Stoppard’s latest play Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Royal Court Theatre from June to July 2006 and at the Duke of York’s Theatre from July until November 2006. The play was a critical and commercial success, playing to full houses and garnering several awards and nominations, including wins for Sewell in the Best Actor category at The Evening Standard Awards, The Critics’ Circle Awards and The Olivier Awards.

He recorded eleven of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books on 36 CDs for Collins. He continues to work in film, television and theatre, currently playing Jacob Hood in the CBS TV series Eleventh Hour.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Read all our Eleventh Hour coverage here.


Rufus Sewell

Rufus Sewell

Rufus Sewell