new british talent

The players - In the last in our new British talent series, Andrew Pulver introduces the people bringing fresh life to our film industry

Name: Richard Armitage                                        Age: 33

What he does: With a strong grounding in theatre, and a place in the Cold Feet cast, Armitage came of age in TV drama with a high profile lead role in the current BBC adaptation of North and South. He’s now making the switch to film, and the offbeat drama Frozen, starring Shirley Henderson, has given him his first significant role.

He says: “I enjoy going to the movies much more than I used to, mostly because I understand the medium better. But TV and film are different fields, with a different bunch of actors. I know I’ll have to go down the pecking order, and I’m sure I’ll be very frustrated for a while. But every time you achieve something you move the goal posts a bit further.”

We say: Armitage’s glowering turn as the top-hatted Thornton has put him in the driving seat to be the new Colin Firth. Even if he doesn’t have a cheerleader like Helen Fielding, his thespianic commitment to fine writing has taken him towards original, oddball film-making. But Richard Curtis is probably already casting covetous eyes in his direction. 

The Guardian, December 3, 2004   ♛