Monday, November 19, 2007

Male on Monday - Matthew Macfadyen

This Monday it's our Natasha's turn to come up with hero inspiration ....

It's okay, I do know this photo isn't of Matthew Macfadyen. I'm starting with a picture of Richard Armitage to annoy Trish. It has to be done. You see, this week she decided to tease me on her blog. Go see.

I've now found solace with the Armitage Army and C19 - and very good fun it's been. (Trish thinks I've joined a cult and I'm on a mission to have her tarred and feathered! What are friends for???) So today, especially for 'Yellow Rose', I'm going with her choice of Male on Monday.

David Matthew MacFadyen was born on October 17th, 1974 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Most delightfully he's a sexy 6ft 3".

In all honesty, I can't say I think he'll really want to be here. He's not an actor that interviews well. He's ... er ... defensive. Not so surprising, perhaps, since he ran the gauntlet of the British tabloid papers when he fell in love with his Spooks co-star, Keeley Hawes. She left her husband of just five months and married Matthew in 2004, as soon as her divorce was final. They were hounded and I'm sure that would make anyone cautious.

Interviewed for the Sunday Mail in 2005 Matthew was quoted as saying:
"It was an awful situation because I realised I'd fallen for her. When you're confronted with something like that, what can you do? We weren't having an affair and it was a slow process. But I knew the effect she had on me. She's gorgeous. Everyone who meets her will tell you the same thing."

The couple both quit 'Spooks' and married in the October, weeks before Keeley gave birth to their daughter, Maggie. In the same interview he's quoted as saying:
"In a matter of a few weeks last year, our lives changed completely. We eloped to Richmond-on-Thames register office on October 8. We rang a mate each to come along as witnesses and people brought little throwaway cameras to take pictures. I read a poem and Keeley cried her eyes out. It was wonderful and romantic. Keeley was heavily pregnant with our daughter and the whole thing seemed perfect to me."

Their second child, Ralph, was born in September 2006 and Matthew is stepfather to Keeley's son, Myles.

His career is seamless. He's a real actors' actor, if that makes any sense, and his choices are incredibly interesting. Hollywood really doesn't hold much allure for him and he searches out roles he finds challenging.

Matthew graduated from RADA in 1995 and quickly found work in theatre - Antonio in 'The Duchess of Malfi', Charles Surface in 'The School for Scandal', Benedick in 'Much Ado About Nothing' - the latter played as a officer buffoon. His TV breakthrough was arguably as Earnshaw in the 1998 ITV production of 'Wuthering Heights'. He sprung to my notice, however, in 2001 as Felix Carbury in 'The Way We Live Now'.

That same year I saw him as the scarred submarine cammander in the movie 'Enigma' and didn't recognise him as the same actor. And, that's his skill. He's one of a rare few who can so inhabit a character you believe his portrayal absolutely. It's impressive stuff.

He followed that with a Stephen Poliakoff drama 'Perfect Strangers' and then, 'Spooks', in the United States it was aired as 'MI-5'. After 'The Reckoning' in 2003 and 'In My Father's Den' in 2004 we come to 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Who didn't fall in love with him walking towards Lizzie on a mist filled morning?

"I find Darcy very sympathetic, I find it heartbreaking that he's seen as very haughty and proud - and he is those things - but he's a young man who is still grieving for his parents. He's from an ancient family and has this huge responsibility, but it seemed to me that he's still trying to work out who he is and how to be in the world. I found that very interesting, and I found him very sympathetic."

Like Lizzie I do find the sight of him against the setting of 'Pemberley', actually Wilton House, very attractive! :)

But, how about this? Matthew hadn't read Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. He based his performance entirely on the script.

Post P&P he's played Clay in 'The Pain and the Itch' at the Royal Court Theatre.

"I would hate not to do a play every couple of years. I think it's not me. I did four or five years in telly, and by the end of it was drained. I was a bit sick of myself. I didn't feel like an actor anymore. That sounds silly, but when you're doing a play you're using different muscles, and it blew all the cobwebs away."

And I last saw him in a one-off Channel 4 drama 'Secret Life' in which he played a paedophile. I told you his choices were interesting!

So, what do you think?

With love

This July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli.

"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available NOW and is a
Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick.


  1. I had never heard of him until Pride and Prejudice. I thought he made a wonderful Mr. Darcy.

  2. Yay! Richard Armitage (drool, drool)...oh, yes, sorry, ahem. I'm meant to be writing about Matthew.
    Er, yes, he's very nice.

    (Waves to Richard in her 'Stalker' tee shirt!)

  3. Good choice! And Matthew is a wonderful stage actor - he blew me away in "The Pain And The Itch", had me in tears at the end.

  4. qThanks Natasha,
    You have my top 2 right here. When it comes to RA I do have to wear my stalker t-shirt but I adore Matthew.

    I first say him in P&P. On first watching I wasn't sure; second watching I loved his Darcy. I am gradually making my way through his work. I am waiting anxiously for my DVD of 'In My Father's Den' to come in. I am at the stage of purchasing Region 2 DVDs which is a sure sign of OBAS (Obscure British Actor Syndrome) in the US. Obscure is meant in a very loving way here.

    Thanks for making Matthew your Male on Monday.

    Yellow Rose

  5. I adore Matthew and first saw him in Spooks playing Tom Quinn - still my favourite role of his to this day. I was also lucky enough to see him (twice!!) in The Pain and the Itch and have his autograph and loads of photos to prove it. He was so lovely and I'd love to have the opportunity to meet him again one day. Mary

  6. Ewww hes a creep and his wifes a slutty whore