Monday, March 09, 2009

Male On Monday - Hugh Dancy

This Monday Donna Alward chats about someone she's surprised hasn't been featured yet...Hugh Dancy!

When I thought about doing a post for Male On Monday, I thought about blogging some recent casting. Then I realized that I'm not the only one who has liked my casting - those blokes had already been done. So I tapped my finger and thought and I did a search for Hugh Dancy which only brought up a previous post for the Jane Austen Book Club (which I have yet to see).

Hugh Dancy is vastly underestimated in my opinion, and for two reasons: he's got ridiculously boyish good looks, and because of Ella Enchanted, which was charming but fluffy. But while I was researching him I learned a whole lot to make me - and hopefully a few others - take him a bit more seriously.

Hugh Dancy was born on June 19th, 1975 in Stoke-on-Trent, England to mother, Sarah (a publisher), and father, Jonathan (a writer and a philosophy professor). He has a younger sister, Kate, and a younger brother, Jack. Hugh became attracted to acting by sheer chance. At thirteen years old, as punishment for a bad deed, he was sent off to the theatre. He has also been quoted as saying that it was a good way to meet girls while attending a full-time school where there weren't any. He hasn't looked back since.

Hugh attended the all-boy Winchester School at the age of 13 before going on to Oxford University at the age of 18. Hugh had every intention on becoming an actor. However, because of his family's strong academic tradition, Hugh chose instead to pursue a degree in English at university rather than attend acting school. He surely made his parents very proud with the 2:1 degree he received from the prestigious school (which makes us NOT believe his quote of saying while his family is academic, he's a bit thick). Within the six month window Hugh gave himself after graduating, he worked as a bartender (and apparently, not a very good one) and continued with theatre, appearing in several small theatre productions in London such as The Tempest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Measure for Measure, Twelth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing.

After a lucky series of circumstances, Hugh landed himself an agent (Dallas Smith of PFD, agent to Sienna Miller, Michael Sheen, Kate Winslet, and more). He got his first television role in "Trial & Retribution II" and also appeared in episodes of TV shows such as "Cold Feet," "Dangerfield," "The New Adventures of Robin Hood," and others. Later he went on to star in the television drama "David Copperfield." During that time, he also had the opportunity to perform on stage in productions of Billy and the Crab Lady and Sam Mendes' ("American Beauty") play, To the Green Fields Beyond.

His first movie role was in Young Blades in which he played the musketeer D'Artagnan. His big break was in Ridley Scott's ("Gladiator") Black Hawk Down as medic Kurt Schmid. Afterward, he starred in successful BBC Drama, "Daniel Deronda", portraying the title role. I loved him in this role and I loved the adaptation - one of my favourites ever and beautifully shot. Dancy WAS Daniel.

Later, Hugh appeared in several films such as The Sleeping Dictionary and Tempo. In 2004, he starred in the Miramax fairy tale Ella Enchanted alongside Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain), playing the role of Prince Char. And he looked so pretty!

But it helped to dirty him up a bit and I loved him as Galahad in the ensemble epic King Arthur. (Come to think of it, you could populate several Male on Monday slots with the King Arthur cast alone).

In fall 2004, Hugh also starred in the one-night only play The Soldier's Tale alongside Jeremy Irons (Kingdom of Heaven, Eragon). During that time, Hugh became the Face of Burberry Brit for Men and modeled in the fashion line's Fall 2004, Spring/Summer 2005 and Fall 2005 campaigns, putting him back in the pretty department.

In the year 2006, you could find Hugh in all three categories of movies, stage and TV. Shooting Dogs (Beyond the Gates in the USA), a film based on the 1994 Rwandan genocide, premiered at the 2005 British Film Festival. Showered with excellent reviews, it was also nominated for a 2005 BAFTA. Hugh also starred alongside Saffron Burrows at the one-time only play The Silence of the Sea, a production apart of the Hay Festival in Wales.

He also starred as the charming yet twisted Earl of Essex in Channel 4/HBO's two-episodes TV Drama "Elizabeth I." For his performance, he garnered Emmy and Satellite Award nominations for "Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries" and "Best Actor in a Miniseries." I watched Elizabeth I and I thought his portrayal was simply brilliant. BRILLIANT. If you see him in that role, you won't consider him fluff ever again.

In 2007 Hugh starred in movies such as The Jane Austen Book Club, Evening, Blood and Chocolate, and Savage Grace. Hugh also appeared on stage in the Broadway revival of Journey's End, a critically acclaimed show but a commercial failure. The night it closed, it took home "Best Revival of a Play" at the 2007 Tony Awards. His current film? Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella's blockbuster romance hit.

Interesting bits...Hugh has eyes of blue, which surprised me as in Daniel Deronda they are a deep, soulful brown (aren't tinted contacts fabulous?). I don't know which I prefer to be honest.

Knowing what I do now, in addition to those great eyes and GORGEOUS curls, I'm completely sold.

How about you?

Donna's next release is Hired: The Italian's Bride, coming in June. She loves the fact that this time she has a hot Italian hero, an opulent setting at a Rocky Mountain Resort, and an office romance!


  1. Donna;

    I realize I have not been watching enough movies recently. Hugh looks gorgeous and seems a very interesting actor to follow and I had never heard of him before. i am very glad you profiled him.


  2. Hey, Donna, I JUST watched the Jane Austen Book Club on the weekend! I wondered who the cutie was so now I know! Thanx

  3. I haven't seen the Jane Austen Book Club yet. I'm waiting for it to show up on On Demand.

  4. Good choice - I too enjoyed King Arthur :)