Monday, August 31, 2009

Male on Monday: Rupert Friend

Michelle Styles examines the slightly surprising appeal of Rupert Friend.

Rupert Friend first crossed my radar as Wickham in Pride and Prejudice (it is also where he famously met his current girlfriend Kiera Knightley). And I will admit to slightly baffled. Pleasant enough but no competition with Mr Darcy. Then I happened to see him as Albert in The Young Victoria and I realised what an excellent hero he was. This is in spite of the moustache and the German accent. When you watch the film, you can see the chemistry growing between the two, and how even though Albert is an alpha male, he is prepared to pay lip service to his wife's role as Queen.
Friend plays Prince Albert so that the viewer can see the appeal for Queen Victoria. Apparently when he was preparing for the role, Friend spent hours staring at statues of Albert, wondering what made him so good. He wanted to give a well rounded portrayal of the man and to go beyond the weeds, mourning and grief of Victoria's later years.

Rupert Friend, born 1 October 1981, went to the Webber Douglass Academy of Dramatic Arts and has managed to pack a lot of work in the last five years including playing Cheri in the recent film with Michelle Pfieffer. Upcoming work includes the starring role as Kevin Lewis in The Kid which is based on Kevin Lewis's memoir of being involved in the London underworld.
When not acting, he is a close personal friend of Kiera Knightly whom he met on the set of Pride and Prejudice. It does tickle my fancy that Elizabeth Bennet ended up with Wickham after all! He keeps his private life very private. And while there are pictures of them together, he resolutely refuses to discuss her. He only does the press for work and does not have a publicist.
His leading lady in The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt described him her definition of a real man.

Given his razor like cheek bones, green eyes and slightly indie look, one has to wonder why he has never been cast as a vampire.
There is something about him that says -- fighting inner demons, even if they are simply a desire to live other people's lives rather than his own as he recently said in an interview with the Independent.
Michelle Styles is currently hard at work on her latest early Victorian. Her next book to be released will be The Viking's Captive Princess as a Harlequin Historical in December 09. She has not plans to write a vampire novel...


  1. Hi Michelle. Rupert wouldn't have been my 1st choice for MoM but....I can see where you are coming from. I like the fact that he is his own man - not having a publicist in this media crazy world - and keeping his private life private - would suggest that he a true Alpha male me thinks! Good for him - and good for you for picking him! Take care. Caroline x

  2. He definitely has some appeal. ;)

    You may not be planning on writing a vampire novel but who knows what the furture may hold. LOL

  3. Yes, he does has some appeal and he was great as Albert.

    I just thought the pictures defintely looked like a vampire type hero -- particularly the bottom one.
    At the moment, however, I am firmly in early Victorian.

  4. Caroline - me either, but if you watch him in the clips for The Young Victoria, you just get it.

    I though him as Wickham was all wrong, btw.

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  6. I think he will end up being one of the best, most sought out actors of his generation. I also think his career will surpass Keira's because he is a very complex actor...he's in the same category as a Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando -- not Orlando Bloom and Tom Cruise.