Monday, January 25, 2010

Male on Monday: Rupert Penry Jones

Pink Heart Society editor Michelle Styles investigates the appeal of Rupert Penry Jones

Sometimes one happens upon a potential Male on Monday a bit after everyone does –Rupert Penry Jones. But there again as I can’t find him listed as a Male on Monday and the Masterpiece Theatre showing of 39 Steps is coming up (to be shown on PBS on 28 February and it is a fantastic adaptation), it is time to make sure he has graced the Male on Monday slot.

If you like your heroes – unflabble, inscrutable, unconventional and all- action but exuding bags of integrity along with more than a touch of class, you could do worse than look at Rupert Penry Jones. He knows his way around a ballroom, a diplomatic reception and state dinner, but he is not going to let that get in the way of discovering whatever he needs.
The only slight drawback? He’s blond with blue eyes.
Rupert Penry Jones made his name as Adam Carter, the unflappable team leader of Spooks(MI5). He was slightly unconventional, in love with his wife (until she was killed) and exuding integrity. At the end of series 6 of Spooks, he did the honourable thing and sacrificed himself for the good of everyone else. Richard Armitage is now taking the team leader role in Spooks. (However with Spooks, hopefully he is not too comfortable as they do have a habit of killing people off...) After leaving Spooks, he starred as Richard Hannay in 39 Steps., playing another unflappable, highly resourceful spy. He is also comfortable in period roles, having played Captain Wentworth in ITV's 2007 adaptation of Persuasion (showing again on Masterpiece Theatre 21 February).

He was once tipped to follow Daniel Craig as James Bond, a rumour that made Penry Jones uncomfortable as both he and Craig had worked together in the National Youth Theatre. And he has just finished a stint in the stage play The Priory without a policeman, spy or detective in sight. He is about star in the second series of Whitechapel, the ITV drama about a trio of policemen who solve a series of copycat cat murders. The first series involved a Jack the Ripper copycat. There is also a rumour about a supernatural police series for the BBC.
Rupert Penry Jones is the brother of Laurence Penry Jones and the son of Angela Thorne (To the Manor Born). He was famously allowed to go to drama school after his parents saw him as Dr Fautus. He went to Bristol Old Vic but was kicked out in the second year. He then had his wild/Bad Boy period but got tired of it and became serious about his career, deciding to attempt to move from bit parts to the bigger roles. He did, getting his big break with Spooks when Matthew McFaydden left to pursue other roles.
He is married to the actress Devrla Kirwan and has two little girls. They recently moved from London to leafy Hampshire. And he describes himself as someone who loves to stay at home with his little gang as he called them in a recent interview with The Times.

So if you like a reformed Bad Boy who has impeccable manners you can do worse than look at Rupert Penry Jones. If you need more convincing, this is a montage of RPJ pictures that I discovered:

Michelle Styles's latest North American release is Sold & Seduced and is out now at e-harlequin. You can read more about Michelle Styles at her website


  1. Wow, those abs! Love the cover of your latest release Michelle!

  2. What a great way to start my week! I love RPJ! Just finished the 7th series of Spooks on Friday and cried when his character died.
    He's one of the few blonde men I like to look at. I even came to like him as Captain Wentworth after I've had some problems to see him as my favourite Austen hero.

  3. Michelle,

    I've been watching and enjoying RPJ for a while now. Good on you for posting about him.


  4. Marilyn -- it is a very Presents inspired cover isn't it? My editor wanted a certain feel to the book.

    Carolin -- yes RPJ is one of Those men whom it does not matter that he is blond. Glad you agree with me.

    And Annie W -- Glad you agree with me that RPJ is worthy.

  5. Hi Michelle

    Very tasty, particularly liked him in that Ripper thing as the detective with OCD. Although I beg to differ, he's not blond, he's ginger!! And still gorgeous.

    Doesn't quite do it over Richard Armitage for me, but he's still pretty hot!


  6. Michelle

    You're a woman after my own heart. I lurve RPJ. That mouth...

    What a gorgeous start to the week!


  7. Heidi -- Ginger? Maybe strawberry blond.

    Not that I have anything against ginger, my husband was in his youth so I am quite partial to a lovely rich chestnut or auburn...

    Lucy -- I am so pleased you are fellow enthusiast!

  8. YES! I wish RPJ had more American exposure as I am from the heartland here in the USA and I know who he is!! You could not be an Austen fan and NOT know him. I thought it was a huge mistake for ABC to have dropped him from The Forgotten, and I think that show will quickly be 'forgotten' because of it... how can they trade RPJ for Christian Slater [shaking head].
    I'm looking forward to Masterpeice airing Persuasion again and for the American audience to see him in The 39 Steps as both are wonderful. They will see what ABC did not.
    Thank you so much for giving him the honored position of Male on Monday!!

  9. I loved him as Captain Wentworth - who is incidentally also my favourite Austen hero.

    39 steps is showing on Masterpiece Theatre this winter. :-)

    Great choice Michelle!

  10. No doubt about it, Michelle-- Rupert has that sexy appeal that makes us want to see more of him...!

    Great post!

  11. I first discovered RPJ in this TV movie with Robson Green where he played a Prince. I loved him on MI-5, wasn't too keen on him in Persuasion (Ciaran Hinds will always be Captain Wentworth to me) but I can't wait to see him in The 39 Steps, and thanks for the heads up about Whitechapel. I will have to add that to my Wish List.

  12. Oh horay that there are RPJ fans on all around the world.
    If you haven't seen 39 Steps, you are in for a treat.

  13. I first saw him in the ITV version of Persuasion. I think the whole movie could have been better but I'd watch it over and over again just because he's in it! I think he's a brilliant actor! I wish ABC went with him for The Forgotten instead of Christian Slater (ugh). I enjoyed him in Whitechapel and I can't wait for the second series! Now I really want to see The 39 Steps. ;)

  14. I didn't know he was Angela Thorne's son! Angela Thorne was somehow related to my matron at boarding school. I want to say sister-in-law, but it's a long time ago and I could have remembered that wrong. To think, if only I'd been more pro-active, we might have been childhood sweethearts. Life is full of missed opportunities, isn't it?! *g*

  15. Good profile on Roo, I'm actually glad the whole Forgotten thing was forgotten indeed 'cause though he can pull off a decent american accent, it's just not the same! Lookout for Joe's Palace great film he was on. Whole thing can be watched on YouTube. A little correction on the kids, he's got one of each, Florence and Peter. Miss Ballykissangel Dervla is one lucky Irish chick...

  16. I think he would make a super next Lord Peter Wimsey. Bring it on BBC