Season 1 ITV Choice (*123) 20:00 Drama
Prime Minister Lord Melbourne’s (Rufus Sewell) flirty relationship with Britain’s Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman) in Victoria (2016-current) has audiences fanning themselves. No wonder they had to marry her off to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) chop-chop. “Melbourne and Victoria were inseparable for the first few years of her reign. It was a lovely relationship,” says 48-year-old Rufus. And it was a fun change of pace for him. “Being pigeon-holed as a bad guy has been an intermittent problem with me over the years,” he admits.
Rufus’s villain CV includes playing 1
Count Adhemar in A Knight’s Tale (2001) and brooding Seth Starkadder in 1996 comedy movie Cold Comfort Farm.
His Aussie dad Billy, an animator 2
who worked on The Beatles Yellow Submarine film (1968), died when Rufus was 10 and his Welsh artist mom Jo took odd jobs to raise Rufus and his older brother Caspar.
Before he auditioned for drama 3
school, Rufus was fired from one of his first jobs – as a street sweeper – for being terrible at the job!
Dame Judi Dench got him his first 4
agent in 1989 after directing him in a play at London’s Central School Of Speech And Drama.
“The reason I’m unemployed for 5
six months of the year is that I have to turn down most of the jobs that I am offered. If I didn’t, I’d only ever play a dark count on a horse,” he says, joking that “years of disappointment and compromise have added depth to my art”.
Rufus has been married twice, to 6
fashion consultant Yasmin Abdallah (for less than a year in 1999) and to script-writer and producer Amy Gardner (for two years in 2006) with whom he has a 14-year-old son named Billy.