For two seasons on HBO’s Rome, James Purefoy melted hearts and solidified his English hunk status as the fated Mark Antony in white-hot scenes opposite another fierce English actor, Polly Walker.
American audiences became hooked on Purefoy and the people who watched the series lived for the fiery and compelling scenes between these two actors.
After Rome was wrapped, Purefoy went contemporary in his American television character roles, first playing billionaire Teddy Rist in NBC’s The Philanthropist where he struck up a fortuitous friendship with co-star Michael Kenneth Williams. Read the rest of this entry »
True story: Just a few minutes into talking with The Following‘s James Purefoy about his new Sundance series Hap and Leonard, I manage to inadvertently call attention to his receding hairline.
In my defense, said hairline is the subject of the very first bit of dialogue in Hap and Leonard‘s series premiere (airing Wednesday at 10/9c)… and it’s conceivable that the series had pulled a Pete-on-Mad-Men and shaved Purefoy’s locks away for the part.
“Oh f—k no,” he says good-naturedly, laughing as I slowly die of embarrassment on the other end of the phone line. “I’m just losing it. You can make your hairline look a lot worse than it is, a few judicious pulls of hair here and there, tug it back, shave it away here and there. You can make yourself damn near bald.” Read the rest of this entry »
For three seasons on Fox’s “The Following,” James Purefoy played the maniacal serial killer Joe Carroll. In SundanceTV’s “Hap and Leonard,” he sheds that evil skin in favor of a charming Southern boy with a weakness for women. “What a relief it is!” he tells Variety. “It’s nice playing someone who’s got a heart, who’s a real man, not a coward. Which Joe Carroll kind of is.”
Unlike the psychopathic killer he played for three years, Purefoy says, “Hap is the best kind of man — gentle, strong, real. And wounded by his love.”
That love is embodied by Christina Hendricks, who stars as Trudy, the ex-wife who wanders back into his life armed with a get-rich-quick scheme he can’t resist. He can’t resist her either, much to the frustration of his best friend, Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Wire”). Their exploits in search of the elusive cash drive the six-episode event series, based on Joe Lansdale’s darkly comic novels. Read the rest of this entry »
In the new SundanceTV original series Hap and Leonard — which debuts Wednesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. EST — James Purefoy (Hap) stars alongside Michael K. Williams (Leonard) in a noir-inspired show set in the 1980s about two best friends — one a good ol’ East Texas white guy, and the other an openly gay, black Vietnam vet — who are down on their luck but on the hunt for some lost loot. It’s a simple get-rich-quick plan that of course goes awry, and hijinks ensue. Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame plays the femme fatale of the show, which was created by director/writer Jim Mickle and writer Nick Damici and based on a series of books by Joe R. Lansdale.
We spoke to Purefoy recently about the show and how he came to star in it, the captivating horror of the current U.S. presidential race, the beauty of rural life, and how he’s happy to have never landed the role just about any male actor would kill for (James Bond, which Purefoy was reportedly considered for twice), among other things.
I’m always kind of amazed when actors who aren’t from the U.S. are able to portray Southern characters well. I thought you did a good job with Hap. I was a bit taken aback upon discovering that you’re British. Read the rest of this entry »
NEW YORK — “Hap and Leonard” is one part buddy drama, one part caper comedy, and a rich dose of swampy film noir.
Mostly, it’s a spiky exploration of two comrades in the East Texas backwoods of the late 1980s who, each in his own way, have been battered by the 1960s’ broken promises, then get a last shot at the American Dream.
The six-episode season of this SundanceTV series, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST, fills the title roles with two actors who have left deep impressions on the audience in past signature performances. Read the rest of this entry »
Based on the books by Joe R. Lansdale, the SundanceTV series Hap and Leonard is set in the late 1980s and is a darkly comic, swamp noir story of two best friends, Hap Collins (James Purefoy), an East Texan with a weakness for Southern women, and Leonard Pine (Michael Kenneth Williams), a gay, black Vietnam vet with a hot temper. When Hap’s seductive ex-wife Trudy (Christina Hendricks) shows up with a get-rich-quick deal that they can’t refuse, it all snowballs out of hand, very quickly.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor James Purefoy talked about why Hap and Leonard is probably his favorite show that he’s ever done, wanting to work with Michael Kenneth Williams again, their easy chemistry, why he relates to these characters, and what Christina Hendricks brought to the project.
Collider: How much fun are you having making this show and playing this character? Read the rest of this entry »
Ahead of the release of new action thriller Momentum this week, we sat down with the film’s star James Purefoy to quiz him on what makes certain villains likable, working with Olga Kurylenko, and his upcoming projects.
Even though he’s a bad guy, Mr. Washington is quite a likeable villain – at what point does being a villain become likeable?
I think it depends on what movie it is and what kind of genre it is. One of my next projects is a remake of Roots which we’re shooting in New Orleans. I play a slave owner and he is a bad guy. I don’t want anybody to like him. I won’t go out of my way to let anybody like him because there’s nothing to like, but that’s also very much what the tone of the piece is. On the other hand, there are some bad guys where you wanna fuck around with the audience’s expectations and play with their sympathies. With Mr. Washington, although he’s a bad guy, I’d like people to like him and then feel slightly horrified by what kind of bad guy he is. Read the rest of this entry »
English actor James Purefoy has an international fanbase of women, gets paid to have on-creen sword fights and knows how to build a killer treehouse, so we reckon that makes him a man worth listening to. The star of Momentum (as well as TV’s Rome and The Following) gives us his advice on how to avoid man boobs and explains where self-confidence comes from.
Tell us about your role in your new film Momentum…
I’m an assassin contracted by Morgan Freeman to retrieve a highly valuable hard drive that was accidentally stolen during a high tech bank robbery. It’s pretty cool. Read the rest of this entry »