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Saturday, 11 May, 2002, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Gruffudd 'too young' for Bond
Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Evans
Gruffudd with actress girlfriend Alice Evans
Welsh screen heart-throb Ioan Gruffudd has declared "My name's not Bond - James Bond" - at least not for a few years.

The star of Hornblower and the recent BBC film adaptation of Man and Boy quashed persistent rumours that he may step into the famous 007 role in the near future.

Ioan Gruffudd Hornblower
The Welsh actor shot to fame in the role of the dashing naval officer Hornblower
Gruffudd, 28, told BBC Radio Cymru: "I would love to be Bond one day but at the moment I feel I'm too young, and Pierce Brosnan has said he has two or three films in him again," he explained.

"I did go for an audition for a baddie part in the next film though."

He was unsuccessful on that occasion but there are more than enough offers of work around to keep him in Bond videos for a good while.

He is starting to become an almost permanent fixture on British television screens, with his most recent appearance as the unlucky Bosinney in the new version of The Forsyte Saga.

He played the dashing young lover of the married Irene Forsyte who meet his end under the wheels of a horse-drawn carriage.

Gruffudd carried out his own death-scene stunt for the programme which meant he took an early exit from the six-month filming schedule.


I quite like Hollywood. I wouldn't mind living there for some time.

Ioan Gruffudd
He said: "It was a great challenge for us as actors and producers to follow the previous series.

"We had a great three months in Liverpool and Manchester. It was a change being outside London."

Before the Forsyte Saga, he tried out being an on-screen parent in the BBC film Man and Boy.

"I loved the novel and was glad to get the part. It was great working with my fellow actors and the boy was lovely.

"The critics didn't seem to enjoy it but I think the public have.

"Generally though, I think we squashed too much into an hour and a half," he suggested.

With both productions airing so close together, Gruffudd's recognition factor has rocketed and he gets regularly spotted on the streets.

His legions of fans will be pleased to know that he will return to the small screen after filming another two-part Hornblower this summer.

Ioan Gruffudd in Great Expectations
Gruffudd gained experience of period drama in Great Expectations
While British viewers have been enjoying the fruits of his labour, the young Welshman has been making his mark further afield in the bright lights of Hollywood.

He said: "The last year has been absolutely great - unbelieveable. I've been very lucky to do different roles in different parts of the world.

"I quite like Hollywood. I didn't think I'd ever say this but I wouldn't mind living there for some time."

He worked alongside British director Ridley Scott on the war movie Black Hawk Down, describing him as "an unbelieveably cool person".

His most recent US project is The Gathering with the "absolutely stunning" Christina Ricci, which has not been released yet.

On the personal front, Gruffudd's relationship with 102 Dalmatians co-star Alice Evans is blooming.

The actress broke off her engagement to Olivier Picasso, the French grandson of the Cubist artist Pablo Picasso, to go out with Ioan.

He said of his partner: "She's a lovely girl. We don't get spotted that much as we don't tend to go to the places to be spotted.

"We're not much in the newspapers as we've been open about the relationship.

"But if I do something I shouldn't then I'm certain I'll be in the paper!"

See also:

29 Jun 01 | Wales
Forsyte Saga role for Gruffudd
22 Jan 00 | Wales
Ioan Gruffudd - the early years
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