Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Thursday, 21 July 2005 11:21 UK

Gruffudd reveals Valleywood dream

Ioan Gruffudd
The red carpet was rolled out for Ioan Gruffudd at the Welsh premiere

Welsh film star Ioan Gruffudd has said he would be "delighted" to work at the new "Valleywood" film studio complex, which is set to open next year.

Gruffudd was in Wales to attend the Welsh premiere of his new movie The Fantastic Four in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Work on the Valleywood studios, which promise facilities to make the biggest blockbusters, began on Wednesday.

"I will be writing, producing, directing and acting in my own film here, I hope," said Gruffudd.

"I think it's a great idea. We have such beautiful scenery and locations here - every time I have worked here, it has taken my breath away.

"But obviously it rains so much here it would be great to have lots of weather cover here at these studios - it is a very smart move, I think.

Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffudd
Are wedding bells in the air for Alice and Ioan?

"I think we have all the talent and the ability and the facilities to bring a movie of any nature to Valleywood."

He also said that Americans were very excited about the scheme, which is being driven by actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough. It is being built near Bridgend, and aims to bring 12 studios, a new motorway junction and around 1,700 jobs.

But Gruffudd, who is from south Wales but now lives in Los Angeles, said he was not planning to return home just yet.

"I love living out there - it may sound very glamorous, but it is a very simple, domestic, suburban life I have out there.

"I am running around from meeting to meeting, in the car most of the day."

Ioan Gruffudd
The actor's family attended the premiere

On Wednesday night, he attended the special screening of the Fantastic Four, along with his girlfriend Alice Evans and his family.

And he admitted that wedding bells might be on the horizon for him and actress Evans, who has starred in 102 Dalmatians and The Abduction Club.

"I have been with her for the last five years - you can imagine the pressure I am getting," he said.

But he said he would not disclose any more details - "I don't want to spoil the surprise for her".

'Darker'

Gruffudd is committed to doing follow-ups to the Fantastic Four, but he is also interested in working on other projects, and said he would love to work with directors Martin Scorsese and Peter Jackson.

Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd met his fans at the premiere

"I am definitely going to do something else before we do the second one," he said.

"I would love to do something a bit more diverse, something more mysterious, a bit darker."

He said that working on a special effects movie had been a strange experience.

"To be honest, it's quite hard and tedious, it's not the easiest thing in the world either," he said.

"You need a lot of concentration and a lot of imagination but the rewarding part of it all is seeing it all put together."

The Fantastic Four opens across the UK on Friday.

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