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23 April 2010
New Theatre graduates star in blockbuster TV roles

Nottingham alumni Ruth Wilson and Theo Taptiklis have starred in two major TV production for the BBC and ITV.

Ruth, a Bafta and Golden Globe-nominated actress is currently starring in ITV’s remake of the 1960s cult classic The Prisoner and is soon to star in a BBC production Luther playing opposite Wire star Idris Elba.

Meanwhile more recent graduate Theo, who performs under the stage name Theo James, was seen playing opposite Billie Piper in the BBC production A Passionate Woman. Both actors learned their craft performing at the New Theatre at The University of Nottingham, the country’s only student-run theatre staging shows on a weekly basis. Theo Taptiklis

James has been hailed by the media as being “one of the year’s brightest new acting graduates”  after having been cast in two films while still in his final year at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school -a small part in Lucasfilm’s Second World War film Red Tails and the new Woody Allen picture, which starts shooting in the UK in July and will see James rubbing shoulders with Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto.


Meanwhile Ruth’s craeer goes from strength to strength. The Prisoner, a reinterpretation of the 1967 British classic, follows Michael, who after resigning from his job, finds himself inexplicably trapped in The Village, a town where people have numbers instead of names. Michael becomes Six and in order to hold on to his identity he must engage in a battle of wits with The Village leader.

Ruth Wilson

Ruth plays 313, a doctor in The Village who gradually becomes a major ally to Six despite being in the service to Two, and says she found the character fascinating to play because there are so many unsaid things going on.

“She has a sophisticated, neat, intelligent look,” said Ruth. “She is a clever woman but she is tortured by everything she has to do. It is strange because I felt we are acting against the look, the look is what The Village creates. She is neat women but has a messy mind. The look goes against what she is going through. In the first episode 313 has to build up a relationship with Six to get him to open up to her.

She initially meets Six in Club More. At that point you have no idea who she is. She then appears in the hospital where Six is waking up and gradually the relationship between Six and 313 grows. It is only when she is talking to Six he starts making her question herself that all her doubts about living in The Village are exposed.

“Eventually she finds herself growing closer to Six but mainly because they have the same doubts and questions. From episode two she becomes his confidant. The turning point of my character comes when it’s revealed that she too is a dreamer, someone convinced another world is out there. As a dreamer she becomes more and more tortured by her imaginings. She can’t work out why they keep coming back to her. She’s like a political outcast. She dreams of another place which in The Village is a crime so she is forced to deny this.”

Ruth enjoyed the realness and fascinating nature of 313. “I found her fascinating to play. In every scene there’s so many unsaid things going on. The women in our version are more interesting than the two dimensional characters in the original. It has also been great to work with Ian because there is a real playfulness that he has.”

Ruth’s performance as Jane Eyre for the BBC earned her a clutch of award nominations including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. Her other television roles include Stephen Poliakoff’s films A Real Summer and Capturing Mary with Dame Maggie Smith. Mad directed by Leo Regan for Channel 4 and Freezing directed by Simon Curtis. Ruth was last seen on screen in the BBC1 drama, Small Island, as Queenie.


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