If you're going to do a series about ancient Rome there's just no point in trying to make it disinfected.
People would often say of Purefoy that he was almost too good looking to be a true star in the past. One critic noted: "There is a throat-slashing, a stabbing, a head-butting and a decapitation All this violence leaves little time for sex, but Mark Antony still finds time to ravish his German kitchen maid because his lover is getting ready for Caesar's funeral and is not in the mood. After all, the blood-letting is one of the few historically authentic elements of Rome. Holly and I never argued about Jojo or property, neither of us was unfaithful, and that took an awful lot of the poison out of it.
His other big relationship was with Cold Feet star Fay Ripley. You didn't get a good jacket for playing Hamlet. Purefoy refers to himself as "a serial monogamist", although his reputation is something of a heartbreaker.
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ES Money. I think the audience can tell that there's hot blood running through those veins. This time around, it is the eye-popping violence that has attracted their focus.
If your career is based on you looking young, you're fucked, aren't you, when you're 50? Life isn't always black and white. And for a short amount of time you get to be somebody else, and behave in ways that maybe you'd like to behave, but can't, as yourself. When it was launched, Rome was criticised for historical inaccuracy: something about there being too many Brazilians among the naked ladies, but the critics seem to have relaxed into its fleshy comforts.
It's about escaping, probably. There will come a time when he will watch the DVDs and then he'll go: 'What did you do? You can be in a maternity ward seeing being born and 20 minutes later watch somebody die. He is, of course, smart enough to know that he won't get far complaining about being too handsome, but the thought lingers behind much of what he says.
We were Romeo and Juliet together. There's no sense of 'Oh, I've seen this one before, here it comes. The mother of his son is Holly Aird, star of the television series Waking the Dead. ES Mag. I was 17, you know. In particular, the full-frontal nudity made him a gay pin-up in the US, where the series was hugely popular. When Purefoy's son talks to him about acting, he often asks whether his dad is playing a goodie or a baddie. They were together for 11 years. The less you can show what's going on inside the character, the less characters you're going to play.
Believe me, I can look at the episode, and go, 'Yep, that's me. And I'm This will get worse.
Twenty days a month were spent on location, and Purefoy "bust a gut" to get home to London whenever he could to see his son. Being good at sport helped. Purefoy was brought up in Somerset by middle-class parents who split up when he was four.
James purefoy and jessica adams
Hospitals are extreme places. But it wasn't mine. So what can a proud dad show his boy? I won't say whose it was, but there was a penis in the series that may have been slightly enhanced.
Register here. One of them was drama. At school, he says, there was an expectation of the life he was being prepared for. He was a boarder at Sherborne in Dorset, which he didn't enjoy, though he no longer wants to labour the point.
He has had two high-profile relationships.
In winter. He was planning to take exams to allow him to become an operating theatre assistant, when his father intervened, urging him to go to college and sit his A-levels. His girlfriend Jessica Adams is an art historian who worked on the series, and has been working with their mutual friend, director John Maybury, on other projects.
He had a sort of baby-faced beauty. Pupils were expected to go into industry, the military or law. ES Best. Rome was mentioned at its launch in the same breath as I, Claudius, but it has developed into an enjoyable version of EastEnders-in-togas, more concerned with its orgies of sensationalism than historical veracity.
She lives close to me, and we look after Jojo as a team. It might be easier to ask what he didn't do.
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You could plant barley in these lines. Mark Antony changed that. On one hand, incredibly sophisticated, civilised and literate; on the other, they were completely brutal and wouldn't think twice about doing the most appalling things to each other. However, an interview from a special-effects technician who mentioned 'digitally altering' the appearance of penises for actors who 'didn't want to remove their G-strings' casts doubt on the veracity of Purefoy's nude scene. I'm blessed, really, because you read about some people who split up. Mine's all mine, I'm afraid.
I think we were too young. You grow apart sometimes.
I know what's coming. Rome was a big commitment, which dominated his life for the two years of filming. And it's not particularly useful. The Escapist. The Reveller. And Purefoy? I used to put people in fridges.
His mother, a businesswoman, ran an employment agency in Yeovil, while his dad, a farmer, became an agent for a local Tory MP Purefoy supports Labour. Not registered? So it's not just the sex, but the level Mark anthony naked violence there was in that world. He left school at 16, and worked as a hospital orderly for two years. Among London's chattering classes - who are nevertheless glued to the screen - the relentless diet of gore has become something of a moral dilemma: whether to allow their children to witness such slaughter in the name of education.
Towards the end of our conversation he suddenly gets very animated about Botox, and a story he read in the paper, in which a taxman rejected an actress's claim for the treatment. We talk nearly every day. Ageing, albeit gently, along with playing such a gutsy part, has been a blessing in terms of broadening his appeal. The Guardian's Nancy Banks Smith declared: "From the opening titles, to the last shot of Vorenus, drenched in blood, swinging the head of the man who [he thought] raped and killed his children, Rome keeps you open-mouthed.
The trick is to see it not as a failure, but as part of your life. Well, he's certainly charming company, engagingly self-deprecating, and apparently hot-blooded. It can also be the most hurtful, because when things start going wrong, you've never felt anything like that before. The more Botox you have, the less your face can move. And we're still really good friends.
His route into acting was unconventional. He gets a little misty-eyed about the notion of first love. On the day I meet him in a photographic studio in Islington, he is doing a cover shoot for a gay magazine.
The Optimist. That's how we started. But, as if to underline his metrosexual appeal, the shoot he is doing the next day is for Vogue. Sit down and talk to a relationship counsellor about how to break up.
I worked in the mortuary for a bit. I love her dearly. In some things there are bad people who've got good hearts, or good people who've got bad hearts, and it's just a little bit more ambivalent and ambiguous. Mark Antony, he concedes, is mostly bad. We never had lawyers. He could be referring to anything from rough sex to the bludgeoning to death of a clerk, who had the audacity to compare Purefoy's character, Mark Antony, to Helen of Troy not a good thing, apparently.
We were just young, and we probably went out with each other for a bit too long.