Take a Girl Like You Cast and Credits
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As soon as Rupert Graves read Andrew Davies's script, he wanted the role of Patrick. "On the surface he's a rogue and he's charming, but there's got to be something more to a character than just surface charm. That's not very interesting in itself; there has to be a darker side. The thing about Patrick is that he's completely obsessed with the gratification of his desires to the point that he blocks out practically everything else. That's potentially quite tragic."
Before Take a Girl Like You, Graves starred in films such as A Room with a View and Maurice, and on television in Masterpiece Theatre's All for Love, Fortunes of War, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. "I won't just do any old script that comes along.... I couldn't say no to this, though. I spend the whole time lying, cheating, sneaking around and having sex and doing scenes with Leslie Phillips. I love the story. I just think there's an absolute honesty about human sexuality that is very hard to reach." Graves received the 1996 Best Actor Award at the Montreal Film Festival for his portrayal of Harold Guppy in Intimate Relations.
Sienna Guillory is fast establishing herself as one of Britain's hottest actresses, with a growing portfolio of film roles, magazine covers, and newspaper stories to her credit. Her turn as the prim schoolteacher Jenny Bunn came as a welcome opportunity to play comedy after roles in Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang); Two Days, Nine Lives; and Masterpiece Theatre's The Buccaneers. "Everything I've done in the last few years has been grim and gritty and traumatic. I've played floozies, psychopaths, assassins, crackheads.... It's nice to do something with a lighter touch, something that makes you laugh but has a serious point to make. I get to wear a lot of great clothes as well."
Hugh Bonneville, who plays Julian Ormerod, regards all the main male characters in Take a Girl Like You as facets of Kingsley Amis's own psyche. "Patrick is the one in the middle, the one who faces the choices that a man can make, but all the secondary characters represent the different options available to him. Graham, for instance, is the chivalrous, virtuous one who never gets what he wants. Lord Archie is an old lecher, the type of man that Patrick could turn into when he's older. Julian is somewhere in the middle. He really likes women, and he's very honest with them. His basic approach is, 'Let's have a bit of rumpy-pumpy and then be friends.'"
Bonneville is an up-and-coming British actor whose credits include performances in Blow Dry, Notting Hill, Madame Bovary, and Mansfield Park.
Actor Robert Daws didn't have to look hard to find something to pity in Dick Thompson, landlord of the strange boardinghouse where Jenny Bunn makes her home. "He's a dirty old man, I suppose," says Daws, "who takes advantage of the situation women find themselves in at that time. Everything about him is slightly dodgy, so of course he's juicy to play. Grotesques always are. Dick is greasy, sweaty, portly, and lopsided, so I was the natural choice. I bring my own clamminess and portliness."
An accomplished television and film actor, Daws is best know for his appearances in Masterpiece Theatre's Jeeves and Wooster.
Emma Chambers plays Martha, Dick's wife and partner in their lodging house, who has been worn down by years of a loveless marriage. After a brief fling with Patrick, she realizes how things could be if she was with a different man.
This isn't the first time Chambers has appeared in a classic adaptation; she played the repulsive Charity Pecksniff in Masterpiece Theatre's Martin Chuzzlewit. "There's a similarity between Kingsley Amis and Charles Dickens. I think they're both very visual writers; they give you little clues to character so that the smallest smirk or turn of the head tells you something. The character of Martha just leapt off the page as soon as I read it."
Chambers has also appeared on television in The Vicar of Dibley and How Do You Want Me? and in the feature films Notting Hill and The Clandestine Marriage.
Lord Archie Edgerstone
Leslie Phillips is a great admirer of Kingsley Amis's work. "I read a lot of his books when they came out -- we all did -- and I thought he was the bee's knees." Phillips is equally a fan of Andrew Davies's scripts. "The character of Lord Archie jumped straight off the page. I didn't have to do any work to make it live; I just said the lines. In a strange way, that's rather disappointing. I'm so used to having to work really hard to make things live. But Archie is there, rounded and real, in the dialogue. It was a breeze."
For more than 60 years, Phillips has had a distinguished career in film and television. His many credits include performances in Empire of the Sun, Out of Africa, and Saving Grace. This summer, he will play the voice of The Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In 1998, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his service to British drama.
Take a Girl Like You Web Credits
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