Toby Stephens prefers the Conflicted Man
Here are a few more tidbits for those desperate to hear more from our newest Rochester. From 'I'm much happier playing messed-up guys rather than the heroic lead. It's dull playing those parts'
With his striking good looks and an acting dynasty to die for – no less than Dame Maggie Smith and the late Robert Stephens for his parents – you'd think that Toby Stephens would be cornering the market in dashing, romantic leading roles.
Instead, his forte seems to be quite the opposite; crazed Bond villains (Die Another Day), tormented Cold War intellectuals (Kim Philby in Cambridge Spies) and, about to start filming, the enigmatic and mysterious Mr Rochester in a new BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre.
'I'm much happier playing messed-up guys rather than the heroic lead,' says 36-year-old Stephens. 'It's dull playing those parts. I'd rather play someone conflicted. They're always more challenging, and you've got more to work with.'
Right now Stephens' physical profile is extremely striking; he's darkened his hair and he's growing some pretty impressive sideburns in preparation to play one of English Lit's most troubled and misunderstood anti-heroes, Rochester, in Jane Eyre.
'The perfect messed-up guy – what more could I ask for?' he laughs
Yay! Sorry… I mean, splendid…