So, after I’d finished with Jamie, I ambled casually over to James for my supposed three minutes, three questions – the answers to which you can find here, within a review of the event. However, no-one came to drag me away so I stayed where I was and asked him a few more!
One of James’ projects in post-production is BBC film Richard 11, one of four medieval big budget films by the corporation, utilising the Shakespeare brand for the arts festival coinciding with next year’s Olympics.
“I play Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk, who, importantly, is edged aside by Bolingbroke. It’s a meditation on the divine nature of Kingship.
“It’s a whole bunch of terrific actors, including Patrick Stewart, Lindsay Duncan, David Suchet and David Morrissey, and will be shown next year as part of the BBC’s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad.”
Considering his ruggedly handsome charm, James has managed to avoid being typecast throughout his career, choosing roles in direct contrast to the one before – but there does seem to have been a bit of a sword wielding hero-fest just lately …
“You do different things and people know you for certain types – there will be some who know me only for Injustice and others for Resident Evil. (I reminded him of Coasting – and of being Jackie’s psychotic love interest in an episode of Taggart!) But being known as Awesome Man With Sword (Ironclad, Camelot, Rome, Solomon Kane, A Knight’s Tale, George and the Dragon) well, that’s not so bad – I’ll take as many of those while I still can!”
TV, film or theatre? As with Jamie, so with James:
“Wherever the good script and good people are, that’s the medium for me. All of them are completely different disciplines but just as exciting. I was recently at The Theatre Royal with Sienna Miller and Sheridan Smith, in Terence Rattigan’s wartime drama Flare Path; being on stage is like being on a high wire – you can’t say ‘cut’ and do it again! And I’m writing and developing a big TV series drama – but it’s top secret at the moment!”
Any advice for Rochester’s community of writers and film-makers?
“Work hard, be original.”
James and Jamie’s presence on Saturday night made an unusual evening into a memorable, magical event, so a heartfelt and massive thank you to them both. If you’ve enjoyed reading these interviews, how about popping over to the Restore Rochester Castle website and showing your appreciation by way of a donation; they, and we, will love you forever!