Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hump Day Hottie - Laurence Fox

I'm a Johnny come lately to the PBS Mystery series INSPECTOR LEWIS, having just started watching it in the third series, but I recently caught up with the first series on DVD, and I have to admit that I am quite smitten with Laurence Fox who plays James Hathaway, Lewis's partner.  He's a tall drink of water he is, incredibly fair and rangy but there's something compelling about both the character and the actor.

Laurence Fox comes from British theatrical royalty like the Redgraves.  His great grandfather was the playwright Frederick Lonsdale, his father is actor James Fox, his uncle the actor Edward Fox and his other uncle Robert Fox is a producer.  His cousin Emilia (daughter of Edward) is also a well known actress who played the second Mrs. DeWinter in the PBS series Rebecca (the same role played by her mother Joanna David).  So acting is in his genes.

He went to the posh public school Harrow (the same school Winston Churchill attended) where he felt like an outcast because most of the boys came from posh aristocratic backgrounds.  He says now that it has helped him play toffs on screen. Rebellious and lonely, he spent more time chasing girls than studying. He was actually expelled before taking his A-levels. Although he was eventually allowed to take them, he was unable to get a place at University (unlike his Cambridge educated character).  After two years kicking around doing odd jobs, he finally went to RADA.  However, he got into trouble there because he kept taking jobs which was against school policy.

Since graduating in 2001, he has done film, TV and theatre.  He met his wife Billie Piper (Rose in Dr. Who and Belle in THE SECRET DIARIES OF A CALL GIRL) while doing a play together. They got married in 2007 and welcomed son Winston in 2008.  The character he plays on INSPECTOR LEWIS has so many layers its like peeling an onion. Despite going to a posh public school and having a Cambridge education, Hathaway doesn't come from a posh background.  He plays world music on guitar and is trying to quit smoking.  The relationship between Lewis and Hathaway is fascinating since Lewis now finds himself in the same position that his former partner Morse was in. Lewis is old school while Hathaway is fully conversant with modern techniques as well as social media. It's fun to watch the two of them come together as well as clash as they solve cases.

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