Rupert Penry Jones: “I don’t have a problem with sex scenes”

The Spooks and Silk actor talks about his first crush on Patsy Kensit, kissing men and his dreams of playing a superhero


What can’t you miss? 


Game of Thrones, for my sins. I was up for a part in it and that’s why I started watching – to see how it went – and got hooked. I love how epic and gothic it is, and the whole idea of this medieval fantasy world. I’m a bit of a big kid. Before that my guilty pleasure was Homeland.

What would you resurrect? 

I loved The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy. But I would bring back The Saint – he was a sort of 60s Robin Hood, played by Roger Moore. 

Would you cast yourself? 

I would love to, although I think it’s time to put the spies and procedural shows behind me. That’s why it was great to do the suspense thriller The Last Weekend (due to be broadcast in autumn). I play a high-flying lawyer, but it’s not about his job, it’s about relationships and jealousy… 

Have you enjoyed sporting a wig in Silk?

I try and wear it as little as possible! The wig I had made for me got lost so I’ve a secondhand one and it’s itchy. No, the thing I enjoy most is Peter Moffat’s writing and working with the others – they’re superb.

What’s the most difficult thing you’ve had to do as an actor?

I don’t have a problem with sex scenes, but I’ve had to kiss men now and again in my career and that was quite a tough call. 

Is it also tough watching your wife, Irish actress Dervla Kirwan, kiss another actor? 

It’s not comfortable, put it that way… 

Who controls the remote? 

I do. Our two children are only allowed to watch TV at the weekend and we try to make them watch the channels that don’t have ads otherwise they start asking us to buy lots of things. 

What makes you turn off? 

I’m sick of reality shows. It’s cheap TV taking up time when good drama could be on and should be on. 

Your brother Laurence acts in Los Angeles. Are you ever tempted to cross the pond? 

I’d never say ‘never’ but it’s a difficult thing to do when you’ve got young children. It would have to be something very special. 

Who was your first crush? 

Patsy Kensit. She was on Top of the Pops and I remember pressing record on the video recorder even though I didn’t know who she was or what tape was in there; I didn’t mind what got recorded over. 

Who would you invite to dinner? 

I’d like to meet Jack Black. School of Rock is one of the funniest films I think I’ve ever seen. Everything he is in I enjoy, even Gulliver’s Travels. He just makes me smile.

What’s your favourite film? 

Depends what mood I’m in. Kick Ass is something I’ve watched a few times and is great fun. I’m a sucker for Marvel stuff; I’d love to play a superhero.


You’ve played spies, detectives and now a barrister… If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
I’d be a beach bum. I’d work in a bar on a beach or be a surf teacher, although I’d have to learn to surf first! 

1. Poirot or The Killing?
The Killing 
2. Jamie Oliver or Nigel Slater? 
Jamie Oliver
3 Football or cricket?
4. Episodes or Mock the Week?
5. David Attenborough or Bear Grylls?
David Attenborough

Rupert Penry-Jones is in the Silk series finale – tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1