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Toby Jones Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (43)

Overview (3)

Born in Hammersmith, London, England, UK
Birth NameToby Edward Heslewood Jones
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Widely regarded as the one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally, Toby Edward Heslewood Jones was born on September 7, 1966 in Hammersmith, London. His parents, Freddie Jones and Jennie Heslewood, are actors as well. Toby has two brothers: Rupert, a director, and Casper, a fellow actor. He studied Drama at the University of Manchester from 1986 to 1989, and at L'École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris under Jacques Lecoq in Paris from 1989 to 1991. Naturally, his career began on the stage (and continues there), but film and television roles came soon after his studies.

Toby made his film debut with a small role in Sally Potter's experimental take on Virginia Woolf's novel, Orlando (1992), starring Tilda Swinton. Other small film roles included the doorkeeper in Les Misérables (1998) and a memorable turn as the Royal Page in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) with Drew Barrymore.

Roles in the acclaimed Victoria & Albert (2001) and the Helen Mirren-starring Elizabeth I (2005) were balanced with film work, from his voice role as Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) to supporting appearances in Ladies in Lavender (2004) (co-starring his father, Freddie), Finding Neverland (2004), and Mrs Henderson Presents (2005).

He continued stage work during this period, appearing on Broadway in The Play What I Wrote in 2003, a year after winning the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the London production.

Infamous (2006), directed by Douglas McGrath and released in 2006, was Toby's first starring role. His acclaimed portrayal of Truman Capote remained mostly in the shadow of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-winning performance of the author in 2005's Capote (2005).

A steady stream of film roles followed with appearances in Amazing Grace (2006), The Painted Veil (2006), Nightwatching (2007), The Mist (2007), and St. Trinian's (2007). Toby then appeared in three successive films that could have been commercial breakthroughs: kid-lit flop City of Ember (2008), the Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon (2008), and Oliver Stone's W. (2008).

He reprised the voice-role of Dobby in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), appeared in the St. Trinian's sequel, as well as the Charles Darwin biopic Creation (2009) and Dustin Lance Black's post-Milk (2008) directorial outing, Virginia (2010). More Hollywood roles followed with appearances in The Rite (2011), Your Highness (2011), and his first big live-action breakthrough as Red Skull's biochemist Dr. Arnim Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

Even before Toby was announced as Cladius Templesmith in the adaptation of the novel The Hunger Games (2012), his star was on the rise after Captain America, with roles in three Oscar-nominated films: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), My Week with Marilyn (2011), and The Adventures of Tintin (2011). Though chances are he will forever be known by many as Cladius, the announcer for The Hunger Games with the booming voice and penchant for ending his statements with the phrase, "And may the odds be ever in your favor!"

Toby followed up this massive success with roles in Red Lights (2012) for Buried director Rodrigo Cortés and a memorable turn as one of the dwarves in worldwide hit Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). He will next be seen in The Girl (2012), a BBC/HBO co-production in which he stars as Alfred Hitchcock, in the miniseries Titanic (2012), Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio (2012), Susanne Bier's Serena (2014), and he will reprise his role as Cladius Templesmith in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).

Toby lives in London with his family.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous and Charlbury

Spouse (1)

Karen Jones (2014 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Exquisite range of acting qualities, which always offers a staggering work full of generously euphoric delight in roles defined by the brilliant subtlety of his unique palette of nuances.

Trivia (14)

Performs with Hamish McColl as "The Right Size".
Starred on Broadway with Sean Foley & Hamish McColl in "The Play What I Wrote". [2003]
He was awarded the 2002 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role of 2001 for his performance in "The Play What I Wrote" at the Wyndham Theatre, London.
He won the London Film Critics Circle "Best British Actor" for his portrayal of Truman Capote.
His wife Karen is a criminal barrister.
Toby went to Abingdon School with fellow actor, Tom Hollander, and both were contemporaries of the band, Radiohead. They were both born in Oxford and only two weeks apart from each other. Not only that but both are 5 foot 5 inches in height.
In 2011, filmed two movies for release in 2012 in which he plays a character named "Claudius": The Hunger Games (2012) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).
Brother of Rupert Jones and Casper Jones.
In two of his marvelous film performances he played Truman Capote in Infamous (2006) and Capote's agent Irving Paul "Swifty" Lazar in Frost/Nixon (2008).
Has twice played a famous public figure within a year of a more recognized actor playing the same part in another film. In 2006 he appeared in Infamous (2006) as Truman Capote, a role for which Philip Seymour Hoffman had recently won an Oscar. He later appeared in The Girl (2012) as Alfred Hitchcock, the same year that Anthony Hopkins played the part in Hitchcock (2012).
Has two daughters - Madeleine and Holly.
Married his partner Karen after being together for 25 years.

Personal Quotes (43)

It's Toby Jones playing Alfred Hitchcock, not Alfred Hitchcock. We all felt that his silhouette was crucial, so his nose and lips were crucial as well. We had to build it out a bit to get the silhouette. But, with my nose being so small within the proportion of my face, the first nose was too big. I felt like a nose on parade.
It's hard to imagine anyone interested in film not being a fan of Alfred Hitchcock because he's such a key influence on the entire history of cinema - it's hard to escape his shadow.
I didn't sound anything like Capote at the screen test. It was more like Bob Dylan. In his early years. With the flu.
I studied Hitchcock a little bit at University and knew the famous story about the Birds (1968) - that he'd tortured Tippi for a day using real birds. I had no idea that it was a five-day onslaught and that it was the tip of an iceberg that carried on through to another film.
There are things that I would avoid, so I have the choice to say no, when I feel I'm repeating myself too much. But then there could be a reason to do that with a good director. So I think actors have to have a loose philosophy.
There's something in the rhythm and roll of it that is connected to the way Hitchcock thinks and moves. Then there is everything he ingested - the cigar smoking and drinking that's imprinted on his voice.
The prosthetics were interesting because the artist was so good that they could just put a Hitchcock mask on me, but you don't want to do that. You're an actor playing Hitchcock, so it's about how much of that you're going to do.
It's one of those jobs where you go, 'Oh no, I've got to play 'Alfred Hitchcock'. I have to play him even though I know what this is going to involve.'
Four hours of prosthetics every morning, the jowls and the nose, and it was very hot so they're having to attend to it all day, and you're still petrified of so many things, such as, can I speak properly? Hitchcock never quite lost those East End vowels, even though he had the softened California consonants.
I do always feel very proud and flattered by being asked to be a part of American productions playing American characters.
Certainly for my father, there were great times, good times, not-so-good times. He might be shooting a Fellini film for six months, then not working for two months. I'm used to that dynamic.
But I think the children of actors share a certain pragmatic approach. One is denied some of that 'running away with the circus' element of being an actor.
When working abroad you work pretty hard, but with time off, this is the greatest job in the world. You drive. You explore Memphis, or wherever you've landed, or go and see Dr John, or the Californian landscape. And, yes, I've had a few good meals.
Hitchcock's got a very interesting voice; it's a very controlled, measured rhythm that's quite slow and, in that sense, also felt quite controlling in its pace. He retained something from his childhood, that London sound, as well as adopting some of the L.A. sounds... All of this helps you create the character.
I work best when a little scared, when there's so much more than the lines to think about.
They know you're not Alfred Hitchcock, but you need to be enough Alfred Hitchcock for them not to be bothered by it. That's a reassuring thing.
You always get told how important the premiere and doing the press is, but I have suspicions.
All of these red carpet events may seem natural for you journalists, but it doesn't feel natural for actors.
I had to change the shape of my own voice. It was quite hard to pull off and so once I had it, I stayed in Hitchcock's voice all day on set.
I teach for the Book Trust, which promotes reading and writing with children.
It's hard for it to make a mark in this city because London has so much culture to offer.
There's not a huge pile of scripts at home. It's what happens to be on the table at that moment with your availability. And then you have no control over when these things come out.
I get plenty of time to re-engage with the world I'm trying to depict, so I'm not always living in these parallel worlds.
I would absolutely like to play more leading roles. There's no philosophy - well, the only philosophy, I suppose, is to try and do different things.
If you ever have the good fortune to meet Tippi Hedren, she's an amazing woman. You can't quite believe she is the age she is.
Often jobs are un-turndownable even before you read the script. You go, 'Well, I have to do that.'
Every now and then, they ask me to come in and improvise with Stanley Tucci for an afternoon. They fly me off to America, I improvise for an afternoon - it's not the hardest, most taxing job.
Hitchcock is a big ask. I am playing someone significantly older than me and someone significantly bigger than me. The stuff I find very interesting is why certain physical things have come about. How can he be light on his feet when he is so big? How can his weight vary so much? Where does this rather beautiful voice come from?
I often get sent scripts about little men in big situations. There's a comic element to it, which is forces stacked against this little guy, and how is he going to defeat them?
I still don't feel I know Hitchcock at all. I find that the more one looks, the more elusive he becomes. But my admiration for Hitchcock the filmmaker remains undiminished. He is a giant of the cinema and the darkness in him informs his cinematic language. You can't separate one from the other.
I think it will be, as always, interesting to compare different portrayals of Hitchcock. I'm very honored that I'm playing the same part as Anthony Hopkins.
You're playing a character in a drama who happens to be based on someone who existed. It's never going to 'be' that person, but it's based on someone well-known, and you want to create enough of that person for it not to be a distraction.
It's always very strange to have your life dramatized because it never happens like that. Things will be different.
I heard about the project over a year before we began. My American agent said, 'Oh, you might want to read _'In Cold Blood'_ because they're talking about you for Capote, but the script's with Johnny Depp and Sean Penn at the moment.' So, these things take their time to dribble down the food chain.
The script for Infamous (2006) was so poised between tragedy and comedy. It's a dream part. One reads those scripts with a sense of melancholia. When you read a script that good... I remember thinking, 'Oh, this script is too good. They'll never give it to me.'
There is this miraculous thing I heard Hugh Grant talking about - the thing about screen acting is that you can read people's thoughts. You are trying to register something inside and usually the eyes in cinema are where you will register that.
They seem much rarer now, those auteur films that come out of a director's imagination and are elliptical and hermetic. All those films that got me into independent cinema when I was watching it seem thin on the ground.
When I told people I was going to be doing the movie and the voice of Dobby, they were kind of awestruck, the people who knew about Harry Potter. I felt rather guilty that I didn't really understand the scale of the job I was about to take on. Now, I am well aware of what I'm doing, and actually, it feels a very serious acting responsibility.
I don't know if it's harder but when you're playing a real person you want to honor their memory - even if they're a criminal or someone that the public loathed. That can be challenging.
I was a fan of Hitchcock, but more importantly than that, he is such an inscrutable man, and a very carefully inscrutable man. He apparently was blank-faced with a calm and controlled presence. I was immediately anxious and thought, 'How am I going to get behind that?'
I went to meet Joe Johnston, the director, and he's charming. I've been very lucky. Most of the directors I've worked with are charming. But Joe's a particularly charming man, and he showed me lots of designs and, rather memorably, welcomed me to the Marvel Universe.
I've got to tell you, I've played real characters before and people always bring up this word 'impersonation,' and I'm never entirely sure what it means.
The thing about Hitchcock which is quite extraordinary for a director of that time, he had a very strong sense of his own image and publicizing himself. Just a very strong sense of himself as the character of Hitchcock.

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