Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"IF you took Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and mixed English upper class in with it, you'd have Hugh. I think he'll be a huge star."
That was Peter Medak speaking ("Prime-Time Players in Dickensian Dress") in 2000, after directing 25-year-old Hugh Dancy in a TV movie version of "David Copperfield." Dancy has done pretty well since then, and lucky Broadway theatergoers will have a chance to see him again, in all his sexy glory, this fall.
CURRENT GIG Just cast in "Venus in Fur," which was a huge comedy hit Off Broadway with a different actor in the role. He'll be the playwright-director who foolishly thinks he's in charge when auditioning a particular young actress (Nina Arianda).
BORN AND RAISED Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.
ALMA MATER Oxford.
AVAILABILITY Married to Claire Danes.
BEST KNOWN FOR (STAGE) Playing the closeted 1950s married guy in "The Pride" on Broadway in 2010.
BEST KNOWN FOR (SCREEN) He was in the films "Black Hawk Down" (2001) and "Ella Enchanted" (2004), as a Prince Charming character, of course. Right now he's the hot new addition to Showtime's series "The Big C," playing a gay cancer survivor who likes Laura Linney and bears.
BROADWAY DEBUT The revival of "Journey's End" (2007), the World War I drama. He played the Laurence Olivier character, prompting Ben Brantley of The New York Times to observe: "[He] has the cheekbones and brooding gaze of Olivier in his matinee idol era. But he doesn't overuse them." ("For Comrades in Arms, Waiting and Nothingness")
POOR HUGH WAS FORCED TO WORK IN THE THEATER DEPARTMENT AS PUNISHMENT BACK IN BOARDING SCHOOL "I didn't want to act. It wasn't like I was waiting in the wings, like 'All About Eve.' It was a refuge, and I found to my surprise that I liked these people." ("Love Interest Breaks Type, Uses Brain")
"Venus in Fur," by David Ives, Samuel J. Friedman Theater, 261 West 47th Street, (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com. Previews begin Oct. 13, 2011. Opens Nov. 8, 2011.
WANT MORE THEATERGOSSIP? Scroll to read about why we hated "Hair." Then search to read about stars like Carey Mulligan, Nicole Kidman, Mark Rylance, Brian Bedford and Cherry Jones.