Mr. Amazing

Ioan's latest premieres in London

Mr. Amazing

by empire |
Published on

Ioan Gruffudd may be heading back to cinemas this summer as the bendy brainiac Mr. Fantastic in The Rise Of The Silver Surfer, but for now just call him William. The Welsh actor’s latest foray onto the screen in Michael Apted’s biopic, Amazing Grace – which premiered tonight in London’s Mayfair – sees him playing the man whose name is synonymous with the abolition of the slave trade in the 19th Century – William Wilberforce. “He was a very interesting man, because he wasn’t radical – he was actually very conservative”, explained Apted, “but he was a great humanitarian who was very interested in social reform – [he was] a curious figure.”

“Before I read the script I was actually very ignorant about the subject”, revealed Gruffudd. “But as soon as I finished it, I thought I could really play this part. I knew Wilberforce was tied to the abolition of slavery, but not specially with the abolition of the slave trade. So, making the movie was an enlightening experience”. However, it seems the actor’s reasons for taking on such an important historical figure were not solely based on a quest for knowledge: “As much as I was educated, I was entertained and inspired. When I was young, I looked up to films like Chariots Of Fire and To Kill A Mockingbird and I hope Amazing Grace is in the same vein”.

This may be a tale of 19th-century politics, but some of the issues raised by the movie still resonate some two-hundred years later. “There are many parallels between the movie and what’s happening today” offered the Apted: “Slavery has always been with us…it’s rampant now in the sex industry.” “If the movie helps to start discussion and shed some light on the subject”, added Gruffudd, “it’s all been worthwhile”.

And so, with a quick turn to face the stairs, Amazing Grace’s main players headed into the auditorium. But not before the 19th-century garb was discarded and the ‘4’ badge was temporarily pinned on: “I’m very, very excited about this one, ”, revealed Mr. Fantastic: “I think FF2 is going to be a big step up from the first movie. Fantastic Four was an origin story and we were primarily concerned with presenting the characters to the world. This time around, the action begins very early on and doesn’t relent until the end of the movie.”

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us