Rufus Finds Ciao Factor

California Chronicle, January 2011
By David Mark

There's something in Rufus Sewell's eyes that suggest he is only in the acting business until he finishes hollowing out a volcano and filling it with henchmen and weapons of unspeakable evil. Has anybody since ever looked so much like a baddie? His ability to play downright rotters seems to go beyond mere performance and into a whole new realm where the cameramen on film-sets around the world keep one eye on the exit in case it all gets a bit too real.

So what can we expect from Rufus now he's playing a nice guy?

Well early indications are we can expect one of the next new detective shows on TV. Rufus stars as the fictional Italian detective Aurelio Zen in three new films for BBC1. Italian actress Caterina Murino stars as Zen's love interest, Tania Moretti,alongside an international cast including Ben Miles, Stanley Townsend, Catherine Spaak and Francesco Quinn.

Set in and around Rome, and based on the best-selling novels by the late Michael Dibdin, the series features many of the combined attractions of Italy and the Dibdin novels - thrilling investigations, fun, warmth and great people. As a result, 'Zen' provides a unique variation to the usual detective shows.

Rufus agrees: "It looks beautiful. The stories are fantastic because they're based on really great novels by Michael Dibdin. I think, potentially, it should be like nothing people have seen before.

"There's nothing really like 'Zen'. In fact, the closest thing to it hasn't been made for a very, very long time. There's a kind of bounce to it that reminds me of stuff from the Sixties. It's fun and I'm having more fun doing this than I've had doing anything for a very long time.

In 'Vendetta', Zen is called upon by the Ministry to re- investigate a multiple murder. Flamboyant millionaire and government construction magnate Oscar Faso and his guests have been shot dead at his lavish villa. Prime suspect and friend of Faso, Renato Favelloni, has "found God" in prison and is retracting his confession, a move which stands to send shockwaves through the government - so Zen must intervene. All the evidence points towards Favelloni's guilt but Zen is convinced he is innocent. Zen heads into the mountains to investigate, reluctant to leave the promise of romance with Tania, the Chief's new assistant.

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