♦  Very quick - a great entry into the new year for Rufians:

Interview with Rufus about Zen from the BBC breakfast news show. And a video interview with Rufus about Zen from The Guardian.

Happy New Year!
(31 December, thanks GE2 and Gill)

♦  Catch up continues... If you live in the UK you can watch a wee clip from Zen here at the BBC site. If you live elsewhere, no go.

There are two new swooningly illustrated articles relating to Zen: here and here.

And going back a bit, four reviews of Pillars of the Earth: one, two, three, and four.

More soon I hope!
(27 December, thanks Cazbaz, Anniem, GE2, Rueful)

♦ Okay, trying to catch up a bit. On 15 December Rufus and other celebrities took place in this event:

Nordoff Robbins – an organization that reaches out through music to children and adults whose lives are constrained by illness, disability, trauma or exclusion – is excited to announce that none other than The Wanted will be performing at the Nordoff Robbins Carol Service on Wednesday 15th December.

If you haven’t already feasted your ears and eyes on the new boyband sensation, (you might have caught them on the X Factor last week), then you’re seriously missing out as they are already rivaling some of the biggest music acts around today.

Nordoff Robbins is also pleased to reveal that The Wanted will be joined by the UK’s premier barbershop quartet The Great British Barbershop Boys, who released their fantastic debut album ‘Christmas Time’ earlier this month, plus the extremely talented Dragon School Choir from Oxford.

What’s more, you’ll be treated to some wonderful Christmassy readings by some fabulous stars of stage and screen, such as Eileen Atkins, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tara Fitzgerald, Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell and Jack Whitehall.

So please join in for what looks set to be a magical candlelit evening with some exclusive performances, followed by mulled wine and mince pies and all in the beautiful setting of St Luke’s Church, Sydney Street, London.

You can see some photos from this event here.

Zen stuff:

Here are the Salient bits from a longer article about Caterina Murino:

‘My Rufus! I was in love with Rufus from the first time I saw him in the film Dangerous Beauty 12 years ago. I have watched that movie more than 20 times – I know it by heart in English, in French and Italian, and for me Rufus is one of the best actors in the world. He is a god! So I panicked when I had to do an audition with him. I cannot look him in the eyes – but he is so generous, so humble, so there to help and support me. At the end of the casting he came over and said, “I hope you get the part.” I was so happy when I did,’ she says in an accent that, along with her body and her bearing, creates the effect of a latter-day Sophia Loren. [...]

[...] The only problem the couple have is finding time to be together, as their respective careers involve long periods away. Shooting the three upcoming Zen films in and around Rome meant that she and Pierre were apart for three months – Pierre apparently less taken by the idea of his girlfriend co-starring with her ‘god’ Rufus Sewell than Caterina was. Filming her first screen kiss with the actor – in a lift – was particularly difficult.

‘At first I was blushing in every scene, and then one day I said to Rufus, “I have to understand that you are a human being; that you eat like me, that you drink water like me. I have to break up this image I have of you as a god.” It was very hard having to kiss my favourite actor in the world,’ she says, shaking her head at the memory. Shooting scenes together became even more fraught, she reveals, when both of them developed a skin condition that prompted on-set gossip and involved doctors and dermatologists.

‘Rufus and I had this strange thing where we came out with this very painful rash. None of the other actors or the crew were affected, and everybody started thinking “that’s a bit odd”; even the doctors asked, “just you two?” And we had to tell them, “No, no, this is not a romantic thing at all!” In the end they discovered that his trailer and my trailer were infested with, I don’t know how you say this, a small animal that bites you…’ [...]

Erk! Trailers for stars have things that bite them? Yeesh. Here's a quote from the Radio Times, 1-7 January 2010:
Rufus Sewell, sharp-suited and laughably handsome, smoulders like a day-old bonfire as Michael Dibdin's straight-down-the-line Italian detective, Aurelio Zen. Thank heavens he doesn't put on a carbonara-thick fake accent, because that would just be silly. Neither does anyone else in this languid tale of murder and corruption. The laconic, unknowable Zen - separated, living with his mother but with an eye for a comely lady - is dragged into murky waters by a government official after the killing of an influential fixer and his two prostitute companions. A suspect (Greg Wise) has confessed to the crimes, but he's now found God in prison and recanted. Which could be politically awkward though Zen, a model of probity, searches only for the truth. It's a dense tale (from the people who brought us Wallander and DCI Banks) that's occasionally hard to follow. Not that this matters too much, as there are so many lovely things to look at - sunny Italy and, of course, Sewell and his lustrous Italian co-star Caterina Murino.
Articles: here, here, here and here.

Rufus is also scheduled to be on Midweek on BBC Radio 4 at 9 am GMT on Wednesday 29 December (you should be able to listen live at the website). He will also be on Daybreak on ITV 1, anytime after 6 am, on Thursday 30 December.

That's it for today, but more soon.
(Thanks, GE2, Rueful, PrairieGirl, Rai, Anniem)

♦ As always, way behind... but while I catch up here are links to three sets of photos from the premiere of The Tourist in New York on 10 December: Roof looking like a million dollars and Roof looking like a million dollars with his also-looking-like-a-million-dollars lady friend and Roof hanging out with Paul Bettany.

More coming soon....
(22 December, thanks Numbat, Stama, Anyother, Rueful, GE2)

♦ Here's a huge treat: some lucky ladies and gents got to chat to Rufus after the Aurelio Zen Q & A at the Bafta Theatre. And there are three stunning photos as a result. See them here and enjoy!

There is a video interview with Rufus about The Pillars of the Earth here.

There is more and I will be back in a week or so (get to escape the salt mine for a short holiday, woo hoo!).
(26 November, thanks Nell, Ian, Rueful)

♦ So, before you attend the Q&A on 22 November, you can get a first view of Rufus at the Twenty Four Hour Plays Celebrity Gala at the Old Vic, on Sunday 21 November at 7:30 pm. There is a silent auction with all kinds of exciting experiences up for bidding, which unfortunately do not involve Rufus (though if you are a Tom Hollander fan, and under 30, you should check it out...).

(15 November, thanks Neveragain)

♦  Just a quickie: on Monday 22 November at 6:15 pm there will be a preview screening of the first episode of Aurelio Zen at the BAFTA theatre... followed by... a Q & A with Rufus, Caterina Murino, producer Michael Casey and director John Alexander. All for £7.50. Go here to book tickets - you lucky ducks who can do this!

(6 November, thanks Hippinschick, GE2)

♦  Many happy returns to Rufus! There are lots and lots of new photos from the Pillars of the Earth premiere in Berlin (you can see some here) and from a related television program (they will be up soon, but you can visit the Rooftop to see them now).

Roof appeared on BBC Breakfast on 25 October - you can see him here.

As usual... more soon!
(28 October, thanks Stama, Rueful, GE2, Nell)

♦  You can hear a nice interview with Rufus on BBC Loose Ends. It will be up for a week. Roof is on at the end, you can scroll through quickly but Parkinson is worth a listen.

More soon.
(23 October, thanks Gill)

♦  Quick update - Pillars of the Earth is airing in the UK and drawing attention to Rufus, in Tweetland at least (FWIW). You will find a small Pillars Gallery here. I am sure there are more photos on the messy electronic desk; I will try to add them soon.

I have added a couple of older articles: very short blast from the past and build-up to Charles II.

There has also been a lovely Aurelio Zen photo released, here.

Till next time!
(17 October, thanks Rueful, GE2, Rai)

♦  It's been a month, apologies. I have been away (luxuriously in Venice for a week - of course not at a time when Aurelio Zen was there, hahaha - and then in beautiful Bavaria visiting some rellies, I have a minute family, but the few there are are all over the place, most convenient :-)).  So that's my poor excuse.

News - the BBC has put up its "trailer" for the fall/winter season, and Signor Zen has a few turns (including a big smooch). Go here for the BBC Press Office site or here for the Youtube version (slightly larger).

More soon, I hope.
(29 September, thanks Gill, GE2)

♦ A wee sign of life - the site ain't dead! (I am at the end of each day, alas...)   So just a few, unfortunately very small, photos, taken on the set of Zen last month.

And a bit of news, according to Rope of Silicon, The Tourist will come to a cinema near you (well, if you live in New York, I guess) on 10 December. Early Christmas pressie?

I would say "more soon", but I'm afraid to jinx it... so, see ya...
(23 August, thanks GE2, Rai)

♦ Rufians! Just very quick, but a treat: photos of when our Glo met Rufus, on the set of Zen in Rome. I can't come up with any clever phrase about feeling zen that isn't yuck, so let's just say it was a happy encounter. See for yourself here.

More soon...
(29 July, thanks Gloria)

♦ The Pillars of the Earth begins in the US (and Canada, I think) on Friday 23 July. Lots of adverts and links on Youtube (I will get a page together with proper links at some point [promises, promises] [I hope to keep]).

And good stuff like this interview and this one.

In the second article Rufus refers to Tom not being the character he was originally approached for, and here is another comment on this, from the New York Post, 18 July 2010:

Acclaimed actor Rufus Sewell (“Eleventh Hour”) also heads up the cast as hard-working mason Tom Builder, the cathedral’s initial planner. When he was sent the script, Sewell — who has played his fair share of noblemen and royalty in period pieces — fought hard to play Tom.

“It wasn’t their idea,” says Sewell, 42. “But I was interested in playing a straightforward, intelligent working man. There’s something poetic about his soul, his spiritual connection to his work. Of course, if they’d offered it to me, I probably would have campaigned to play something else! They were all really fleshed-out roles.”

More soon, I'm sure!
(18 July, thanks Kygal, Stama, GreenEyesToo)

♦  Yikes! It's been an age - but things were kind of quiet (not in my life, alas, or I would have added a lot kore old stuff... one day, hopefully before I become demented). But, in the short term, here is something new: an interview with Rufus in preview of the beginning of The Pillars of the Earth on Canadian television 23 July. Also you can see the poster from the series here.

I hope to add more soon (once the 31 researchers-in-residence at the salt mine are gone and I scrape my brain off the floor).
(6 July, thanks GreenEyesTwo, Stama)

♦  When it rains it pours (and thank goodness for that!)... Feast your eyes on more photos, in phwoar territory, here !

(10 May, thanks Anefica, GreenEyesTwo)

♦  More Venice photos! Che uomo! See the casual ones here (tummy alert) and the laughing ones here.

So, one of them location managers called at the workplace for ideas for a special house he was looking for, to pitch for bringing the filming of The House of Usher to town.... Yeah, I know we won't get it, and yeah, I know Roof is not really in it (at least not confirmed), but -- ya gotta dream. No?

(8 May, thanks GreenEyesToo, Stama)

♦  Oh man! A visual feast! Rufus in Venice (and the real one, not Cinecittà)!  Click here (and grab the smelling salts).

(28 April, thanks genius-surfer GreenEyesToo)

♦  So here are the couple of other things... from the Daily Mail, Baz Bamigboye on 1 April 2010:

Sizzling Caterina Murino Likes It Hot

Caterina Murino said it's going to be a 'very hot summer in 'Rome', and added, knowingly, 'in all the different meanings of hot'.

What could she mean? When I pressed her, she replied: 'If I go any further and my boyfriend reads this, he's going to kill me!'

Which brings us to the subject of why we were talking in the first place. Caterina, 32, is to star alongside Rufus Sewell in three Zen films for BBC1.

Sewell will play Michael Dibdin's famous literary Italian police crime investigator Aurelio Zen in three, feature-length films, with Caterina playing detective Zen's colleague, the tantalising Tania Biacas.

The television movies will begin shooting on locations in and around Rome in May.

Caterina told me she read Simon Burke's script for the first film, 'Vendetta', in one sitting.

'Normally it takes me a week to go through a script, but I got very excited by this and kept reading and reading. 'I am going to be the secretary of Zen's boss, the chief of police, and sometimes I help him in a murder case. 'We are secretly in love, but there's a problem because I am married. We don't know how to explain this secret love, but I have a feeling we'll sort it out,' she teased.

Those of you who saw Casino Royale may well remember Caterina from her turn on the beach, and in her house (cough), with Mr. Bond...

The second thing is an article which will tell you about Rufus's mum's house and show you a picture of the two of them (nice!). (Click on "original article".)

(20 April, thanks Dianne, GreenEyesTwo)

♦  Rufians - it's a good day... you can see some absolutely fabulous of Rufus striding along in Los Angeles here. And Starz has put up a Facebook page for The Pillars of the Earth, and there you can see this photo. And you can also watch a video preview, in which Rufus makes a few appearances. You can see screen caps from the preview here.

I have a couple of other things which I will be back with soon.
(10 April, thanks GreenEyesTwo, Mia, Judypatooty, Dreamer)

♦  A very quick update (real life is a shambles, clinging on desperately to a very aged and sweet parental unit). You can see some great production photos from The Pillars of the Earth here on the Rooftop Message Board. They are exclusive to the Rooftop from Tandem Productions: enjoy!

And... in the United States, the Starz channel has picked up The Pillars of the Earth and will show it starting in July. You can read an article about this here.

One last item. Here are the pertinent bits from a long and interesting article on Emily Woof, which you should read here  (The Observer, 21 March 2010):

Once Upon a Life: Emily Woof

When a surprise role opposite Rufus Sewell catapulted her from little-known stage performer to big-screen leading lady, Emily Woof thought she'd found her vocation. But here she reveals how her search for stardom left her lost and adrift from who she really was.


Rehearsals took place at a beautiful country house and lasted three weeks. As far as I remember, Rufus Sewell and I were the only two actors, but that is probably because I was shy and completely in awe of Rufus. He was beautiful, rakish and charming – not like a real person at all. He'd just finished making a film in Hollywood. He seemed part of another world – one where famous people hung out with other famous people; a world of celebrity, money and movies. Our characters in The Woodlanders were taciturn types who, although they loved each other, had little to say, and once we'd gone over our lines a couple of times there was nothing much to do. We'd go for long lunches in country pubs and Rufus would entertain us with stories of Hollywood. Phil would talk about the documentaries he'd made in China. It should have been lovely, but to me it was unnerving. I was used to the intense struggle of making my own work, of pitting myself against myself, of pushing my body to extremes, and the nonchalance of our preparations seemed all wrong. Surely, I thought, we should be doing more.


I miss certain things – the early mornings, arriving at a set, not knowing quite where you are, feeling afloat, suspended from the real world. I miss the complicity with other actors during a scene, especially those who have a reckless ability to throw themselves deep into their characters – Andy Serkis, Richard Roxburgh, Ian Hart, Jodhi May, Bobby Carlyle, Delroy Lindo, Samantha Morton… I miss the simple and contained challenge of getting a scene right. I miss the unreal intimacy of it all. There have been some truly lovely moments. Who wouldn't want to do 20 takes of a kiss with Rufus Sewell?

Indeed. She has written a novel, Emily has, and it will be out on April 1.

That's it for the moment. More soon when I regroup.
(24 March, thanks Ukelelehip, Rai)

♦  Call me if you get even more work!   Our Rufus is not only going to be Aurelio Zen, he is also appearing, in an apparently more-than-one-scene cameo, with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist, currently filming in Paris and other pleasant locations.

The director is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, he of the great name, great height (6'7") and great earlier film The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen). You can see an exclusive video clip of filming at the French Premiere site.

You can see a couple of cute caps from the video here.

You can read a blurb about the project and seem some photos at accidentalsexisness.com.  You can also see the photos, and others, here. Ain't it lovely it when the gorgeous are cast together. :-)

And, going back to Zen here is some good news for the 2011 television season in North America, from a longer article:

PBS will also air Aurelio Zen, a three-part detective series starring Rufus Sewell (The Eleventh Hour) as the Italian sleuth. The show is based on author Michael Dibden's novels and is being shot in Italy.
(27 February 2010, thanks Rai, GreenEyesToo, Dreamer, Rueful)

♦  Wooo hooo!!! The new project is revealed! Rufus will play the fictional Italian detective Aurelio Zen for the BBC. Comparisons are already being made to Wallander. Ex-cell-ent. Here is a snippet to that effect from the Broadcast website:

BBC1 is planning a "hot, passionate" detective series and a look at single fatherhood in two major dramas series steered by head of independent drama Anne Mensah.

'Wallander' producer Left Bank Pictures will make the 3 x 90-minute 'Zen', which is based on Michael Dibden's Aurelio Zen detective novels and will explore Mafia corruption in Rome. Rufus Sewell will star in the series, which will be filmed in the Italian capital from May and is lined up to air this year. Mensah said: "Whereas Wallander was cool and Nordic, this is hot, passionate and Italian. Wallander says something about Sweden and its loss of cultural innocence partly because there is the realisation of this corruption below the surface - but in Italy all the corruption is on the surface."

Read more about the series in the BBC press release.

In other news, you can see a bunch of pics of Rufus (looking like a zillion dollars) out and about in Hollywood this month, if you click here.

(18 February 2010, thanks Rai, Gillian, GreenEyes2)

♦  A bit more about the Face Booth project (mentioned 1 January) can be found here. A direct line to Rufus's comtributions can be found here. (The 2000 message remains my favourite: I've just downed (not alone!) the bottle of Veuve C. which we didn't get a chance to guzzle on my mum's 90th birthday - it really would have been a shame to leave it in the fridge!).

(5 February 2010, thanks GreenEyes2)

♦  Quick update to the Salisbury Playhouse news last posted. The event with Nocturne - The Romantic Life of Frederic Chopin with Lucy Parham at the piano, and Harriet Walter and Rufus Sewell narrating (subject to availability) will be repeated on Sunday 18 July 2010 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available for £12, £16, £22, or £24.

(3 February 2010, thanks maz)

♦ So it seems that they were hoping to have Rufus as part of a fundraising event in support of Salisbury Playhouse on 14 February, but unfortunately he is not available...but it seems that he may appear in July. Stay tuned for more information.

Still adding articles. Sorry it's such a slow-boat-to-China process. But it continues!

(31 January, thanks GE2, maz)

♦ Just a quick note to say that articles are being (slowly) added to the Reading Room.

♦ In 2000 Rufus and many other celebs took part in a charity project called Face Booth. The project is being relaunched (end of the decade and all that) and there will be a television program in the UK on Sky Arts, 2 January at 7 or 8 pm (check local listings, as they say). You can read about the project and the show here. It's not clear whether Rufus is involved this time or will be featured in the program, but here is his 2000 contribution: my all-time favourite new millenium message!

(1 January 2010 - Happy New Year! Thanks Rueful)