Ioan Gruffudd – Five surprising facts about the Liar star

Hollywood star Ioan Gruffudd is returning to British TV for the first time in a decade to star in psychological thriller Liar. Get to know the actor a little better ahead of his small-screen comeback.

Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd will team up with Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt for a tense new thriller on ITV about one couple’s wildly differing accounts of what happened on a first date.

It marks a rare return to British TV drama for the actor who has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters including Fantastic Four, Titanic and Black Hawk Down.

[Liar episode 4 review: Thriller takes even darker twist]

As we get ready to be hooked by his new series, we find out more about the star of film and TV.

[How many episodes of Liar are there?]

He started out as a Welsh language star

Gruffudd is a real champion of the Welsh language – he began his acting career in the Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm, in which he starred from 1987 to 1994, and took part in plenty of stage productions in his mother tongue.

In 2003, he was inducted into Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank of druid to recognise his contribution to Welsh culture.

He’s played some key British characters on screen

The actor has portrayed some very famous Brits on film.

He led the British contingent in 2008 film W., which starred Josh Brolin as George W. Bush, where he played prime minister Tony Blair.

Reaching further back into political history, he also starred in 2006’s Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce, who campaigned to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

He’s featured in adaptations of some very well-known works

Gruffudd has taken on some of the best-known literary characters to make the transition to screen stars.

He played Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic, in the 2005 and 2007 film adaptations of Marvel comic Fantastic Four alongside Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, before the superhero adventure was rebooted with a different cast in 2015.

A 1999 TV movie of the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations featured the actor in the lead role of orphan Pip, with Charlotte Rampling as Miss Havisham.

Gruffudd played Horatio Hornblower, the title character in C.S. Forester’s series of novels about the Napoleonic Wars, over eight TV movies from 1998 to 2003.

He was also one of the key cast in the hit early noughties adaptation of John Galsworthy’s Forsyte Saga, in which he played Phillip Bosinney in a cast that included Damian Lewis, Gina McKee and Rupert Graves.

[Read more: Joanne Froggatt looks worlds away from Downton Abbey as she films new drama]

Aidan Turner may be synonymous with Poldark these days, but in a 1996 TV movie that starred John Bowe as the sultry Cornish gentleman, Gruffudd played his son Jeremy.

He’s very musical

Before he took up acting full time, Gruffudd was an accomplished oboist and did his home country proud by playing with the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra.

He won prizes for his baritone singing while at school and has credited his musical background with spurring on his acting career.

Gruffudd has said: “As a Welshman, I grew up in a culture of singing and performing with music, and I think it was through this performing that I got my confidence as an actor.”

He once starred in a Westlife video opposite Claudia Schiffer

You read that right. The stage and screen star agreed to be signed up by Westlife for their video to accompany a cover of Uptown Girl.

In his defence, it was a Comic Relief charity single and Schiffer, who played the Uptown Girl, was also joined by some other unlikely famous faces including Cold Feet star Robert Bathurst and Pride and Prejudice actor Crispin Bonham-Carter.

Ioan Gruffudd can be seen in Liar from Monday September 11 at 9pm on ITV

[Read more: Where is Liar filmed?]

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