Costume dramas cast him as a floppy-fringed dreamboat even though he wasnt actually posh. Now Rupert Graves is playing a rapping Roman in the latest Horrible Histories romp
Rupert Gravess eldest son got a nasty shock recently when he went on a school trip to see the 1987 Merchant Ivory adaptation of EM Forsters gay love story Maurice. He didnt know I was in it, the actor says over a morning cappuccino in a north London brasserie. He went, Argh! No way! and ran out. He actually fled the cinema? Yeah. I cant watch my dad naked on screen in front of all my mates. Cant do it. He might also wish to steer clear of A Room with a View, which his father made with the same team two years earlier his film debut, in fact and in which he is seen throwing off his clothes to cavort in the lake and scamper through the undergrowth. Hes not prudish. But seeing your dad naked is a lot for a lad to take.
Some people would be positively thrilled at the prospect of a naked Rupert Graves: his devoted fans, the GravesDiggers, for example, or Mark Gatiss, screenwriter and star of Sherlock, in which Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. Ive had a crush on Rupert Graves since I was 14, Gatiss admitted in 2014, then added: Who hasnt? Graves, 56, who is today wearing round-framed glasses and a bedhead of salt-and-pepper hair, keeps his kit on in his new film, Horrible Histories the Movie: Rotten Romans, a big-screen version of the popular CBBC franchise which comes on like Monty Python Jr. He plays a centurion whose unexpected pauses keep wrong-footing his underlings. Thinking he is telling them to attack, they gather up their weapons in preparation, when what he has really said, if theyd only waited, is: We attack! would be the words of a rash man. Theres nothing here to embarrass any of Gravess five children, give or take the rap he delivers on horseback (sample line: Ive got 99 problems but a bridge aint one).
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