ON DVD > WATCHING AT HOME.Byline: ROB LOWMAN
Welsh Actor Ioan Gruffudd Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced IPA: /ˈjoʊæn ˈgrɪfɪð/, ) (born October 6 1973) is a British actor from Wales. (pronounced YO-an GRIFF-ith) says he didn't know a lot about 18th-century English reformer William Wilberforce William Wilberforce (24 August 1759–29 July 1833) was an English politician, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812), a philanthropist, and evangelical Christian who, as a leading abolitionist headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade, before playing him in the biopic bi·o·pic
A film or television biography, often with fictionalized episodes.
Informal a film based on the life of a famous person [bio(graphical) + pic(ture)] "Amazing Grace "Amazing Grace" is a well-known Christian hymn. The words were written late in 1772 by Englishman John Newton. They first appeared in print in Newton's Olney Hymns, 1779 that he worked on with William Cowper. ."
"To tell you the truth ... I didn't realize he was so specifically about the slave trade slave trade
Capturing, selling, and buying of slaves. Slavery has existed throughout the world from ancient times, and trading in slaves has been equally universal. Slaves were taken from the Slavs and Iranians from antiquity to the 19th century, from the sub-Saharan ," says the 34-year-old Gruffudd, known more in America as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic in the "Fantastic Four This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. " films.
Wilberforce, born in 1759, helped bring about the end of the slave trade in the British Empire British Empire, overseas territories linked to Great Britain in a variety of constitutional relationships, established over a period of three centuries. The establishment of the empire resulted primarily from commercial and political motives and emigration movements and then slavery itself in 1807, more than a half century before our own Civil War.
"It would take me 10 lifetimes to achieve what he did. He was extraordinary. He couldn't sit still for a minute," says Gruffudd about the man who championed many other causes, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is any of a number of animal welfare organisations whose operations include protecting and providing shelter to animals in danger. , keeping pet hares around his house.
And if Wilberforce sounds like a bit of a mad man, Gruffudd masterfully captures the intensity of the reformer in Michael Apted's film. The actor says they were lucky to have the director of "Coal Miner's Daughter" at the helm.
"The script is a bunch of talking heads, really. But a director of his caliber and his experience was able to bring some kind of movement into the film. You never felt you were just watching people talking."
And it didn't hurt to populate the film with a slew of fine British actors -- Rufus Sewell, the brilliant Michael Gambon, Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds.
"What an education for a young actor to work with these guys."
And then there was Albert Finney as Wilberforce's mentor, John Newton, a former slave trader who wrote the song that gives the film its title.
"Michael wanted to work with Albert Finney since he started and was delighted when Albert agreed to make the film," says Gruffudd, whose next films are a small role in "Fireflies in the Garden," starring Julia Roberts ("I fell in love with the script and wanted to be in it") and "Moon Princess" ("another fantasy world").
Besides his oratory skills, Wilberforce was known for his voice. "People would come from far and wide to hear him sing; so there was a bit of pressure to be truthful to that aspect of his character," says Gruffudd.
That meant singing "Amazing Grace."
"Being Welsh, of course we all believe we can sing; it's part of our culture. So I was very happy to announce it was me singing on the soundtrack."
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tr.v. en·slaved, en·slav·ing, en·slaves
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Ioan Gruffudd plays 18th-century English reformer William Wilberforce in the biopic "Amazing Grace."