Profile - Toby Jones

Toby Jones

Name Toby Jones

Born 7 September 1967, Oxford, England

Background In 2001, the diminutive British actor premiered his self-penned monologue – Missing Reels at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show was an entertaining account of how his role as a stalker in the Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant rom-com Notting Hill ended up on the cutting room floor. Back then, the recollections of a struggling actor dismayed at the excision of his part in what was then his most significant film to date were funny and poignant. Now, bearing in mind Jones has since become a ubiquitous and widely celebrated performer, Missing Reels seems preposterous. Having made his film debut as a valet in Orlando, and subsequently spent the next ten years playing a series of unnamed waiters, civil servants and page boys, in 2002 Jones voiced Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and then knocked out everyone with his terrific turn as Truman Capote in Infamous. Significant and scenestealing roles in quality Hollywood productions as varied as The Painted Veil and The Mist followed. At London Film Festival last month he appeared in two of the most highly anticipated films, Frost/Nixon and W. (in which he plays a pitch and picture perfect Karl Rove).

What’s he up to now? Currently filming the Charles Darwin’s biopic Creation with Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly, after which he’ll rejoin W director Oliver Stone for his My Lai massacre movie, Pinkville.

What he says about Karl Rove ‘Rove is definitely an enigmatic and elusive character. The challenge of playing him is that he manages to be both there and not there at the same time. Oliver and I discussed his humour too – no matter how much people hammer away at him in an interview, there’s a confidence in him. Nobody can touch him and he seems to be slightly amused by this.’

Interesting fact Jones played alongside his father, the great thespian Freddie Jones, in Ladies in Lavender.

W is on general release from Fri 7 Nov. See full review


  • 3 stars
  • 2008
  • US
  • 2h 9min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Oliver Stone
  • Written by: Stanley Weiser
  • Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Sipes, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd

The American aphorism that suggests 'any boy can grow up to be president' is blandly dramatised in Stone's outrageously timed and puffed-up film, the first biopic to consider the life story of a sitting US president. Brolin plays George W Bush Jr, a hard-drinking fratboy who, after flirtations with sporting goods and the…

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