Movie Star Reveals His Secret

Wales/June 3, 2001
By Rachel Mainwaring

Hollywood heart-throb Ioan Gruffudd today reveals his best-kept secrets in his most revealing interview ever.

And in it, the 102 Dalmatians star reveals: how he got mixed up in a religious 'cult' when he was studying at RADA; how he's out of work after turning down major theatre roles; the 'tests' he uses to check whether a girl is serious about him or is just a fame-seeker; how he wants his kids to have a Welsh education and be able to speak his language.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ioan, from Cardiff, who's currently starring in Sara Sugarman's Very Annie Mary, has admitted he's become something of an expert when it comes to knowing whether a woman is a serious prospect or not. And he reckons it's all in the way a woman acts if he says he wants to go and talk to his mates or his mum!

The dark-haired actor said: "You're in a social situation, and she comes across and starts talking, and when you say that you want to join your mates, she throws a wobbly and says something like 'Oh, you're all the same.'

"It happened the other night, when I was out with my parents, and this girl started chatting to me. When I said I had to say goodbye to my mam and dad, she got a bit stroppy. That's when I know it's not serious.

"You can spot the ones who come on at you for all the wrong reasons." Ioan, who was once romantically linked with former All Saint Nicole Appleton, said he is currently seeing someone although it's very early days' but he's quite sure that he'll know when he's fallen in love.

"If it happens, it happens. I'll know about that," he said. "Frankly, in the last year I've just been too busy. Still am."

Ioan admitted he'd love to settle down in Wales with a wife and family. "I'd like to settle down with someone. When? I don't really know. But yes, I would like my kids to have a Welsh education and be able to speak the language. A nice place in the hills with some land around it and a few chickens to raise.

"That's the ideal world but it all rather depends on the girl doesn't it?" And would the lucky girl be an actress? "Well, I've thought about that, and there are advantages and disadvantages - but having someone with you who understood what you did and the way you work and the hours it involves would help, wouldn't it?"

Ioan, who lives with fellow Brit actor and best mate Matthew Rhys, trained at RADA but admitted he had some tough times there.

The star, whose family are devout Chistians, said: "I was at RADA and I hadn't been going to chapel. A guy stopped me in the street and asked if I would like to go to church. I thought it was a sign."

It was the London Church of Christ, which Ioan describes as being like a cult. He said he went and found himself at "a brilliant service" which led to Bible studies. "I went because I felt guilty. Then they started pointing the finger, denying I was a Christian."

He claims the Church demanded that he left his then girlfriend Charlotte and hand over a cut of his income. "I almost did, I was in such a state, really desperate. My mum had to come up to London to sort my head out."

Now, Ioan - who will be seen on ITV in two Hornblower episodes over the summer - is not sure when the next job will come up. After working alongside Glenn Close in 102 Dalmatians, he's keen to make it in Hollywood.

He has not worked for a couple of months and turned down major theatre roles to take film parts that have failed to materialise. But the dashing young actor remains quietly confident that his time will come. "That's my dream, I can almost taste it, touch it, it's just around the corner," he said.

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