Russell Tovey is known for his work on Being Human, Years & Years, and The History Boys. He started acting as a child and since then has been involved in a number of TV, film and theatre productions. Most recently he's appeared in Hulu thriller series The Sister, starring as Nathan Redman, a man who is haunted by his dark past.
But there's a lot you might not know about the British star, from his interesting journey to becoming an actor and his aspirations when he was younger, to that ketchup advert he starred in when he was just 12 years old.
1. He started out as a child actor
Russell Tovey started acting when he was 11 years old. He joined a local drama club and caught the attention of a talent agent, but he took on so many projects that his father was worried he was missing out on important schoolwork. However, his mother convinced him that Russell could continue acting despite him missing chunks of his secondary school education. His first television role was in 1994, when he was cast in Mud, a CBBC children's series.
2. He starred in an award-winning advert for ketchup
One of the many jobs Russell took on when he was younger was an advert for Heinz ketchup. He got paid £900 for the work, some of which he spent on a Sega Megadrive! He told The Guardian: "My big advert was for ketchup. I come home from school, cook my brother and sister their dinner, ride my bike in the garden. Remember that one? People cried at that advert. It won awards. I was 12."
3. He enjoys playing darker characters
Russell Tovey has expressed his desire to play darker characters. In a 2008 interview with Attitude, he said: "I want to play really dark characters." When asked if he considered himself to be "dark", he added: "No. I think I’m alright, I think I’m a happy chappy."
4. He has done voiceover work in addition to acting
Russell narrated Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents between 2011 and 2015. The documentary series aired on BBC Three and he lent his voice to every televised episode. In addition to this, he's narrated audiobooks including The Picture of Dorian Gray, High Fidelity, and he took over from Rupert Grint to narrate the Tom Gates series.
5. He is an author and playwright
Russell has written three plays, and one of his short stories was published in women's magazine Company. He also wrote a short film, Victor, which The Independent reports: "Is about an old guy whose wife dies. He's always been gay and he falls in love with this rent boy...".
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6. He originally wanted to be a history teacher
Before going into acting, Russell wanted to be a history teacher. When he was younger he revealed he was an avid collector of various things and his parents even bought him a metal detector so he could go exploring. This inspired him to become a history teacher, but his future plans changed after watching Dead Poets Society, The Goonies and Stand By Me which made him want to be an actor instead.
Russell Tovey's Fact File
How old is he?
Russell Tovey is 39 years old. He was born on 14 November 1981.
Is he married?
No. Russell Tovey is in a relationship with personal trainer Steve Brockman.
Does he have children?
No, Russell does not have any children.
Where was he born?
Russell Tovey was born in Billericay, Essex, England.
How tall is he?
Russell Tovey is 1.77 metres tall.
We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.
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