I'm Not a Star - I'm an Actor; TOP 30 NORTH WALIANS - PART 16: Jonathan Pryce Makes Dramatic Entrance

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

I'm Not a Star - I'm an Actor; TOP 30 NORTH WALIANS - PART 16: Jonathan Pryce Makes Dramatic Entrance


Byline: ROB DAVIES

TONIGHT Jonathan Pryce will step out on stage taking a leading part in Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker, which began its run at Liverpool's Everyman theatre last week.

It's just the latest in a long line of roles for the talented and versatile actor from Holywell.

Now 62, Jonathan Pryce has been treading the boards of stage and screen since 1970 and is still as passionate about his craft as ever.

Pryce is a serious actor if ever there was one. He once said: "I'm not a star, I'm an actor. There's a difference!" He has a reputation for playing intense, powerful roles although it's not a depiction he is comfortable with.

In 1986 he retorted to a journalist: "Sometimes I would like just once not to be described as intense or passionate."

Yet within the next breath he went on to describe how he would bring "danger and menace" to his interpretation of Macbeth.

If you judge someone's acting ability by the sheer breadth of their work and their capacity to take on a wide range of different characters, then Jonathan Pryce must rank near the top.

Needless to say, his talents have ensured he has been picked by Daily Post readers as one of our Top 30 Great North Walians.

Few, perhaps, would have wagered much on the son of a coal miner-turned-shopkeeper rising to acting greatness. Pryce confesses that he does not recall his years at Holywell Grammar (now Holywell High School) with much affection. He did, he reveals, spend much of his time outside the headmaster's office.

The is at the Theatre, until Nonetheless he left school seeking a career in teaching and undertook teacher training in Ormskirk.

It was while a student there that his interest in acting began. Pryce took part in a college theatre production and a friend was so impressed he sent off to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) for an application form on his behalf.

Pryce won a scholarship to RADA although his potential was not always fully recognised. He found the place straight-laced while a tutor declared witheringly that Pryce could never aspire to do more than playing villains in 1970s TV police drama Z-Cars.

Jonathan Pryce was far from crushed by such criticism and upon leaving found work with the Royal Everyman Liverpool, October 31 Shakespeare Company and Nottingham Playhouse. …

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