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Toby Jones interview: ‘Only heroes need to be handsome’

Jones stars in a new West End production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party Credit: Andrew Crowley

The late blossoming of Toby Jones is a lovely thing to behold. Ten years ago, you might have struggled to put a name to the face of the actor who had spent the best part of two decades propping up the British acting industry in radio drama, fringe theatre and film which he graced with the odd piquant cameo, “opening doors for people or saying ‘he went that way’,” as he puts it.

Now, the 51-year-old says he feels incredibly lucky. “I’ve always worked, and I measured my success by the fact that I could earn a living as an actor, which is all any actor wants,” he says. “Then, suddenly, people knew who I was. It’s quite odd.”

The turning point came when Jones, in a piece of counterintuitive casting, starred as Truman Capote in Douglas McGrath’s 2006 film Infamous, giving a fully immersed performance as the American oddball writer. The film was initially overshadowed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s...

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