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Rafe Spall - The new Hugh Grant?

I Give It A Year

Feature by Jack Foley

RAFE Spall has played a multitude of roles, from moody teenager in Shaun of the Dead to William Shakspeare in Anonymous.

To celebrate the release of I Give it a Year in cinemas today (February 8, 2013) we’ve taken a look at Rafe’s career to date and highlight why the British public are currently so infatuated with him on stage and screen!


If you really want to become the next Hugh Grant then a British rom-com is a must. This hilarious Brit-flick is about a pair of newlyweds struggling in their first year of marriage and their attempts to get life back-on-track. Rose Bryne, Stephen Merchant and Minnie Driver co-star.


Rafe played a small but important role in Ang-Lee’s visual masterpiece Life of Pi. The film is a story about a journey taken by of Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma). The story is told to a writer (Spall) who is intrigued by the fascinating journey that Pi took in his youth.


Rafe played a scientist on board the research vessel sent into the outer reaches of space to discover the origins of mankind. This being a Ridley Scott movie with Alien DNA, however, what they discovered was far worse. And Rafe, one of the nice guys on board the vessel, met a sticky end when his overly inquisitive nature with a space serpent cut short his research.


Rafe Spall took time out of his film career in early 2012 to star in the hit West-End show, Contellations. Spall shone alongside Sally Hawkins and the two-hander written by the English playwright Nick Payne was named winner of the Best Play category at the recent Evening Standard Theatre Awards.



In 2011 Rafe took on the role of William Shakespeare in Anonymous. The film tells the story of how Shakespeare was actually a fraud in the midst of a deeper scheme thought up by the Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans). Playing one of the most famous names in British history capped a successful year for Spall.


Rafe starred alongside Anne Hathaway in One Day in 2011. He played the role of Ian, Emma’s (Hathaway) long-term boyfriend who’s glass is always half-empty. Although his character was down on his luck, Rafe was experiencing the opposite in real life and began to land meatier roles.


Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Hot Fuzz

Rafe teamed up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the second time to take on the role of DC Andy Cartwright in Hot Fuzz. Andy Cartwright was one of ‘the Andies’, two hilarious detectives in a small village police station. Rafe and Paddy Considine play the detectives perfectly and gave audiences great comedy moments.


Rafe played Kenny in Ridley Scott’s A Good Year, which also starred Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. The film follows Max, a top stockbroker in London, as he inherits a French chateau he visited as a child. Initially keen to sell Max’s mind is changed when he meets a local waitress (Cotillard). Kenny is Max’s (Crowe) cocky young assistant in London who ends up getting fired after being on the wrong end of Max’s ruthless streak.


The first time many of us saw Rafe on the big-screen was as the lazy and petulant Noel in Simon Pegg’s and Nick Frost’s zom-com Shaun of the Dead. He had a limited role but he made us chuckle as the useless shop assistant.

I Give It A Year is released in cinemas on February 8, 2013.