My Week: Toby Jones, Actor

The actor – fresh from playing Karl Rove in the new Oliver Stone movie 'W' – dashes from London to New York and back, and does his bit for literacy
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The Independent Online


It's my first day of filming a new film called Creation. Today we shoot a debate scene between my character, Thomas Huxley, the 19th-century scientist, and Paul Bettany's character, Charles Darwin. We are filming at Down House in Kent, where Darwin had once lived.

It's one of those memorable days of filming in which you literally get to experience a moment in history in the place where it happened. My character is trying to cajole and provoke Darwin out of his procrastination and get him to publish The Origin of Species as he's doubting whether or not he should. It is a very long day but we complete the scene and I get home just in time to say good night to my kids.


I get on a plane to New York to do press for the premiere of the Oliver Stone film W, in which I play Karl Rove. You always get told how important the premiere and doing the press is, but I have suspicions. After about 12 hours in New York, I head to the airport. There's incredible security on the street and it turns out that in the building directly opposite the premiere, John McCain and Sarah Palin are holding a fundraiser. Oliver Stone sent them an invitation to see the film which they clearly declined! I get on the last plane to London.


I arrive back in London at midday and get in the car to go and do interviews for Frost/Nixon which is opening the London Film Festival tonight. I see my friends from filming last year and we do press all day. I then go to the extravaganza of the opening of the festival. It's a great night and there's a tremendous reception for the film, but I'm slightly dazed from all the travelling. The festival seems to be growing more prestigious. It's hard for it to make a mark in this city because London has so much culture to offer. I go to the party before crashing into bed.


I get up and take my kids to school. Then I have to prepare a project proposal for a really interesting group, The Institute for the Future of the Book, which is studying ways in which book publication is going to change. It is creating a book about William Blake and I've been asked to make a contribution. I then go and have my photo taken: the artist Alison Jacques has asked me to pose.


I teach for the Book Trust, which promotes reading and writing with children. Next week is "Everybody Writes Day", in which schools encourage writing. I spend today writing an article for them – it is a fantastic organisation. It provides a free book to every child starting school. In the evening I cook some fish for my partner. She's a barrister and is exhausted after a week-long trial. It's a lovely quiet evening and so I just try to win my life back.