Matthew Macfadyen of ‘Ripper Street’

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on February 20, 2013
Picture shows: Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (MATTHEW MACFADYEN) Photographer – Jonathan Hession © Tiger Aspect

What else has Matthew Macfadyen done besides “Ripper Street”?
—Christine Johnson, Lincoln, Neb.

If you are an A&E viewer, you may have caught Macfadyen on “MI-5,” on which he played Intelligence Officer Tom Quinn for two seasons, leaving in the first episode of the third season. His TV breakthrough, though, came when he was cast in an ITV production of “Wuthering Heights” in 1998. His other TV credits include the miniseries “The Pillars of the Earth” and “Little Dorrit.”

But the BAFTA Award-winning actor is also known for his turn as Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film version of “Pride and Prejudice” that also starred Keira Knightley. His other film credits include “Anna Karenina,” “Frost/Nixon,” “The Three Musketeers” and “Robin Hood.”

With “Ripper Street,” Macfadyen, 38, takes on the role of the ahead-of-his-time Inspector Edmund Reid, who was one of the lead detectives on the Ripper case. In the series, it is a year after the Ripper killing spree has ended, and the show follows Reid as he solves crimes in Victorian London.

“What attracted me to the role was the script,” he says. “Richard Warlow’s writing was fantastic. What I found interesting is that Reid wasn’t a stock detective character. He’s a very free thinking, forward-looking kind of man, not a jaded, seen-it-all copper, so I was intrigued by that.”

Macfadyen was born in Norfolk, England, but spent a portion of his childhood in Indonesia, where his father, who was an oil worker, went to work. He finished his education in England and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Following which, he launched his acting career as a member of the stage company Cheek by Jowl.

Macfadyen is married to his “MI-5” co-star Keeley Hawes. They have two children.