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16 October 2014

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Robert Pugh
Robert Pugh
On Show talks to Welsh actor Robert Pugh as he stars alongside Russell Crowe in Master and Commander

Born in Matthewstown near Aberdare, South Wales, Robert grew up in The Tynt, a solidly working class area of South Wales. His urge to perform cost him regular beatings at school.

In 1976 he followed his dreams and went to London to study at Rose Bruford Drama College. He graduated and worked on the bins in Tottenham to make ends meet. "So I went off to London and started work on the bins in Tottenham. It was just like the Valleys there with all the streets packed together and there was a lot of walking involved."

His favourite book was Confessions of Felix Krull, by Thomas Mann. The story of a bright and attractive man who is dealt a bad hand by fate but uses his wits, as well as cunning and deceit, to improve his lot. It was this book that sustained him during his time on the bins, Robert felt that if Krull could succeed then he too had a chance.

Robert learned his craft in small theatres and during lean periods turned his hand to writing for stage and television. "If there was no work, I made by own by writing."

But now things are different. After various film and television roles his latest work is as sailing Master Mr Allen starring alongside Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. The film is set during the Napoleonic Wars and based on author Patrick O'Brian's series of Aubrey/Maturin novels.


Have your say

Roger Williams from Perth,Western Australia
Having migrated to Australia from Cardiff 25 years ago I have always maintained an interest in the careers of Welsh actors and have enjoyed everything Robert Pugh has done over the years.

dewi miles originally from the Tynte.
The best role Robert ever played was as a young lovesick boy who. alongside a far more handsome friend, followed a beautiful young Italian girl from Cilfynydd to Bardi, a small village in the Appenine mountains in Northern Italy. The adventures these two innocent valley boys experienced would make an excellent film.

Heather Davies monmouthshire
Enjoy his acting v. much. Would he have shared a box at La Scala (Eugene Onegin) a coulpe of weeks ago?

tony guerrieri nyc new york
saw mr pugh in the new amc series, hustle...fine work, never saw mr pugh before, want to see his other works

David Coombs.S.Wales.
Remember him at Coleg Harlech,N.Wales before he went to London.He was better looking then.A piss artist but there was a genuine talent behind the facade.

bridget in her sisters room
omg bridget knows him thats dave powells cousin well relative!!!! woo we kno him haha u dont

Tom Carey - Chicago, Illinois
I'm a long-time fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey / Maturin novels (I've read everyone at least twice). In my opinion, Mr. Pugh's performance as sailing master John Allen in "Master and Commander - Far Side of the World" was as close as one could get to a perfectly-imagined O'Brian character. His performance made the movie for me. "All hands, make sail!"

Jacquee Myers - London
I was in the same year group as Robert at Mountview Drama school in the 70s before he went to Rose Bruford. - we Did Johnson Over Johnson by J B Priestley. he was a devil to work with as he never stuck to the script and improvised the whole time. I have a black and white photo with him crawling up my leg in a scene where he was supposed to just be having a conversation. We also had to do acrobatics over a table I recall. Oh well it was a long time ago.

Geoff Cook from Central London
I first saw Robert in the film "Priest" when he mastered a convincing performance in the sinister role as an abusive father. Later I saw him ironically as a priest (Fr Matthew) in the excellent "Lakes" series where again his performance was commanding. Since then he has developed even further as an actor and I hope for great things for him - once to watch - Hollywood next?

ben sherlock east sussex
he came to our college, acted in our film, hes a legend!

Will Nash Muswell Hill London N10 1LP
I thought the part played bye Robert Pugh was so good, a real find for this series hope to see more of him. will



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