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"I've grown out of Louis Vuitton Belt Reversible wanting or expecting the approval of my mum though," he says. "I think that's an unfair thing to ask of her. She's always incredibly supportive of everything I do and that's all I can ask really."
"Usually you're like, 'I've got to pay the mortgage, I've got to do this,' but Vexed was definitely one of those which I could see working, and it was something fun."
"In these times, you don't go around rejecting a lot of stuff. I'm not in the position where I can pick and choose. I wish I was, it would be wonderful," he exclaims, bellowing with laughter.
And that's exactly why he caused such a stir playing the brooding Rochester in the 2006 television adaptation of Jane Eyre
I find totally bizarre is that theatre is always there for me," says Stephens. "If someone had said that to me ten years ago, that it would be the bedrock for me, I would have laughed at them because I thought it was on the way out. but ironically people are coming back to that."
He played the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Coriolanus to critical acclaim at the age of 25.
"If you want the audience to like these people and to want to spend time with them, you have to make the men pathetic," says Stephens.
"I don't want to do the same thing over and over again," says Stephens. "Vexed was a great opportunity for me to do something different and if the fans of Rochester don't like it, they can tune out after ten minutes."
Toby Stephens boasts the high cheekbones, floppy auburn hair and enunciated vowels of a gentleman born two hundred years ago. And that's exactly why he caused such a stir playing the brooding Rochester in the 2006 television adaptation of Jane Eyre.
Then, with another big laugh, he adds: "But don't hold me to that, Gucci Belts Womens
As for his character Jack, Stephens thinks of him as "an extreme version of a lot of guys, in that he's lazy and wants an easy life".
Well versed by his parents in the potential pitfalls of the profession, he says he was fortunate to have been offered Vexed when the industry was suffering.
The son of Dame Maggie Smith and the late Shakespearean actor, Sir Robert Stephens, (although the actor refers to his step father, the playwright Beverley Cross, as 'Dad'), Toby seemed to hide in their shadow for many years despite receiving critical acclaim from the outset.
"I'll know immediately whether she's liked it or not. She won't necessarily say either way but I can just tell," says Stephens.
In a unique take on the traditional detective show, Vexed sees Jack partnered with Kate (Lucy Punch) but the pair spend more time focusing on their personal lives than fighting crime.
because if I was offered something." he trails off, pondering. And you get the feeling that Stephens might just be on the first plane out there.
It's also why his fans, who'd like nothing more than to see him in another pair of breeches, may gasp at his latest choice of role that of a misguided 21st century detective called Jack in BBC Two's new comedy, Vexed.
While he may be a theatre actor at heart, he says the experience of doing a TV comedy like Vexed has been liberating.
"The job is secondary," says Stephens. "They're obsessed about their lives and work gets in the way. They're totally mismatched too, which inevitably is where I think the comedy comes from. They both want different things and have different ideas about the job."
Another role he says he's relished playing was the villain in the Bond film Die Another Day. "It was a blast, like a strange holiday, and then I went back to my normal life," says Stephens.
But not even a role in Bond is enough to guarantee financial security, especially as he's married to Anna Louise Plowman, 35, who is also in the acting game. The pair first met at drama school but didn't wed until 2001 after bumping into one another in America. They now have two children, Eli, 3 and Tallulah, 1.
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Stephens is unsure whether he'll return to America in search of fortune though. "There was a time when I thought, 'Yeah I want to go out to LA and do a big TV series or get into movies' but now I've got kids and I'm a homebody, I like being in London," he says.
go home and just look at the lines for the next day and I wasn't obsessing," says Stephens. "For a lot of serious drama you have to think, 'Where am I in the plot, where am I with this person?'. For this sort of stuff you don't need to worry about that, you just turn up and have fun. I really enjoyed it."
As for whether his mum has watched Vexed, he says "not yet", but that he'll be interested to find out what she thinks.
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