Ioan Gruffudd on Maturing Into Crime Series ‘Harrow’ and Directing Ambitions

“Forever” and “Fantastic 4″ star Ioan Gruffudd is now old enough to play the parts he has always wanted. The L.A.-based Welsh actor will be next seen in “Harrow,” an Australia-produced crime drama in which he plays crime-solving forensic pathologist, Dr. Daniel Harrow. “I’ve been wanting to play a character like this for a long time, but haven’t been old enough, or old-looking enough,” he told Variety. “But now I’m in my 40s and I’m meeting the characters I’ve always had a desire to play.”

“Harrow” was commissioned by Australian pubcaster the ABC and shot on location in Brisbane. “Secrets and Lies” producer Hoodlum Entertainment made the series. It has a first-look deal with ABC Studios International, run out of London by Keli Lee, and Disney Media Distribution is selling “Harrow” internationally. It screened the first episodes to 400 international buyers at its London showcase, Thursday, and a U.K. broadcaster will be announced soon. There isn’t currently a U.S. deal.

Gruffudd said his character in the 10-part show, in his attempts to solve bizarre cases and with a mysterious past, is multifaceted. “He’s got elements of ‘House,’ he’s a bit curmudgeonly,” he said. “The cadence in Stephen [M. Irwin’s] writing – from the gallows humor when we are over the body, and the chemistry with my assistant and the other pathologist – that’s a joy, to be able to go from a very serious dramatic and emotional moment to a comedic moment in the next sentence. But you always believe this is how they would talk to each other, it’s not contrived, it feels natural.”

The star added that as his career progresses, directing and producing are part of his plans. “Directing? Yes, I’d love to direct an episode of ‘Harrow’ because I think I’ve got so much experience being front and center that I know what is required,” Gruffudd said. “Season two perhaps, or maybe the first episode of season three.”

Gruffudd is talking to Hoodlum about a creative partnership. “I think I have to strike while the iron is hot,” the actor said. “The last year has been amazing, to go from [ITV and Sundance series] ‘Liar’ directly to ‘Harrow,’ and realizing I have people all over the world who recognize me from shows like ‘Forever’ or ‘Hornblower’ or the ‘Fantastic 4’ film.”

Hoodlum is also busy, with a handful of new projects soon to be announced through its deal with ABC Studios International. It is also about to go into production on “Tidelands,” Netflix’s first Australian original, also written by Stephen M. Irwin.

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