But Julian Lewis Jones is preparing to fly to South Africa after being handpicked by screen legend Clint Eastwood to star in a new biopic of political colossus Nelson Mandela.
The 40-year-old Carmarthen-based actor, who has also appeared in S4C soap Pobol Y Cwm and ITV drama Where The Heart Is, is flying to Cape Town this weekend to prepare for 11 weeks of filming on a project based on South Africa’s historic World Cup victory in 1995.
Directed by Dirty Harry star Eastwood, the film will feature Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Bourne Identity actor Matt Damon playing Francois Pienaar – the man presented with the trophy in a moment widely seen as the birth of modern South Africa.
[Lewis Jones] was aiming for a pivotal role as the leader of Nelson Mandela’s white bodyguards – a central part of the book and the film.
The movie covers the turbulent period between 1985 and 1995.
A few years ago, I was interviewing Cate Blanchett (best supporting actress, 2004, for The Aviator - and wasn't she just the dead spit of Katie Hepburn?) about her understated role in The Good German. She had just been nominated again as best supporting actress for Notes on a Scandal, in which she played a schoolteacher having an affair with one of her students. She herself pointed out the potential Oscar moment, when her character has an attack of hysterical tears and throws herself around in abandoned distress. That's the scene people always mentioned, she said, when they told her how marvellous she was.
But it's easy to weep and rend your garments, as she went on to say, perhaps the easiest thing an actor ever has to do. The performance she had really liked that year was Matt Damon's in The Good Shepherd, which was certainly not going to win any prizes. He was on screen for the entire film, never raising his voice and barely moving a muscle, living entirely within the constraints of a character defined by dullness, but commanding our attention in some way we couldn't quite divine. That really was acting, without any visible seams or bolts, which was exactly why it wouldn't win something inextricably bound up with spectacle, glamour and razzamatazz. What clip could they excerpt to show when the nomination was read out?