Yet all three boys went into the profession. Jones grew up in Surrey and Oxfordshire, attended an independent school and studied drama at Manchester University. At the time, the drama department was largely run by members of the Revolutionary Communist party, he says, who considered Shakespeare and Beckett bourgeois relics. He focused on mime and clowning, and for the first time understood why he wanted to act, and how. Students wrote, performed, directed, designed sets; if anything, he thought he would make his name as a director.
The big break came with Infamous in Infamous was almost a disaster, though. While they were in rehearsal, the director Douglas McGrath told him there was another film being made about In Cold Blood. But five years on a similar thing happened. It became fashionable to suggest that Jones was jinxed, his great performances of real people destined to be blotted out by inferior ones that had the simple virtue of coming first. Jones is not having any of this. He grins. He is a funny one. Lovely and relaxed when talking about his two teenage daughters, his obsessions with Stoke City and cricket, his worrying thing about neatness and straight lines; but ask how he feels about being an actor and you might trigger a full-on existential crisis.
And that can infantilise you. After 25 years together, they recently married. When Jones wrote to his year-old self, he pleaded with him not to compromise, to remember the commitments he had made. It was a form of self-flagellation. But my year-old self felt all that stuff about being an engaged citizen was really important.
He was living in this shed somewhere, writing poetry and living as a lab assistant. And he found what he was meant to do. For me, it was a very straightforward process. For him, it was a different world, and he fell in love with the romance of acting. Suddenly he could express himself. And I think, to this day, he can key into that euphoria. What you call hammy is actually an excitement in the expression of acting.
But now actors are two a penny. Anybody can be an actor. Perhaps he expressed it badly, Jones says. The angst has taken hold good and proper now. Because what can actors say? He laughs. Why are people so interested in actors?
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Are they interested in actors? Perhaps Leigh had a point when he said Jones was down on himself. He nods. Five, 10, 20 seconds. Patterns emerge when you binge-watch Toby Jones. One is his formidable ability to define a character before he even opens his mouth. When he speaks, it is always different — he rarely has the same accent. And, of course, there are the number of ugly characters he plays. Jones is short 5ft 5in , but directors often shoot him from above, to make him appear even smaller.
They zoom in on the uneven teeth and stress the high, square forehead. Before that, people might have thought it, but they never said it. My job is not to think whether they are good or bad people, they are just people. Not hurtful in the slightest. And, as he does, I begin to see all these characters differently.
The more he talks about the flawed characters he plays, the more admirable they become. I ask if he has ever wanted to play a conventional leading man — the handsome guy who gets the girl. And certain structures get put in place. Finn has gone white-ball in his approach, bowling slower balls, cross-seamers, cutters and almost gulls Gale who drives, misses and watches in relief as the ball misses leg-stump by a gnat's whisker. T oby Roland-Jones returns to replace Rayner. He scrambles the seam, varies his pace and invites Bresnan to use his forearm power if he wants to take him on.
Brsenan stands and delivers to larrup a straight drive off the back foot for two and then heaves the next ball, poorly timed, over mid on for four. The force is with him. A ndrew Gale squirts a single off Gale after two dot balls and struggles when Bresnan immediately gives him the strike back. Attempting to run the last ball of the over off an open face down to third man, he is surprised by the pace and very rare bounce and watches as it flies off the shoulder between keeper and first slip.
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D awid Malan at cover dives headlong as a Bresnan reverse sweep falls agonisingly shot after the batsman top-edged it. Bresnan, living dangerously, then carts Rayner into the stands and thrashes a four next ball. Time to put the charge into chase. B allance was in fact aiming for cow corner but he had to reach for it, lost his grip with the bottom hand and the ball spooned up a mile. Enter Andrew Gale. Nice drive from Bresnan brings him two but then he doesn't pick up a full toss slower ball at all and played and missed as the ball floated past off-stump by a hair's.
Ballance departs! Yorkshire need to win from B allance c Robson b Finn 30 Attempting to force the pace, he leant back and tried to tonk it into the pavilion over the bowler's head but timing issues meant he sent a steepling catch up to wide mid-on. B allance is attempting to throw the kitchen sink at Ollie Rayner but the bowler's skill allied to the moribund pitch means he can't middle anything.
He's heaving but the broadsword cannot connect and it's too late for the rapier. F inn, who doesn't suit his beard at all, has lost a slip. Yorkshire rotate the strike but their timing is all to cock due to the pitch. Ballance throws his whole weight into a cover drive but only toes it to the sweeper.
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They manage two to go with three successive singles but then Finn, the enforcer, gives him nothing else. Actually think the draw is favourite here now. Franklin can try for 10 more overs and then push the field back and bowl wide. R ayner has Ballance tied down for the first two balls as he tried to make room with a tap into the legside and the bowler followed him with two darts. Next ball, though, Ballance collars, slog sweeping crisply off middle and leg and arcing the ball into the Mound Stand for six.
Yorkshire need off a minimum of balls. P icking up singles is relatively straightforward. Anything else is problematic until Bresnan manages to pierce the field at cover for two off Finn. R ayner screams at point to get behind square at the start of the over and Bresnan brings him into play with a deft reverse sweep. There are singles there but the rate is accelerating away from them at the moment. D ouble change. Finn for Murtagh and he begins his spell with a yelped appeal as he gets one to nip back at Bresnan but it hit him just outside the line.
He pinches the strike next ball, too. He is Yorkshire's best hope. The England batsman clatters a drive for four but then Rayner reins him back with accuracy, flight and dip,. T he emergence of a right-hander from Lord's gilded hutch has messed with Murtgah's line just enough, allowing Ballance one on his pads to clip behind square for a single and then drifting on to middle and leg for Pomfret's Timothy Thomas Bresnan, who whacks it over mid-on for four with a well-timed lofted drive.
We're going to have some spin next from Ollie Rayner. Anyone wondering where the County Championship trophy is around now could be in for a bit of a nasty shock. There's actually two of them. The ECB, in their wisdom, have decided that in order to avoid any unnecessary delay in the prize-giving, they would station one trophy at Lord's and one at Taunton.
Which may seem unusually perspicacious of them, but you've got to imagine it's cheaper than hiring a helicopter to hover over Wiltshire all afternoon. I remember them doing that with the John Player trophy decades back. The rate is now over seven after Roland-Jones completes his seventh over.
I f the match is drawn with the scores level, the title goes to Middlesex. If the match is tied, Somerset win by virtue of winning more matches in the season. Murtagh has Yorkshire under the iron in terms of dot balls and Willey can sit by and take it no more. Enter Bresnan on Willey's departure. A right-hander at last. Yorkshire's top order has been rickety all season. But no Jonny Bairstow or Adil Rashid here to break them out of jail today. W illey c Eskinazi b Murtagh 12 Sent up the order for a purpose, he decided it was now or never and thrashed away at a cross-bat slog, skying it out to midwicket off a leading edge.
Eskinazi ran over from mid-on and took it over his shoulder with midwicket on the fence. B allance is struck on the top flap of the pad by Roland-Jones who issues a righteous appeal very much in the manner of his mentor Gus Fraser but it pitched just outside the line. PJW Allott notes what a scrappy starter Ballance is, moving about hither and thither. W hat a superb opening spell this has been from Murtagh and R-J. Canny, tight and irritating. Ballance is off the mark first ball with his off-the-mark dab then Willey uses his feet to come down the pitch and cream the ball down the ground for four.
And another! Lees caught in the deep! Yorks L ees c Gubbins b Roland-Jones 20 The pitch is barely breathing. It's on his last legs and the batsman is having to put everything into his shots without any help with it coming on to the middle. Lees went for a pull, the ball didn't get up and he ended up playing it with a bat at about degrees and popped it down the throat of deep midwicket.
L ees takes a single but Willey, who has opened his stance, not quite as hideously as his old man, is kept quiet by Roland-Jones bowling down the corridor. It's the perfect line to a pinch hitter in red ball cricket. M urtagh, as Nasser Hussain points out, is shackling Willey, bowling wicket to wicket and playing on his patience and technique by exploiting the uneven bounce on a dying pitch. He's a clever, nagging pest Murtgah and racks up a maiden with a very tight line outside off. Willey drives to cover off the last ball but a fine diving stop robs him of runs.
Fast becoming convinced watching tobyrj21 that he would be a decent asset on slow India Test pitches. H aving noted Ciderman Kieswetter's comments, it does seem very tricky to score quickly on this pitch with no fielding restrictions. Excellent nagging over from Murtagh and only the single. We know there will be a minimum of 39 overs, which makes the rate required 6.
S omerset folk are understandably unhappy with the 'agreement' between Middlesex and Yorkshire. It does seem absurdly generous to me. Had they gone for 30 overs Middlesex would have had time to bowl Yorkshire out because chasing eight an over demands yet more risks. Disgusting declaration!! May as well bowl underarm, roll it down the wicket, and walk off!! Middlesex batsmen patting it for personal milestones instead of playing for the team and whacking it.
At least set a fair chase. L yth gets a thick inside edge off a pull and the ball squirts down to very fine leg for four. Streaky but effective. But he falls with a waft and in comes David Willey, shoved up the order. L yth c Robson b Roland-Jones 13 Slanted accross him and he couldn't resist having a nibble at it and nicking off to slip.
Very much the Ashes revisited for Lyth.
G ood afternoon - Rob Bagchi taking over from Alistair Tweedale. And I'll strive to be objective:. The crowd appeals for a bump-ball catch off the last ball but the bounce was hugely conspicuous. H ere's Jonathan Liew' s explainer on what has happened so far:. Essentially, what you just saw was the result of a deal between Middlesex and Yorkshire, both of whom need to win the game to win the title. A draw means the Championship goes to Somerset, but this deal makes that much more unlikely, which explains all the glum faces at Taunton right now. With time running out, the two captains — Andrew Gale for Yorkshire and James Franklin for Middlesex — will have agreed on a set total for Yorkshire to chase.
Evidently, this was Once Middlesex reached a lead of , they promptly declared their innings — in other words, they basically decided to stop. It was a deal that suited both teams: Yorkshire got a chance to bat and win the match, while Middlesex gave themselves the maximum possible time to get all 10 Yorkshire wickets and win the title.
But the prevailing opinion is that Yorkshire got by far the better end of the deal: in 40 overs would be a pretty innocuous chase in one-day cricket. And even if this game lacks the fielding restrictions of one-day cricket — Middlesex could, for example, put all their fielders on the boundary if they wanted — Yorkshire will still back themselves. S ome good zip in a ball from Roland-Jones, but Lyth deals with it well. And that's another cheap over for Middlesex. They are the only runs off the over.
R oland-Jones up next, and he opens with a lovely ball that nips away late on. His Lyth edges his second ball and it runs away for four. Yorkshire nick another couple of singles. M urtagh bowls the first over, up against a predictably attacking field.
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An unconvincing first shot from Adam Lyth but soon after Lees gets the first boundary of the innings. T he bookies have Yorkshire has as favourites.