St Ives actor makes his mark with the secret service

A ST Ives actor is one step closer to stardom after a tough rise through the ranks of the film industry.

Jonathan Rhodes left St Ivo School in the 1990s with dreams of becoming a leading performer of stage and screen.

But his journey to the top has taken a decade of hard work and determination.

As other actors landed blockbuster parts, Mr Rhodes, 36, played small roles in low-budget independent movies while he worked part-time for an events company to keep money coming in.

Now though he has landed a second series as Chief Agent Stark in the hit BBC children’s television show MI9 and has been auditioned for roles in Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny English 2 and the adaptation of JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit after he was head-hunted by Soho-based PBJ Management.

“It’s taken nine years of really hard graft to get to this position but things are developing really nicely,” Mr Rhodes said.

“It can be very frustrating at times but, if you just keep doing things and being creative, your career can come together.”

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After shining in a St Ivo School play, he went to Dartington College of Arts to study a theatre degree, followed by a year-long acting diploma from Birmingham School of Speech and Art.

He moved to London after he finished the course but could not find an agent to represent him immediately, meaning he had to try to break into the industry alone.

However, Mr Rhodes said, “recently the industry has started opening up,” enabling him to land some excellent parts.

These include a lead role in the cinema production Beacon 77 and a part in The Roman Bath at The Arcola Theatre.

“I’m very much a creature of film,” Mr Rhodes admits. “I understand film. I find it really rewarding and I love developing the characters and working with the crew.

“I’m not expecting to be the lead in a blockbuster, but I’m certainly on the right path to be a strong character in a good independent film.”