cast and crew biographies

rifleman isaiah tongue

Rifleman Tongue is a bit of an enigma, by that I mean that he's one character in the books and quite another in the films!

In Bernard Cornwell's books, Rifleman Tongue is the educated one of Sharpe's bunch of misfits. He was also a drunk, which is how he came into the army ... but he was invaluable in Sharpe's company when sober, he could read letters, and remember the bible. He comes to an untimely end in Sharpe's Gold.

In the films, he is the opposite ... not exactly dim witted but certainly a little slow except with the ladies! He has no background, other than the army, but he can fight and is good with the rifle, and follows orders to the letter. Tall, and willowy, Tongue is one of life's pieces of flotsam, no one knows where he came from ... and he disappeared after Sharpe's Eagle. He was a great character, and was very popular with everyone. Paul Trussell's characterisation was an interesting one, somehow you managed to find sympathy for Tongue whilst enjoying his cheekiness too! I wished he had returned after Eagle, just to see how his character developed.

paul trussell

Paul Trussell became an actor in 1987 and has performed in many plays, television programmes and films. Highlights include:

For television, regular roles in Sharpe, Crime Traveller, Vanishing Man, So Haunt Me, two series of Big Meg, Little Meg and Cry Wolf and guest appearances in, amongst others Chef, The Chief, Cadfael, Bugs, Wexford, Sam's Game, My Family, Holby City, Teenage Kicks and approximately seven episodes of The Bill (Including the 2003 live one).

Stage appearances include Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the RSC, Bloody Poetry at The Young Vic, Marya at the Old Vic and It's a Great Big Shame devised with Mike Leigh. Mike Alfreds' production of Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe, and The Golden Ass also at The Globe. Twelfth Night at Bolton Octagon, Mouse at The Tristan Bates Theatre, Underbelly Edinburgh and A Man for all Seasons at York Theatre Royal, and I Caught Crabs in Walberswick at The Bush.

Film includes Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet and Secrets and Lies, Roger Michell's Titanic Town and the 2000 remake of 'The Railway Children'.

Paul lives in South London with his wife and dog.

< back to main index | bios index