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—but more than a decade ago, it was her relationship with actor Billy Crudup that was drawing her lots of attention.

Back in 2003, Crudup famously left Mary-Louise Parker, his girlfriend of eight years who was six months pregnant at the time, to be with Danes.

Naturally, the main attraction of America for Dancy is Danes, whom he met on the set of the 2007 film Evening.

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There were plenty of moments when we couldn’t hold it together.

It took me a good few years to feel that I was in the right profession.” Now that he’s established, is he very picky about the roles he chooses?

“If you get something generic, like a low-rent Four Weddings and a Funeral, you see it coming a mile off and you steer clear,” he says. Disney’s 2009 rom-com Confessions of a Shopaholic tanked, as did Basic Instinct 2 – the ill-fated sequel to the 1992 erotic thriller – directed by Dancy’s pal Caton-Jones.

“You could pick two worse people to be compared to that’s for sure.” Nevertheless, Dancy has avoided being typecast as a fop, instead opting for roles in indie films such as Shooting Dogs, the British director Michael Caton-Jones’s 2005 film about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and last year’s disquieting Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which he starred as a priggish Englishman alongside cult victim Elizabeth Olsen.

His latest film, Hysteria, a comedy romance set in Victorian London and co-starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, is peculiarly British, edgy and eccentric all at once.