Tonight, Ben Daniels will be playing the role of Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar Live! Daniels’ is no stranger to the stage. He attended the LAMDA drama school in London, and has appeared in theater productions like All My Sons, Haunted Child, Therese Raquin, and Iphigenia at Aulis. In 2008, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in Broadway’s Les Liaisons Dangeureuses.
And what about his personal life? Who is his parter, Ian Gelder? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gelder & Daniels Began Dating in 1993
Gelder and Daniels began seeing one another in 1993, when they were both cast in Joe Orton’s production of Entertaining Mr. Sloane. According to Live Journal, Daniels was sure of his sexuality as a teenager. Although he jokes he was “never in”, he waited until age 24 to come out.
In an interview, Live Journal quotes Daniels as saying, “Homophobia is still shockingly prevalent in film and TV. I know I’ve lost work because of being gay, and it is always an issue. Even on a serious BBC Two drama, there will be some suit in some office going, “Hmmm, isn’t he a poof?” I don’t consider myself politically gay, but whenever I catch a whiff of that now, I’m on it like a ton of bricks.”
2. He Played Kevan Lannister in ‘Game of Thrones’
In November 2010, Gelder was cast as Sir Kevan Lannister, the younger brother of Lord Tywin Lannister, in Game of Thrones.
In an interview with Essential Surrey, Gelder explains, “I was so delighted to get Game of Thrones – it’s an absolute phenomenon and I am very proud to be part of it. The new age of television is really great for us actors,” he explains. “I used to call my agent and be told, ‘Sorry, it’s really quiet’. But now, it’s so busy. Great actors are now happy to do TV, so when they do a play, more people go to the theatre, so each is feeding the other. It feels like we’re part of a growth industry.”
Game of Thrones isn’t Gelder’s only claim to fame. He also appeared in the two Netlix shows, Ripper Street, and Riviera.
3. He Played Mr. Pasmore in The March on Russia
Last year, Helder played the role of Mr. Pasmore, a patriarchal man with more than a few skeletons in his closet, in The March on Russia. Speaking about the role with Essential Survey, he says, “Pasmore’s story is a very universal one… He is from working class stock and has worked hard to educate his children. But when they return, they are changed by the opportunities education has given them. They don’t have patience for his ways or his views. The chances he provided for his kids have led to them growing away for him.”
The March on Russia was originally published in 1989.
4. He Played Mr. Dekker in ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’
Gelder played the starring role of Dekker in the British sci-fi series Torchwood: Children of Earth. His character oversaw the creation of the tank in Thames House.
Children of Earth was filmed in Cardiff in 2008, while some of the filmings took place in London. The show was broadcast on BBC One. In August 2017, Gelder starred in the BBC4 monologue Queers: I Miss the War.
Children of the Earth performd well on British television. It was directed by Euros Lyn, who had come from directing episodes of Doctor Who. The plot dealt with aliens who come for the Earth’s children; and the town of Torchwood’s retaliation act which angers the British government.
5. He Has an Extensive Theater Resume & Has Appeared in a Number of Shakespeare Plays
Gelder has appeared in a number of theater productions over the years. In 2006, he played Reverend Parris in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Prior to that, he played Kevin Elyot in Mouth to Mouth at the Albery Theater in London, and a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice.
In 2004, the actor played appeared in a handful of Shakespeare plays, including The Taming of the Shrew.
Gelder’s TV debut came in the series New Scotland Yard in 1972. The second show he ever appeared in was ITV Sunday Night Theater.
In his review of Three Sisters at the Chichester Festival Theater in 2001, Charles Spencer wrote, “Her abandoned grief when her lover departs is all the more moving because she hasn’t the courage or the kindness to conceal it from her doting old bore of a schoolmaster Kulygin, beautifully played by Ian Gelder with a precision, grace and poignancy that put me in mind of Alec McCowen at his very finest. The moment when he tries to cheer her up with the specs-and-false-mustache kit he’s confiscated from a pupil is the distilled essence of Chekhov – wonderfully funny and unbearably painful at the very same second.”