|A WILD CHILD IN EDEN||
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Daily Mail 1990
by Sophia Watson
Being a Hollywood heart-throb is the kind of future most would jump at. Bruce Payne says he's not good-looking enough. He has a point: saved from the edge of ugliness by a magnificent Marlon Brando nose, his jaw is lantern, his blue-grey eyes puffy and too narrow for his long face and his longish hair is carefully sculpted around his already receding hairline. And yet he is being hailed as Britain's answer to Don Johnson, a dubios honour, I would think. He has, as they say, a presence: a certain tough-guy charm which marries well with his character Eden in ITV's Saturday night series Yellowthread Street, a British Miami Vice set in depressingly seedy Hongkong. So who is this new macho hero, this accomplished 29-year-old actor who could slot easily into any slick American cop show? The answers are surprising, spanning an extraordinary adolescence of law-breaking and adventures with gipsies, to an immobile spell in hospital for five months.
at 15, he spent five months in hospital with a form of spina bifida. "I was in the casualty ward for the whole time, alongside guys with legs and arms missing. I used to lie in that hospital bed and cry my heart out, thinking about all the wrecked lives round me. I was scared out of my life, scared what was going to happen to me. "My spine was fused. Some nights after the operation, when I couldn't move, I would lie awake thinking about what would happen if there was a fire. There is never a day goes by when I don't tell myself how lucky I am." Yellowthread Street, uneven and slightly ludicrous, is unlikely to form the pinnacle of his career. "But I'm not disappointed in the experience, it was a good time for growth. "The producers did themselves no favours, though, in choosing the opening episode. There were three white Caucausians chasing three ostensibly yellow people. Not very 1990's is it?"