I overthink everything. I’m very keen there should be a positive outcome. I like to control outcomes. But you can’t. That’s what is nice about being an actor, that you work really hard and it pays off. But at the end of the day, for it to be any good, you have to let go. I’d like to be better at this in life.
People’s character is their behaviour – we’re all capable of good and evil.
It might sound glib, but in a sense, as an actor I’m a journalist and a psychologist recording life and truth.
The most amazing thing you can ask for as an actor from a director is that you’re being seen, that the choices made are informed.
Actors should avoid talking about their personal lives.
Acting is a mysterious process.
I’m a socialist. I’m amazed at how the spirit of socialism is alive and well in New York. I had always thought I wouldn’t want to be here without a lot of money, but I was wrong about that.
I think. as a child, there’s something frightening about certain adults, particularly when you’re in their clutches or power. That must be the reason why Roald Dahl creates such brilliant characters: He taps into something in the collective memory of people.
It’s an odd experience reading interviews with yourself. Interesting, though. Of course, you know that the journalist will have edited, rephrased or even rewritten what you actually said, but you can’t help feeling that there’s a special kind of truth in the way someone else paints you, however subjective they might be.
I live close to Hampstead Heath, so when I do have spare time, I like to raise my white blood cell count with a swim in the men’s pond. It’s an ambition of mine to swim in the ponds on every day of the year.
Working with the children on ‘Matilda’ has been a joy. They don’t do this professionally – their sense of discovery is instinctive, and the challenge for us adults is to keep that going in ourselves when we’re doing it for the fiftieth or the hundredth time. To my delight and amazement, it hasn’t gone stale – we discover it freshly every time.
I came to musical theatre from straight acting, and a lot of my friends have a real prejudice about musical theatre – one I probably shared.
I think musicals can be more than what people imagine. That’ll be the case with ‘Matilda.’ It’s such a clever thing to stage. Parents would have read this when they were young and will want to share it with their children because they have such a fondness for the source.
Kids are no fools: they’re very sophisticated, they don’t miss a lot; they don’t miss nuance.
I get so carried away in interviews and deliver 1,500-word treatises, then find it’s been reduced to something pithier but also not quite accurate. Although I imagine there are people I work with who wish they could edit me every day.