Actors. What are they like?

Sunday 15 July 2007

“Never meet your heroes” they say. Not that John Simm is Andrew’s hero. Nor, for that matter, has he met him. But the wisdom still stands. “Never read interviews with people whose performances you have quite enjoyed” works just as well.

Andrew had been impressed and surprised by Simm’s performances as Elling in Elling and as The Master in Dr Who but now it appears that the man all but burns his fan mail (without reading it) and – worse – objects to people sleeping while he’s acting.

This is according to an interview in the Evening Standard in which the man whinges pretty much constantly about being a star, being recognised and having people nod off in the front row.

Of course, it may be just another of those Queen-storms-out-in-a-huff concoctions (not Phil on that particular occasion). Let’s hope so. He apparently said:

“I’ve reached a zenith of it with Life on Mars. It’s driving me crazy. There were people queuing at The Bush to get me to sign DVD box sets, and I probably gave them fairly short shrift. I don’t open fan mail any more. I’ve got piles of it, which is not a boast, but a fact, and I just can’t be bothered with it. The whole thing becomes a bit narcissistic after a while. I’ve run out of photos and I’d be there for months reading it, so I just don’t look.”

Oh, f*** off then. Don’t be an actor; it comes with the territory really. He drones on:

“I got really really angry with people falling asleep at The Bush,” he says. “I know it was hot in April, and I know it’s a very small theatre, but if you’re old and you’re tired, don’t sit in the f***ing front row. Don’t come to the theatre.”

Oh, f*** off then. Get a proper job.

Andrew was particularly incensed by this bit as falling asleep is his forte and if he’s paid for a seat he feels pretty entitled to do what he likes with it.

The thing about actors is that they don’t understand the real world. They have no idea what it’s like to work an eight-hour day and then have to sit through up to three hours of theatre in the evening. It’s tough.

Compare that with the life of an actor: someone has written down what they have to say and someone else tells them where to stand and then all they have to do is repeat it eight times a week for a few hours at a time.

Still, at least it leaves Simm lots of time to brood and get bitter:

Hollywood is making a film version [of State of Play], set in Washington, in which Bill Nighy will reprise his role as the paper’s editor and Brad Pitt will play McCaffrey. Simm screws his face up. “I understand they need big names, and it’s America, but, you know, it does piss me off a bit. It’ll be a big glossy thing, nothing like what we did. To get on in America you’ve got to play the game, and I’m 37 and just not up for it. They know who I am, and they know where I am. I’m not going to go over there and start begging for work.”

Oh, f*** off. Get a proper job then.

Whingers. Don’t you just hate them?

5 Responses to “Actors. What are they like?”

  1. Mark t Says:

    Hi there, just to follow-on from your story: we saw Elling last night, and met John Simm at the stage door – he was very charming with the people gathered there, and posed for photos too. Perhaps he had had an off day when he was interviewed? Or perhaps he had read your article and was doing a PR recovery job…

    Cheers, Mark

  2. Paul J Says:

    Is this ironic? If you find it hard work going to the theatre, then don’t go. Simple.


  3. @ Mark t: thanks for the update. We’re thinking of going and testing your assertion for ourselves in fact.

    @ Paul J: you don’t go to the theatre much, do you?

  4. AnnaWaits Says:

    Mark: “we saw Elling last night, and met John Simm at the stage door – he was very charming with the people gathered there, and posed for photos too”

    What?!! I actively avoided going to the stage door in case he was off with me and it spoilt a brilliant evening. Dammit.

  5. Rullsenberg Says:

    Ah Anna, that’ll larn ya!


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