|Photo: Dan Wooller|
20 Questions with ... The Winslow Boy's Nick Hendrix
Date: 22 March 2013
Nick Hendrix is currently playing Dickie in Lindsay Posner's revival of Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy, which continues at the Old Vic until 25 May 2013
Where and when were you born?
I was born in Ascot on 19 March 1985 (The Winslow Boy press night was my birthday). I grew up in Eton, near Windsor.
What made you want to become an actor?
Singing took me on stage first in the obligatory school musicals, but watching a lot of films as a kid showed me as an actor you can do every job - fireman, knight, astronaut, sportsmen.
If you hadn't become an actor, what might you have done professionally?
My mum always said because I was good at maths and lazy I should be a pilot because they have a nice life! Otherwise I would've tried to do something that paid me lots of money.
First big break?
I think getting into RADA changed everything for me. That is the reason for any break I may have had.
Career highlights to date?
Playing Stanhope in Journey's End (a landmark role for any young actor). My West End debut was in What the Butler Saw - on-stage nudity and all...
David Grindlay has mastered Journey's End and has an amazing respect for it. Lindsay Posner is the best so far - a really intelligent, kind director who marshals his actors with great dexterity and authority. I'd like to work with Sam Mendes on stage and Christopher Nolan on screen.
What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
My school took us to a lot of early Frantic Assembly work which showed what you could do on stage - but to be honest I didn't have a very theatrical upbringing and only once at RADA did I go very much.
And the last?
This House at the National was a fascinating piece of history and politics with humour and pathos, all staged beautifully in the Olivier.
Dickie is very likeable. He is the energetic beating heart of the family”
What attracted you to the role of Dickie Winslow?
Dickie is very likeable. He is the energetic beating heart of the family and the more I enjoy his positivity the more effective his fall. There's an athleticism to playing him that appeals to me.
Would it be fair to describe him as a drop-out?
No, he's like many youngsters - just wants to have fun and enjoy life, he's not consciously lazy. His heart is in the right place.
What's your favourite line in the play?
That I say "soft needle and an old sweater down the horn". That another says: "Bother my taxi!" - Desmond just cracks me up!
Why do you think Rattigan has undergone such a resurgence recently?
His centenary played a part I think and also it's no longer unfashionable. Good writing should endure.
Besides this, what is your favourite Rattigan play?
After the Dance.
How have you found working at the Old Vic?
A real pleasure. We are extremely well looked after and it is clearly an institution in our industry. As a young actor to work here it's an honour.
What's your favourite post-show haunt?
Due to its location the Pit Bar is hard to leave! But once venturing over the river I like the Groucho Club or Century for the roof terrace in the summer.
Who are your acting heroes?
I'm a big fan of the recent success of British actors in Hollywood. Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, and Daniel Craig to name a few. I think James Franco is a fascinating talent and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an Oscar winner of tomorrow.
James Bond. Simple. (I feel that being part of a huge franchise is the only way to create a timeless legacy as an actor.)
What's your favourite film?
Big question. Good Will Hunting I've seen a lot, and Bad Boys is a classic buddy movie (a genre I love). Recently Django Unchained is challenging the likes of Se7en, Gladiator and Fight Club in my top five.
And favourite holiday destination?
I've just been to Goa and Dubai with my girlfriend. Two of the most fascinating and enjoyable places for such completely opposite reasons.
What have you got lined up next?
I'm playing the male lead, Prince Digby, in The Light Princess by Tori Amos, directed by Marianne Elliot at the National. Rehearsals start in August.