Lee Mead on making the transition from screen to stageDate: 24 March 2012
Since winning Any Dream Will Do, Lee Mead has gone on to appear in Wicked, Legally Blonde and has even turned his hand to straight acting in Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and a couple of popular television dramas. Now married to Denise Van Outen and a proud family man, I caught up with him backstage at one of the concerts on his recent tour.
It’s freedom of choice, I guess, but I decided from the outset to be honest. I was the guy who had done musical theatre for a few years but I hadn’t had the chance to play a lead role yet.
Your television performances were so passionate and committed. Did your experience help with that?
I think I just try and go out there and enjoy myself. I do my homework on whatever role it is I’m playing and then I just let the rest happen. Thankfully it seems to have worked so far.
When did you stop and think that you could actually win it?
An actor can play many different roles but if you have a personal connection to something that you love then you add passion. Joseph was the first musical that I ever saw, and I just believed that I could be him – if I ever got the chance.
Some of the other guys said they knew you would win after the second week of live shows.
How did it feel to hear your name called out as the winner?
The whole experience was surreal, but very exciting too. Being woken up in our multi-coloured beds by a film crew and all the missions we had to do which were, at times, quite random. It was stressful, but a lot of fun too.
Was actually playing Joseph a lot of fun?
Joseph is a very simple show – simple plot, simple songs and it’s very easy for it to get lost and become wishy-washy, but if you have a great team of people, who sincerely believe in it, it’s so touching and special. I was very conscious that I wanted to act the role and not just go along and sing the songs, look good, make sure my hair was right and all that.
Those acting skills then took you into Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime. Will you do more of that?
Tonight you’re performing in concert as part of your current tour?
Right now, I feel that I should be going in an acting direction and finding myself more in that area. Hopefully another musical will come along. I’d love to be part of a brand new production. I’m very proud of the tour, and of the Love Album, but doing more of this is not on my radar at the moment.
I have just one more question. How has your daughter Betsy changed your life?
Any parent will tell you that, when you have your own child, it changes your view of everything. I’d jump in front of a bus to save her at any given second. The time we spend together is so precious. This last week we’ve been for walks and been to the zoo and it puts your whole life into perspective. I love her, and Denise, so much.
Back to Southeast Homepage