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20 Questions with... The Scottsboro Boys' Julian Glover

Actor Julian Glover's extensive work on stage includes the lead in The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre), King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe), Richard II (Old Vic) and Oliver! (West End). He is currently appearing as The Interlocutor in The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic

By • London
Julian Glover and the company of The Scottsboro Boys
Julian Glover and the company of The Scottsboro Boys
© Richard Hubert Smith

1. Where were you born?
St John's Wood, London

2. What were you like as a child?
Quite out-doorsy. Loved wandering in the woods at Bristol with my friend, who was the son of the Ranger. Always trying to make things, always badly. Shy. Sometimes a bit of a bully.

3. Why did you want to become an actor?
Michael Croft, founder of the National Youth Theatre, was English master at my school, Alleyn's in Dulwich, and asked me to play Mark Antony in his production of Julius Caesar. I was 15 years old.That started me off!

4. Who were your early heroes?
Denis Compton and Bill Edrich.

5. First big break?
Getting into the then Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford on Avon as a walk-on. Those three years were fundamental to whatever has happened to me later.

6. Worst audition?
For a commercial, in a smelly, filthy basement, trying to act watching an aeroplane passing overhead. I didn't get it.

7. Best advice you've been given?
From the great Anthony Quayle: Never be jealous of anybody; you never know what they may have had to pay for their success.

8. Favourite theatre joke/story?
The well-known story of Edith Evans in Waters of The Moon, the run already a year old and after three attempts by the prompter after a long silence during the first scene: "Yes dear, we know the line, but who says it?"

9. If you could go back in time and see one performance on stage, who/what would it be?
Any performance by David Garrick.

10. You're one of the few actors to have appeared in a Bond film and an Indiana Jones film. What was more fun?
More fun, the Bond, more satisfying, Indiana Jones.

11. Why did you want to get involved in The Scottsboro Boys?
Once having heard the recording of the show in New York, wouldn't you?!

12. Can you tell us more about your character, The Interlocutor?
He is not a 'character'. He is as described, someone who attempts to make a whole of many parts. Like an M.C. or a Ringmaster, who sometimes actually takes part as another character in order to hurry things along, and despite himself holds the same prejudices as everyone else.

The company of The Scottsboro Boys
The company of The Scottsboro Boys
© Richard Hubert Smith

13. What's it like working with Susan Stroman?
Susan, or 'Stro' as she is known, is absolutely terrific. In every way. A charming, enthusiastic, feet-on-the-ground person with a total theatrical instinct. Easy, encouraging, always helpful, never destructive. We all agree we'd travel the world to work with her - and often do!

14. Favourite moment in the show?
The very last, frozen moment before the curtain call.

15. How do you like to unwind?
With my wife, the actress Isla Blair, and a glass of well chilled Sauvignon Blanc, in our living room with our two cats, Maude and Gertie.

16. Do you often get recognised (and for which role)?
Yes. For no particular role usually. More "aren't you an actor?" I am recognised often enough to make me realise that I am still around, and not enough to be a nuisance. Those poor 'Stars' who can't go out in public! I live next door to one, and though very rich, his life is a nightmare.That's not what I became an actor for.

17. What's the best thing about acting?
Working in the theatre. To know that (hopefully) you are actually communicating with live human beings.

18. And the worst?
The fear before a First Night in the theatre. This can go on for days. I have it at this moment as I think about it.

19. What can you tell us about the next series of Game of Thrones?
Absolutely nothing! I don't know anyway, but if I did I wouldn't let on. We are all contractually forbidden to reveal anything.

20. If you were President for a day, what would you do?
I would demolish every high-rise and skyscraper building in the land! This would take more than a day probably, but can I be the one to knock the first pane of glass off the top of the Shard?!

The Scottsboro Boys is running at the Young Vic Theatre until 21 December 2013

Tags: Young Vic20 QuestionsThe Scottsboro BoysJulian Glover


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