20 Questions with... Dirty Rotten Scoundrels star Katherine Kingsley
Katherine Kingsley is about to sing, dance and con in ''Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'' - following success in another film adaptation, ''Singin' in the Rain.''
1. Where and when were you born?
I was born in Cambridge on Christmas Eve.
2. What made you want to become an actor?
I joined a Saturday morning drama group when I was about 10 years old and fell in love with it then. I adored the camaraderie and sense of being part of a pack. I never thought of doing anything else, so I naturally drifted into it professionally.
3. If you hadn't become an actor, what might you have done professionally?
I probably would have been an architect, like my dad. I love design and would have enjoyed doing something that gives you freedom to travel, whilst being creative.
4. First big break?
When I played Marlene Dietrich, in Jamie Lloyd's production of Piaf, at the Donmar Warehouse. I got my first Olivier nomination with that and got noticed. I'm not sure I've had a BIG break yet, though. Hopefully that's still to come.
5. Career highlights to date?
Most recently, I played Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream - that was a bit of a highlight seeing as it's a part I always wanted to play. She was such a funny, vulnerable and verbose character. Also, Lina Lamont in Singin' In The Rain was a bit of a gift. So lovely to play a female character who gets the funny lines for herself rather than serving them up for a man to say... which is usually the way it goes.
6. Any regrets?
Regrets are pointless and get you nowhere! Better to learn from mistakes and keep moving forward in life.
7. What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
My mum took me to see Annie Get Your Gun with Suzi Quatro when I was little. I remember that being incredibly exciting. We, as a family, would always go to the pantomime too and I adored going on stage afterwards! So highbrow stuff, really.
8. And the last?
I loved The Pride at the Trafalgar Studios. I read the play years ago and it knocked me for six. I missed it first time round at the Royal Court as we had transferred Piaf into the Vaudeville. So to actually see it recently was wonderful. It was first class - proper acting and exquisite direction.
9. Who are your acting idols?
I don't really have acting idols. I see actors being utterly brilliant all the time. Most recently, I saw 12 Years A Slave with stand out performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o. Then I saw The Wolf Of Wall Street and was blown away by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie. Women that I've worked with that have inspired me for many and varied reasons would be Patricia Hodge, Anne Reid, Elena Roger, Celia Imrie, Sheridan Smith, Scarlett Strallen and Haydn Gwynne.
10. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
'We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.'
11. What attracted you to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?
I liked the idea of playing a character that isn't really what she pretends to be. Also, I quite fancied singing again having not sung properly for a couple of years. Then, of course, I have the privilege of working with Robert Lindsay and Jerry Mitchell.
12. How have you prepared for the role?
I've taken up conning rich men in casinos and generally stealing from as many people as possible and getting seriously rich in doing so. It's always nice to pick up new skills with every role, and now I can afford to buy a designer handbag.
13. Tell us about your character?
I play an American Soap Heiress called Christine Colgate from Cincinnati. She's extremely sweet, naive and genuine. She also has hidden depths, which come as a surprise at the end. She's quite a complex thing really and I'm still figuring her out.
14. Favourite song in the show?
I have an incredible entrance, quite late into the First Act, with a song called "Here I Am" - that would have to be my favourite.
15. Any rehearsal room mishaps?
Apart from nearly falling arse over tit with Robert Lindsay today and witnessing Rufus Hound being whipped so hard it caused a very nasty red mark on his leg - none.
16. What do you hope people take away from the show?
I hope people will find it incredibly funny and be awed by our amazing, talented ensemble and come away feeling they have been thoroughly entertained. I have to say that David Yazbek's music and lyrics are really, truly brilliant.
17. What's your favourite thing to do on a non show day?
I love pottering around...so ideally cooking something delicious and having some friends over. Or going for a walk in the countryside, or getting a massage, or just lying horizontally for an entire day! Generally chilling out as much as possible and doing things that are absolutely nothing to do with Theatre.
18. How do you unwind after a performance?
I like going out for dinner or having a glass of wine. I also like to sink into a hot bath (preferably with a glass of wine).
19. If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I'd like to be the Dalai Lama. Imagine being able to feel enlightened like thateven for ten minutes?! For a whole day, I'd hopefully be able to take away a lifetime of inner peace and goodness.
20. Could you sum up why people should come and see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?
Because it's got a truly cracking cast and the songs are the funniest, wittiest and musically dexterous I've heard in a long time. The book is brilliant and Jerry Mitchell has directed it and he's a Broadway Legend.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is at the Manchester Opera House 12 - 22 February, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 26 February - 1 March, and the Savoy in London from 10 March.