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20 Questions with ... Phantom star Marcus Lovett

Marcus Lovett is currently playing the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running West End hit The Phantom of the Opera. He is also taking part in Night of 1000 Stars on Sunday 5 May 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall

Where and when were you born?
Albany New York, USA. 25 February 1964.

What made you want to become an actor?
At eleven years old I decided I wanted to improve on Dick Van Dyke's cockney accent.

If you hadn’t become an actor, what might you have done professionally?

First big break?
I was in the original Broadway production of Les Mis after being in NY for a month.

Career highlights to date?
Last night's performance of Phantom.

Favourite co-stars?
My son Dylan played my son Absalom in King David. He is my favourite.

What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
Terry Hands' production of Cyrano starring Derek Jacobi.

And the last?
London Road.

Was it always an ambition to play the Phantom?
When I saw Michael Crawford play it so uniquely and brilliantly, I pitied any actor who would follow.

How do you go about making the role your own?
A combination of coffee and chocolate.

Favourite song in the show?

What's your favourite post-show hang out?
The only night, literally, that I hang out is Saturday with the company at Captain's Cabin. I always consume two pints. Of iced water.

How do you unwind?
Ronnie Scott's by myself, and twitter @marcuslovett_

If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
My father, or a spotlight operator.

Who's your acting/singing idol?
Geraldine Page, Anthony Quinn and Mandy Patinkin.

Favourite film?
The Pope of Greenwich Village.

Are you looking forward to Night of 1,000 Stars?
Yes. To be reunited with Hugh Wooldridge, one of my first professional directors, for a terrific cause in an historic venue, is gratifying. To work alongside the magnificent Len Cariou, with whom I once shared a singing teacher, Paul Gavert, makes me misty-eyed

What's the evening about?
This is the real thrill. It is a tribute to the great work of a legend, Mr Harold Prince. I cannot even imagine what today's musical theatre would be like without his tremendous contribution.

How important a figure in theatre is Harold Prince?
What many people do not understand is how inextricable a director is from what is seen and heard. Mr Prince is a one man revolution who has had an impact on most of what one experiences in the musical theatre.

What have you got lined up next?
An Alexander lesson with Noel Kingsley at 1:15.


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