Frank Borrell is becoming a screen regular – recent appearances include Daffodils of May, Brokenwood Mysteries and Filthy Rich – so it’s hard to believe he’s fresh from The Actors’ Program. Borrell is currently performing alongside Jodie Hillock in the stageplay Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Interviewed by Mike Alexander. It would have to be me reclined in a La-Z-Boy, in front of a fireplace in a cosy cottage somewhere in the forest, having cookies and milk. That’s heaven to me.
Which living person do you most admire?
I’m going to have to choose two for this. These two people would have to be my parents. I admire their strength, great work ethics, and commitment to providing the best that they can with what they know, for their family. I’m just so thankful for their unconditional love and support and presence in my life.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
When I was 13 I started my first day in high school and was super excited to take up drama, which was my first class of the day. Went in super excited and had to do our first exercise. But before I had the chance to go up, a guy yelled out some nasty comments like ‘‘you’re stink’’ and everybody started to giggle along. That moment stopped me dead in my tracks and that week I changed subjects and didn’t get back into acting until I was like 24.
Ever stolen anything?
I must admit I was quite the thief when I was a young buck. I’ve stolen a lot of gold and silver coins from my Mum’s purse and Dad’s wallet, which fuelled my addiction for playing arcade games such as Space Invaders. When I got caught, I would try to put my acting chops to work and tell every lie under the sun just to avoid getting the Jandal across my backside. Never worked.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Man, I have this weird thing where in one spot on my head, hair never grows. It’s like hair all over and then this small one small spot, zero, nothing. That would have to be it. Everything else I’m happy with. Well, at least for now.
Which living person do you most despise and why?
I love everybody – maybe not that guy who said I was stink in my first drama class. Nah, he’s cool.
What life lesson would you pass on to your children?
I have so many that I would love to pass on to my children if and when the time comes. But the biggest thing I think I would want to pass on to them, is to embrace failure, that failure is good. We live our lives trying so hard to avoid failure, but failure is the real evidence that we’ve tried. If you avoid failure, you avoid taking action. Expect and accept that failure is part of the experience. Learn from it and move on.
What job would you do other than your own and why?
Being a superhero is a job right? I would love to be a superhero. On a serious note though, I think doctors, scientist, firefighters, people whose duties involve helping and servicing the needs of others in need are awesome. Any job that requires that, I would love to do, other than my own.
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Basement Theatre, Auckland until September 2.