I don’t have peo­ple wait­ing for the lat­est Al­fred Molina movie

Warwickshire Telegraph - - THEATRE -

When did you first be­come in­ter­ested in act­ing?

MY mum says I was nine years old when I told her I wanted to be an ac­tor. (Laughs) I can’t be­lieve that I knew at the age of nine what I was talk­ing about.

I would not have had any idea of the com­plex­ity of the no­tion. I think I just fell in love with the idea of act­ing.

I do re­mem­ber when I was in pri­mary school, cer­tainly be­fore I was 11 years old, stand­ing in front of the class and read­ing a poem that was a comic lim­er­icky type of thing – get­ting a laugh and I re­mem­ber the feel­ing – a kind of warm wave of ex­cite­ment when I got that laugh.

They were laugh­ing with me and not at me and I re­mem­ber feel­ing ‘I want some more of this.’ (Chuck­les) I was nine and I knew all about show­ing off... and not a lot about act­ing.

You’ve played so many roles dur­ing your ca­reer.

What do you get recog­nised for most?

(SMILES) It de­pends on the de­mo­graphic break­down and gen­der. For men of my age, in their 60s, it is Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, for those in their 40s and 30s it’s all about Spi­der­Man.

Women of my age re­mem­ber An Ed­u­ca­tion, En­chanted April and Frida.

When I was do­ing Fid­dler On The Roof on Broadway a lady came to see me in the show and came back­stage af­ter­wards with her grand­son.

She said she had seen the very first pro­duc­tion of the mu­si­cal with Zero Mos­tel back in the 1960s and I was thrilled to meet her. Her grand­son was 12 and all he wanted to talk about was Spi­der-Man which had just come out that year.

I was de­lighted by that – this older woman who had seen Zero Mos­tel and her grand­son ex­cited about the movie. I just thought that was kind of cool.

What was it like re­turn­ing to the Lon­don stage this year to reprise your role of Amer­i­can ab­stract ex­pres­sion­ist painter Mark Rothko in award-win­ning play Red?

FAN­TAS­TIC. It felt like com­plet­ing the cir­cle which started in 2009 when we opened at the Don­mar in Lon­don.

The usual route is to then go to the West End and per­haps New York, but the New York Times nipped in and gave us a fan­tas­tic re­view ahead of the pack and we were en­cour­aged to go to New York right away and strike when the iron was hot.

Then, two years ago, we did it in LA. I al­ways wanted to do it in the West End and I’ve now able to com­plete the cir­cle. Red won six Tony stage awards and the Lon­don stage pro­duc­tion was a sell-out suc­cess. It is about to be shown in cin­e­mas across the coun­try. How has the pro­duc­tion changed over the years?

FIFTY per cent of the cast has changed and the world has changed since we first did it.

There are themes and re­marks that res­onate in the play in the way that they didn’t 10 years ago.

The whole ex­pe­ri­ence has been very sat­is­fy­ing. The play is phys­i­cally quite de­mand­ing and en­er­getic. I was younger than Rothko when I first played the role and now I’m older and I found it re­ally hard.

If I hear some­one is work­ing on Red in the fu­ture I will think ‘great and good luck. I hope you have as much fun as I did.’

Four months is quite a long stage run. I must be get­ting a bit old when I start talk­ing about get­ting home to my favourite chair, but it’s nice to be back.

Do you paint your­self?

I LOVE art and love go­ing to see it and think­ing about it, but I can’t paint. I’m lack­ing those skills.

It’s al­ways been act­ing for me. When I was younger I thought I was not hand­some enough to be a lead­ing man. I thought I would be a char­ac­ter ac­tor and I’d be the lead­ing man’s wacky side­kick and I was pretty right. I’ve re­ally made my ca­reer play­ing great char­ac­ter roles.

I can look at my­self in movies and tele­vi­sion when I was a younger ac­tor and ap­pre­ci­ate what I was try­ing to do. Mis­takes and all. I’m not em­bar­rassed by any­thing. There are a few out there that I wish I hadn’t done, but I’m not wor­ry­ing about it.

Do you and your ac­tress wife

Jill Gas­coine now feel at home in LA?

IT STARTED off as an ad­ven­ture and the next thing you know you’ve got a mort­gage and a dog.

It creeps up on you.

We went think­ing ‘give it one year and see what hap­pens.’ But things go well and then you find 10 years have gone by.

There’s never been any prob­lem about fame. (Laughs) I’m not at that level of celebrity.

I don’t have peo­ple wait­ing for the lat­est Al­fred Molina movie. I’m not that. I’m at a mi­nor level.

What’s next for you?

FUN­NILY enough I’m de­vel­op­ing two scripts now and work­ing to per­haps di­rect in the fu­ture.

It’s very early days and I’m rather re­luc­tant to talk about it be­cause it is such a great cliché in Cal­i­for­nia.

I’ve only re­cently had the chance to start not work­ing. I’ve never been in that po­si­tion be­fore, but if I live mod­estly, if I don’t get a crazy, ex­pen­sive hobby, I can just too­tle along and just work when I want to.

Al­fred Molina as Mark Rothko in the West End hit Red – com­ing to a cinema screen near you

Al­fred Molinasays he doesn’t get em­bar­rassedwatch­ing him­self on film or TV –al­though there are a few things hewishes he hadn’t done

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