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2002 - Question & Answer Special.

Author: Staff Writer.
Publication: RGO.

Actor Rupert Graves takes part in an exclusive "question and answer" interview, giving his replies to a host of queries put forward by his fans.

Note: Rupert Graves had no prior knowledge of the questions put forward by his fans, and answered them all without hesitation.

Hi there, how's it going ?

Rupert Graves: Great thanks, you ?

Quite good, okay in fact - now I know you are really pushed for time, lot of things to do etc., so we'll just kick in straight away, and we can do as many questions here as we can, we could do the other questions later in the year ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, okay.

Okay, the first one is from a guy called Pete, he says - I personally think you are a brilliant actor, you always bring great depth to your roles - is there any role or roles that you would refuse ?

Rupert Graves: Any role I would refuse......not on principal.....I take roles which I think I can do, because I have some resonance in myself.

Okay....the next one is from Daniella, she asks - Have you ever turned down a role, only to regret it later ?

Rupert Graves: Hmmm....I've not done as much in getting a role as I should have done, and regretted it after.

Right, slightly different then ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, a bit......

Okay, the next one up is a two parter from Stephanie, she asks - Can you remember the first ever film you saw at the cinema ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah.....I think it was "Murder On The Orient Express", with Albert Finney....

Okay, and the second part is - What was the last film you saw at the cinema ?

Rupert Graves: Bloody Hell !

(Laughing) What ? - You can't remember ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Let me think......hmmmm....the last film I saw....God that's terrible, I'm just trying to think what it was....that's it - It was "Iris" which was fantastic!

Right, it has great reviews and it's actually on my list of ones to go see....

Rupert Graves: Yeah, it's really good.

Okay, next one is from Christine, she asks - How tall are you ?

Rupert Graves: Five foot ten, and seven eighths.

(Laughing) Ha, that's pretty precise ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Yeah, it is!

I just get a tape out or whatever, and it's like Five foot ten and a bit...

Rupert Graves: Maybe I'm five eleven.....

Okay, that's close enough.....your next one is from Mark, he asks - Have you ever signed up for a production, either stage, film, television, and you've realised before it's completion that you've made a huge mistake, and that you've been wasting your time ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I've been disappointed, mainly in plays.....I did a play called "Les Enfants Du Paradis", a play at The RSC.....


Rupert Graves: And I realised about half way through the production that it was not going to be.....very good.

What about films - I should imagine (laughing) it would be "Desert", would it ?

Rupert Graves:(Laughing) Er, yeah!

Okay, next one is from Martin, he asks - As an actor, which role in a film are you most proud of ?

Rupert Graves: I dunno, um....I like "Madness Of King George" as a film....

Right, but a particular role you've played, where you've perhaps sat back afterwards and thought you've done a really good job ?

Rupert Graves: I don't really know....

No ?

Rupert Graves: I can't think.....I don't know about that one.

Okay, a similar question from Dawn, same question really, but relating to your stage work ?

Rupert Graves: I think on stage, my best would be a play called "The Pitchfork Disney", which was at The Bush.

Okay, next one up is from Stephen, he asks - Like many other actors, do you plan to go into directing in the future ?

Rupert Graves: I kind have a vague notion of doing it.....


Rupert Graves: Yeah, I'd like to do that perhaps, but I'm not actively pursuing it yet.

Okay, this next one never put their name down....he asks, As a screenwriter, I would like to know what your dream role is ?

Rupert Graves: I don't know, I really just don't know.....I just like scripts that work on their own terms, you know what I mean ?


Rupert Graves: A really good script, something you can get your teeth into.

Okay, next one is from Rosie, she asks - Will you be appearing in "The Caretaker" in New York this year ? I'm thinking that the answer is going to be no, as you're doing "The Elephant Man" now ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, so that's not going to happen.....

There was a possibility of going to The US though ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, they were talking about it, but I don't think it will now.

Right, next one is from Carol, she asks (as well as a stack of others!) - Have you signed up to play in a film called "Back On Monday", with Rupert Everett, which is about the Burgess and Maclean escape from England ?

Rupert Graves: No, I don't know what happened with that, it all went pretty quiet. I think that Rupert Everett pulled out, and I think the project's probably died...

Okay, next one up is from Ariel, he says Hi, and asks - When are you coming to The US to make a movie ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) I dunno - when they invite me!

Right, that question....actually there were loads asking the same thing, or similar...Rachel asks about your next film project(s) - you have anything lined up at present ?

Rupert Graves: Not really.....just doing this play...

Okay Rupert, next one is from Karen, she asks - In America, you have been compared to Robert Downey Junior, I would take that as a compliment, as setting aside his current personal problems, he is quite the natural talent, there is an innocence in the way he acts, he makes acting seem easy and effortless and I get the same feeling from your acting, do you see the comparison, and if anyone, who do you most identify yourself with as an actor, in the style in which you act ?

Rupert Graves: God, I don't know...I mean I love Robert Downey Junior, I think he's a great actor, and I take that as a massive compliment....I have people who's acting I Robert Donat, he's an old English actor who I like very much...but you know, as an actor I really believe that you have to express yourself...

Right, so it's yourself, and your style ?

Rupert Graves:Yes, exactly.

Karen also wants you to know that she loved you in "Different For Girls".

Rupert Graves: Nice, thanks.

Okay, next one up is from Allison, she asks - Have you finished your screenplay adaptation of the novel "Ripley Bogel" ?

Rupert Graves: Er, (laughter)!

(Laughing) Been a bit busy ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I've been really busy with a lot of things and I've not had the time....

Okay, another one here without a name to it.... - Dear Mr. Graves, as an actor, do you look for the truth of a scene, either from an emotional standpoint, or from the text ?

Rupert Graves: I don't know what that means ?

Neither do I as I'm looking at it here.....let's think a sec......

Rupert Graves: Oh, I think I know what he means, either from your heart or your head....

Right, got it.....

Rupert Graves: I don't know, em...there's a nice old Russian saying which is you can keep a cold head, and a hard heart, you can keep an analytical mind, but follow your instincts, that's what I do.

Good one.....

Rupert Graves: Well, the actual truth is, all the feeling in the script, or in a scene, comes from your understanding of the text, and how to handle the situation.

For some weird reason, I've just remembered something that I meant to mention....umm.....what do they call the guy in "Donnie Brasco" again ?

Rupert Graves:Ummm.....

Damn, I can't remember his name now, he's a huge star, young actor....

Rupert Graves: Oh, Johnny Depp.

That's the one! Thanks.....the reason I mention him, is that a few people have mentioned that they think you look a little like him ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) No!! He's got the best looking cheekbones on the planet, my face is like a sponge!

A sponge ! Away with you, next one up is from Sarah, she asks - Having followed your career thus far, I am always transfixed to the screen by your image, and I wondered have you ever considered a role in 007, preferably Bond himself ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I'd love to play Bond, it would be a great laugh, it's like every actor's, not dream job, but it would be so hilarious to do. Yeah, that would be great.

Okay, next one is from Linda, and she asks, amongst others, - In "The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall" were they really leeches that were used, and if they were, did you not feel weird for having them on you ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, they were, and they weren't supposed to bite on the day, but one did, and you can't pull them off because their jaws get stuck in your flesh, so in effect you just let them gorge, until they finish, and when they've had enough they just drop off naturally.

That's horrible!

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I had to wait around for about three hours after filming stopped, with these leeches attached to my chest, drinking my blood.....

Didn't it make you feel a bit queasy ?

Rupert Graves: It did...I kind of became morbidly fascinated by it....

Linda mentions that if it was real leeches, and we've established that, she thinks it was incredibly brave of you.

Rupert Graves: Thanks!

Next one up is from Ross, and he asks - Rupert, how did you get into character for the part of "Septimus" in "Mrs. Dalloway", as the part where you are in the park actually had me in tears, you looked so terrified.

Rupert Graves: Well, it was a curious one, as when I read it I didn't understand it, then I started reading about Virginia Woolf, and I realised that the terrors that had been put into Septimus were actually her own terrors, paranoia, and probably to do with being sexually abused as a child, by her Latin teacher......I just imagined it, I just imagine....

So it comes from somewhere inside then......

Rupert Graves: Yeah, and then I actually went down to a hospital in South London, and talked with some people who had been working with people who had been in The Gulf War, because basically what Septimus had was what we now call post traumatic stress disorder, what it was called then was "shell shock" I was talking with people who'd worked with soldiers who had been in combat situations, and they were describing to me that sometimes they would just open a door, and they (the patients) would just dive under a table, thinking a bomb was going to go off or something, so I just did a lot of research and tried with my imagination.

That really does sound awful.....on a lighter note, the next question is from June, who says - Rupert, will you ever forgive me for interrupting your shopping in Tesco on Sunday the 9th September ?

Rupert Graves: (Lots of laughter)....

Do you remember ?

Rupert Graves: Yes I do remember.

Well, she says you were very gracious, but she says that you're a wonderful actor and she simply couldn't resist it!

Rupert Graves: Well, thanks, and I really didn't mind at all.

Okay, next one up is from Carol, and she asks - Did you ever consider the role of Stuart in "Queer As Folk", or were you offered it, and what did you think of the series ?

Rupert Graves: I didn't see the series, I was offered the chance to go up for it, but I didn't want to do it.

Any particular reason ?

Rupert Graves: Because I didn't want to be naked for so long! No seriously the scripts were great......

Some of the scenes in it were hilarious to say the least.

Rupert Graves: I think actually, that might be a role that I might regret not going up for, it turned out to be very good and funny....I was also getting to a point in my career where I was only being offered gay parts, and I wanted to sort of steer away from that, I want to do a lot of different things....

You do seem to get offered a lot of those, all probably down to "Maurice" ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, from Maurice, and I've done a few's not that I'm shy of playing gay parts, I just didn't want to be typecast.

Right, next one up is from Linda, and she asks - How do you prepare for a stage role, as I noticed that in "The Caretaker", that your performance really changed during the run, much more so than the other actors, and do you learn from other actors that you perform with ?

Rupert Graves: Well, the thing about live work, is that you're doing it every night you perform, for a matter of months, it could be a year even, I think the longest I've ever done is seven months, and I like to try and keep it fresh, and I think a lot of good acting comes from confidence, and I think I get more confident as I go on, I get freer, and I just like to keep working at things, and changing things, and to try and keep it fresh really, because I think that's what is exciting about working in the theatre.

Yes, I remember you told me that you actually prefer working live, for the buzz etc. ?

Rupert Graves: Exactly.

Further into the question, Linda asks - What actor's whom you've worked with on the stage, have you been most impressed with and why, for example Michael Gambon is generally considered to be the best actor on stage, do you admire him ?

Rupert Graves: Oh yeah, very much, very much. He has this ability to stay free and lose on the stage, and he's not afraid or ashamed.

I quite like his film work too.

Rupert Graves: Yes, he's great, he can be wonderful.

For example, in "The Innocent Sleep", your role as the scouser was very good, and Michael did this great job of bringing a touch of evil to the corrupt officer.

Rupert Graves: Yeah, he was very good.

Staying with the stage thing, the next one up is from Rachel, and she asks - What's your take on The Royal Shakespeare Company controversy, i.e. being demolished and rebuilt ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I never played the theatre, but I know a lot of people didn't like playing it because the acoustics are so crap, and my own take on it is it's better to build a good theatre, than to nostalgically hold onto something that's not so good, but my opinion changes about things like The Old Vic, which is a lovely theatre.

Do you get nostalgic about theatres you've played ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, but I always wanted to play there before I played there, because I loved a play that I had seen there, and the difference is that's a brilliant place to play, it's a lovely theatre.

(Laughing) Are you busy doing something ?

Rupert Graves: Um, yeah, busy getting a Quality Street. (confectionery - pb).

(Laughing) Oh right, you still off the cigs, you put any weight on ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, still off them, I've put a bit weight on yeah.

Right, I quit, then started again, terrible I know.

Rupert Graves: Yeah.

Okay, back with the questions, next one up is from Susannah, and she asks - When you are offered a film / production, do you make the decision to accept or decline by yourself, or do you take guidance from your agent ?

Rupert Graves: Um, a bit of both, I mean if I see something that is lovely, really works, then I'll just take it, but if I've got doubts in my mind, I'll talk it over with my agent.

(Laughing) Are you enjoying that sweet (Quality Street confectionery) ?

Rupert Graves: Mmmm, it's heaven.

Okay Rupert, I know we're a bit pushed for time, and there are a lot more questions here, so I'm thinking we can do more of this again later in the year ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, sure.

Okay then, best of luck with The Elephant Man.

Rupert Graves: Great, thank you.

Bye then.
Rupert Graves: Bye.

©2002 Rupert Graves Online.