About me
My meeting with Robert Powell (not exactly an interview!)
I met Robert Powell for the second time on December 6th 2003 in Bromley, England by the end of The Picture of Dorian Gray tour. He accepted to have this conversation with me. Excerpts:

What are your plans now?

“No more theatre! I’m tired of theatre! It’s very exhausting, people don’t realise it but even if you see me cool on stage I’m exhausted. There’s a lot of mental work, of preparation. It’s exhausting. I’ve been on stage for three years, it’s a lot. We had plans at the beginning to put The Picture of Dorian Gray in London, but we can’t go like that in the West End, you’ll see later. We’ve been going without a director for 4 months.”

“If we find a director who improve the play to my advantage, then I’d accept to continue but just for three months. I’m exhausted. And yet Lord Henry is a great character, I enjoy playing him. I want to return to the screen. Movies are a lot easier, and I think I’ve been out too much time, I think it will be good for me to make a film.”

“I have a proposal but it’s not sure. It’s a film about Kubrick (Color me Kubrick). I haven’t signed for it, it’s not official – and yet it was announced in the Internet Movie Database. I don’t know if I’m going to accept. It’s a cameo because a friend wanted to see my name involved with that film, I don’t know what kind of character it’s going to be and I have to know if I’m going to be paid for it. I don’t do any more favors…”

“I don’t know John Malkovich, I mean I know his films, but not in person. It could be interesting. I have another proposal for a film in Hungary, I’ll do the baddie, but it’s not sure, the problem is always the financing.”

Have you been proposed other roles?

“Well, it’s not a proposal, but it was very curious, the other day after the play someone came to me and told me that I could play Doctor Who.”

“If I’m proposed that role yes of course I’ll accept, it could be funny. My agent is working in that, but we know there are other names before mine, so there’s little chance. But if I have the opportunity I will accept.”

What happened to all the projects of films you had at the beginning of the 80s like Man of the match, etc.?

“They all stayed in the project state because there were hard times for the British film industry, the two major production companies, the Rank and IMI – I’m not sure of the name of this last one - went in bankrupt because their last films were all flops."

"The only success the Rank had was with The thirty nine steps. So I didn’t find the financing and without money you can’t continue. But there is a project I still have in mind I’ll do it one day. There was another project very important to me, Gothic, but Ken Russell stole it. I showed him the screenplay because I wanted to do it with him, I wanted to play Lord Byron, but he stole it and did it without me!”

“Now tell me, which character struck you, I’m curious, what made you a fan?”

For me you are Hannay ! I loved Hannay. I was 12 years old when I saw your face in the newspapers announcing Hannay and I wanted to see it because I found you looked like Clint Eastwood (he made a very funny face). Then when I watched it I loved it! I loved the setting, I loved the England of that period, because I liked Sherlock Holmes…

“Yes, it was a beautiful period. I’m glad you liked Hannay. It was one of my favourites too. I think it was an excellent tv series, it was well made, the stories were well written. Now tv is awful.”

“It was very successful at the time, we run two seasons and we wanted to make a third one but we couldn’t because there was a franchise that had to be renewed after a certain time. And at that time the Thames made a documentary criticizing Margareth Thatcher, so to punish the Thames, the government didn’t renewed the franchise and we couldn’t make Hannay.”

The Detectives was great, why not make a film with Jasper?

“The problem is that Jasper is not an actor, people think that acting is too easy that you just need to be infront of the camera doing things but that it’s not acting. Acting needs a lot of mental preparation, a lot of work, you have to be in another state of mind to portray somebody else and you can see all the work of acting in the eyes.”

“There are actors that you could find convincing when they act, but you feel something is missing and then you look into their eyes and you see nothing, because they are not well prepared.”

Do you read all your fan mail?

“No, not all. Many people just write for an autograph, so there’s another person who is charged of those letters. There are not many people who write interesting things, like Dolores, that’s why I sent her a picture.”