May’s Spotlight On……
***Kevin R McNally***
Kevin – as a fellow Brummie, my first question is whether you have any allegiance to a Midlands football team? If so, which one? (dare I ask?)
I don’t really follow the footie. I have a Chelsea mad son who takes care of that for us. But at school, ‘who do you support?’ was a question that, if not answered right, could result in a kicking. Where I lived the Blues was a safer answer than Villa.
What are your earliest memories of growing up in Birmingham?
Extreme poverty, really. We lived in a two up two down terrace on Lauden Road ( gone now) near the City ground. Out door loo and the London train running past the end of the garden. No fence, different days.
It has not escaped my notice that you have a fascination with astronomy, what piqued your interest in this area and do you still indulge in your interest?
Yes I do. It was the late Patrick Moore who had a tea time astronomy show for kids. I remember the theme tune which was Jupiter from the Planet Suite by Gustav Holtz simultaneously sparked my interest in classical music. With the help of Moore’s book “‘O’ level astronomy” I managed to be one of the first to sit that exam and pass with an A. I met Sir Patrick at the BBC a few years before his passing and managed to thank him.
With an impressive film career under your belt, including all of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, I’m sure our readers will be pleased to know that you’re filming the fifth instalment at the moment. Did you think that the films would carry on for this length of time when you first started and are you enjoying donning the whiskers to become ‘Mr. Gibbs’ again? (I presume the whiskers are back!)
I obviously had no idea the series would last this length of time but I am thrilled it has. As to the whiskers… where would Mr. Gibbs be without them.
With regards to your television career, many of our readers may not know that you appear in a series called ‘Turn’ in the USA. Can you tell me a bit about the show and the character you play?
It’s a period drama about Washington’s Spies in the Revolutionary War (or War of Independence as we are taught to call it.) I play a Judge loyal to the crown in Setauket Long Island while my son is secretly a spy for Patriots. Season two is airing in the States right now.
Moving on to Theatre, I’ve seen you tread ‘the boards’ before (‘Boeing Boeing’ in 2007), have you any plans to appear on stage, again and is there a role that you’d particularly like to play?
I am very keen to return to the stage after a two year absence. As to roles. I’ve learnt it’s the one you didn’t think about that works best.
Last year you recorded ‘The Missing Hanocks’ for BBC Radio 4, are there any plans to record more and what was it like to effectively step into Hancock’s ‘shoes’?
Yes. We are recording five more when I return to the UK then taking the experience of seeing a live recorded show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. I was daunted stepping into his shoes. I am after all a lifelong fan, but the show has mostly been received well and the experience has been hugely rewarding.
You’ve worked with many well known actors and actresses throughout your career so far, who has been your favourite co-star? Is there anyone that you’re keen to work with in the future?
The answer to both questions is Phyllis Logan.
Just one look at your CV shows what a varied and successful career you’ve had to date, what are your future ambitions?
More of the same but I would like to add a space film and a western.
The saying goes ‘Never Meet Your Heroes, they’ll only disappoint’, who are your heroes? Have you met them? Did they disappoint?
On the whole, no. But they tend to be unconnected with my profession. Some musicians, scientists etc.
If you could have a dinner party with five people (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
I figure a night out with Marylin Monroe, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart and Buster Keaton at Musso and Franks in Hollywood would be a pretty cool night out.
Favourite Things (quick fire questions):
‘If I loved you’ from Carousel
P. G. Wodehouse
Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn
Favourite way to spend a weekend?
Quietly at home with my wife, a few friends and an excellent Piedmontese white wine.
If you want to see ‘The Missing Hancocks: Live in Edinburgh’ you can find details and purchase tickets by following the link below: