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Q&A: Freddie Fox

First Published 17 January 2013, Last Updated 21 January 2013

He may be in his early 20s, but Freddie Fox – son of Edward, brother of Emilia – has already starred in some of the most acclaimed TV dramas of recent years – The Shadow Line, Any Human Heart, Parade’s End – worked with directors including Richard Eyre, Howard Davies and Thea Sharrock, and is fast becoming a style icon.

Last year he hit theatrical gold once more, playing Bosie opposite long time family friend Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde in Hampstead theatre’s production of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss. The play, which focuses on two moments in the famous writer’s life, proved so popular that it has just transferred to the West End’s Duke of York’s theatre.

With previews well under way, we quizzed Fox and discovered a fishy memory, a classic English palate and a love for a hit 80s movie.

How have you found working with Rupert Everett?

A tremendous experience. To be playing opposite him in a role that I think will be remembered as one of his very finest performances is an honour in itself, but equally it wouldn’t be all it is if we didn’t have so much fun doing it. He’s a source of great laughter and he leads the company in a spirit of which I think Oscar would be proud.

How are you feeling about bringing a show to the West End that has already been fantastically well received?

Two sides of that coin. No pressure of expectancy vs loads of pressure to make it better. I would flatter myself and Rupert to say that we have high standards and high hopes for this production and we want to make sure that it comes across well in a new venue.

 Do you have a favourite Wildean witticism?

 Not one in particular. He’s an aphoristic bible so there are many to choose from.

What is the finest performance you have seen?

 Rupert’s in this show comes pretty close. But I have been lucky enough to see Mark Rylance’s performance in Jerusalem, and Brian Dennehy’s in Death Of A Salesman many years ago and both of them stick in my mind as being particularly brilliant.

If you could create a fantasy production to star in, who would you cast, who would direct and what would it be?

Mark Rylance and myself in a two-handed one act show about incompetent gangsters planning a heist, written for the stage and directed by Quentin Tarantino making his theatrical debut. That’d be pretty sweet!

What do you consider your big break

I don’t know if I’ve had one yet. But if you’d make me choose, then probably Marilyn in Worried About The Boy on television and probably this production on stage.

Who or what has inspired you?

My father always. He’s a constant source of inspiration. Also, I would have to say my mother. She’s a wonderful woman.

What do you look for when taking a role?

A good script and a part where I can show off.

Do you have a pre-show routine or any rituals?

 It varies from show to show, but always a vocal warm-up, and for this show I usually read one of Bosie’s poems before I leave the dressing room.

Where do you head after a performance?

Home, or the train station to travel down to the country, or a nearby bar if I need a bloody good drink.

What do you do when you’re not performing or rehearsing?

Annoy my agent in his office by talking incessantly about clothes until he picks up the phone and gets me a job.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Catching my first fish when I was five or six.

What will always, without fail, bring a smile to your face?

Basil Fawlty in a bait.

What book, film or album would you recommend to a friend?

Beverly Hills Cop I, The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, and Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss and Union Station.

What could you not be without?

Something to do.

Do you have any regrets?

I’m not old enough.

What would you choose as a last meal?

Mum’s roast chicken with all the trimmings and then apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream.

What ambitions would you like to fulfil?

I would like to have a movie I’ve written and directed released.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Be naughty. If you can’t be naughty, look as if you could be.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

Washed up.

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