Log in

10 March 2010 @ 09:18 pm
The Stage 25 Feb 2010 article  
I managed to pick up the issue of The Stage with Harry's article in it on the last day it was available! Phew! The pics used in the article are ones we've seen before and I don't have a scanner, so I figured I'd just type out the article for y'all.

Please forgive any typos - it's a long article. LOL

Creating his own magic

Missing out on a role in Harry Potter as a teenager, Harry Lloyd decided against drama school and chose to study English at Oxford instead. He tells Al Senter how his training experience contrasts with his co-stars Rupert Friend and Gemma Arterton, who he stars with in the West End production The Little Dog Laughed.

It's not often that this humble hack is offered a cuppa, personally made by one of British theatre's rising stars. But amiable Harry Lloyd, currently top-lining in smart showbiz satire The Little Dog Laughed, bustles out of his spacious dressing room at the Garrick and returns, moments later, with the steaming brew, plus delicious home-made macaroon, courtesy of the wardrobe mistress. Who needs a power breakfast at the Wolseley when such an afternoon tea is on offer chez Harry?

Lloyd, a boyishly handsome 26, is probably best known to the wider public as Will Scarlett in the first two seasons of the BBC's recent Robin Hood and he's still in touch with is Sherwood mates: "Little John's just texted me, actually." But he's also been catching the eye in the theatre with credits including Ghosts at the Arcola and Edward Bond's The Sea at the Haymarket. Most tellingly, he gave an excellent performance as Rodolpho in the recent revival of A View From the Bridge, squaring up to Ken Stott's agonised Eddie Carbone and therefore the recipient of Stott's ironic kisses. Now Lloyd, as rent boy Alex in The Little Dog Laughed, shares several mouth to mouth moments with his co-star Rupert Friend. Could this be a coincidence?

"I asked Rupert if he'd ever had to kiss another man professionally before and he said yes, Johnny Depp in The Libertine. Second in line to Johnny Depp. That's not bad."
On the face of it, Lloyd's background is classic Establishment.

If there were still gentleman actors plying their trade then Lloyd, an old Etonian with an Oxford degree in English, would appear to fit the mould perfectly. He's also distantly related to Charles Dickens and has presumably inherited his story-telling genes. Lloyd's parents are both in publishing and so one can imagine a bookish childhood with frequent visits to the theatre, where young Lloud first became stage-struck.

"I don't have a special childhood memory of a particular production, but I do know that I wanted to be an actor from the age of eight," explains Lloyd. "I was first conscious of it at prep school when the teacher effectively auditioned us for a play. He asked us to say a line and to demonstrate which word should be stressed. I knew instinctively how to do it and I got the part."

With a certain alumnus of Slough Comprehensive likely to become the next prime minister, Old Etonians have also been making waves in the theatre, notably Damian Lewis, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston. Lloyd is another beneficiary of what appears to be a thriving theatrical scene on the banks of the Thames - less the playing fields and more the plays on stage at Eton.
"At first, I didn't tell anyone that I wanted to become an actor. I thought it was just a children's fantasy, but the teachers at Eton were very encouraging. I still think of acting in a childlike way. I love the fun of it. It's no coincidence that we call what we do a play and I like the playfulness of acting."

In view of the family connections, it was appropriate that Lloyd should make his professional debut in a dramatisation of David Copperfield while still at Eton. He remained in the same milieu supporting Martin Clunes in a television Goodbye, Mr Chips and narrowly missed a featured role in Harry Potter. He may have lost out on Hogwarts, but by the age of 17 he'd acquired an agent and he was on his way.

Significantly, Lloyd next chose Oxford and an English degree over the obvious attractions of drama school. Has he ever regretted his decision?

"It's taken me a long time to be at peace with the fact that I didn't go to drama school," he says. "On Robin Hood I was constantly terrified that I might be let down by my lack of formal training, but I seem to have learnt the job by doing it. At the time I had to make up my mind what to do. I felt, in my arrogance, that if I went to drama school, I'd be typecast in the kind of parts which reflected my own background. I'm very pleased that I've played such a variety of roles on stage - Italian, Norwegian and now American. Somebody asked me the other day if I would ever play an Englishman again."

While no long concealing his Old Etonian status, Lloyd's accent is oddly classless. "I was once quite paranoid about the school," he confesses. "I didn't want to be stereotyped as an Old Etonian and uet I couldn't be arsed to explain that I was not what people would assume I was. In a way Oxford was a continuation of Eton and I think that part of my decision was motivated by fear - fear that I wasn't ready for the outside world. Ironically, when I compare my CV to what Gemma [Arterton] and Rupert [Friend] have done, who both went to drama school, I find that I've had a lot more theatre experience than they have.

"I quite like being tested and pushed intellectually." And for all his tousled charm and air of studied vagueness, there's plainly an analytical mind at work, especially when it comes to preparation.

"Before rehearsing The Little Dog Laughed, I flew to New York and met a guy who, like Alex, makes his living as a rent boy for a select group of ten or 12 clients. I talked to him about his work, which seems to be as much about listening as it is about having sex. People like Alex aren't bizarre - they have legitimate reasons for the way they behave. I've had a very comfortable, middle-class life and I want to play people who are more interesting than I am. Alex survives by smiling. I've never played a character who's so relaxed and I've never felt so relaxed on stage."

By the time that The Little Dog Laughed concludes its limited season at the Garrick in April, Lloyd should know if the pilot he filmed last year of the HBO fantasy Game of Thrones will have spawned a series. If so, he'll spend most of 2010 on location in Morocco and, depending on public reaction, then stardom could well be his. But Lloyd is ambivalent about paying the price of fame.

"I don't ever want to become public property," he says. "In a way, I'm very glad that I didn't end up in a Harry Potter film at the age of 15, since it would have given me a pedestal from which the only way was down. The people on my unofficial fan site don't have a real relationship with me and what they see is stuff that has been filtered through the media. The people you meet at the stage door every night, none of them really know me."

For all his protestations, however, Lloyd has hired the services of a personal publicist. He's canny enough to realise that he needed professional help - less to build his profile, perhaps, than to prepare him for what may lie ahead.

"I've now arrived at the stage where you start doing things for which you were never trained," he says. "I felt that I needed to learn how to do a photo shoot and how to give an interview. Knowing the kind of high-profile cast I'd be joining for The Little Dog Laughed, I didn't want it to be a case of '... and Harry Lloyd'. You don't want to be in denial about how that side of the business works."

Lloyd is one of a generation of young male actors who are now on a wider radar, forever floating about Soho and available to lend their presence to a launch or a premiere. He is just dipping a toe into the murky waters of publicity.

"I'm not a club person and I prefer places where I can have a conversation. I have decided only to go to events which I have a legitimate reason to attend. I've been to the odd awards ceremony and I've sat at the back, feeling like a charlatan, wondering what on earth I was doing there. Not any more."

The Little Dog Laughed continues at the Garrick in London until April 10

You know, him getting a publicist probably explains all these wonderful photoshoots and interviews we've been treated to! :)
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
roh_wyn: harry-ldlroh_wyn on March 10th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
I was thinking, too, that all this recent media exposure probably meant he had a publicist (that his agent had forced on to him), lol.

Also, "my unofficial fan site" and "the people you meet at the stage door every night"!?? Good lord, that's us! :D

I hope he's never actually read anything we have to say. Seriously.

*considers plausible deniability and anonymity of the internet*
MissWed: eyebrowmisswed on March 10th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Also, "my unofficial fan site" and "the people you meet at the stage door every night"!?? Good lord, that's us! :D
LOL I know. Actually, I don't really know how to feel about what he said about us...
roh_wyn: will4roh_wyn on March 10th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
IKR?! It's got a bit of "back off and don't get too close" to it, doesn't it? *sigh*

It was bound to happen, eventually.
MissWed: robin kiss willmisswed on March 10th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank god. I was afraid I was being too sensitive, because I was a *little* bit offended by what he said. I get that we don't really know him, but how many fans really get to know the celebrities? Also, we're there to support him and let him know that we appreciate him, so... you know... suck it up! hehehe
roh_wyn: movie2roh_wyn on March 10th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
No, that was totally my first reaction too, and I was slightly offended too, which was followed by quiet mortification over my own fangirling, lol.

But, as a I see it, artists (of any kind) need to encourage a bit of the give-and-take with art consumers, or the whole thing falls apart rather quickly.

With most fans, I think it's a misconception that we're interested in getting any closer than getting an autograph or a picture. And just as we don't really know these celebs, they don't really know us. Fair exchange, IMO.
MissWed: paul hmmmmisswed on March 10th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
which was followed by quiet mortification over my own fangirling, lol.
Hahahaha. Me too.

need to encourage a bit of the give-and-take with art consumers, or the whole thing falls apart rather quickly.
Absolutely. I know that the stalking (by papz and crazies) gets out of hand, but at the base of it all, your fans pay your salary. They pay your bills, your rent, feed your children, etc.

With most fans, I think it's a misconception that we're interested in getting any closer than getting an autograph or a picture.
Yeah, that's true, I guess... although I know that I tend to fangirl over people I would really like to sit down with at the pub and have a natter about whatever they're interested in. I would really like to get to know these people and understand them, but my tendency towards that is not limited to celebrities. When I meet someone new, I'd much rather sit for hours listening to them talk about anything and everything that interests them, because that is what I find interesting.

And just as we don't really know these celebs, they don't really know us.
So true! I never thought of it that way. You're so damn clever! ;)
roh_wynroh_wyn on March 10th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
I would really like to sit down with at the pub and have a natter about whatever they're interested in.

Oh, that's true. I feel that way too, but it's also tempered somewhat by my worry that the person I'm talking won't be as interesting IRL as they are in my mind, lol. I like talking to people generally though...

(Actually, that's just me trying to be all "I'm so cool, I don't even want to know you, Mr. Actor Celebrity Person"! ;))
Is that why you're calling yourself 'Greg'?: Pay Close Attentiongregoria44 on March 10th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: of all the above
Um, ouch.

And no, I don't want to 'know you' so much as look at your rather amazing face.

MissWed: sexymisswed on March 10th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: of all the above
Hmm yeah. That too. LOL
roh_wynroh_wyn on March 10th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Re: of all the above
ROFL! If only he understood just how shallow our interest in him really was. ;)
(Deleted comment)
roh_wynroh_wyn on March 11th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Re: of all the above
You're probably right, it's pretty innocuous in that context. I just thought it was strange that, instead of using a general term like "my fans", he called out specific groups of fans, i.e. the fans on websites and the ones who meet him at the stagedoor. That's what made it seemed like a specific message to sort of back off.

Maybe I'm just a bit too sensitive. *shrugs*
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous) on June 6th, 2012 10:53 am (UTC)
I think he's not asking anyone to back off, he's just pointing out that we don't know him and that it's foolish to be so fixated on him. A lot of us on here also just objectify him and I don't blame him if that diminshes his opinion of us but i do hope that he recognises that we aren't just a bunch of twittering idiots clucking around a pretty thing and that a lot of us support him in his work.

Maybe I don't know him, but I can imagine him having a massive laugh if he ever read all of the comments we've posted after this article. He'd probably find it hilarious that we're all so offended at his comment cause it reveals that we're all so shallow as our objectifying suggests by our being offended at a guy's we barely know opinions.

I respect him for the fact that he 'doesn't ever want to be public property', and that he won't let public opinion of him change and/or judge the way he acts.

Maybe I don't know him, but this article and his comment backs up what I think I know of him and makes me respect/ like him more. So I'm sorry if that comment was meant to put fans off, Harry, because it didn't put me off :/

roh_wyn: writing2roh_wyn on August 2nd, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
I think he's not asking anyone to back off, he's just pointing out that we don't know him and that it's foolish to be so fixated on him.

LOL. This was posted two years ago, so I apologize for not noticing your comment earlier. But I have to say that there was absolutely no need for him to point out a fact that is obvious and self-evident. The vast majority of fans are perfectly aware they don't know him, and most of us have no desire to know him in a way that implies ownership anyway.

So to the extent that an actor actually makes a statement like this about fans, I think it's to make a point, specifically to back off a bit.

Anyway, he made his point, we got over it, and we're still objectifying. Because you know what? That's how we roll around here. :D
(Anonymous) on May 15th, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
He's just really keen on not becoming famous, scared of having his private life scattered all over the media. He wants to act because he enjoys it, not to achieve fame. But he does appreciate the fans that support him, don't worry.
hai_di holloway: Brian sunshine kisshai_di on March 11th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
thanks a lot for sharing the article :)
the pirate's daughter: hood | will; proud of your boyfrotcake on March 17th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting! :)