The Steeple Times asks cartoonist, actor and ‘Downton Abbey’ star Charlie Anson: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Curiosity and striving to live as wide a range of experiences as possible. This is probably why, in the last seven days, I’ve been to three countries, found myself being chucked around on a harness and pulling funny faces for a commercial shoot while managing my cartoon business on the side, and then spent my day off cage diving with great white sharks. Oh and another motivation is my fiancée and our child, both of whom I like to keep well fed and happy.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Variety is the spice of life.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2015?
ISIS, shark fin soup, and the unnecessary use of emphatic pronouns such as “I’ll give this to yourself”.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Afternoons off. Since I got a kid, a flat and two careers I haven’t really had any.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I have no wealth, but I’d happily swap my mortgage debt and overdraft for the opposite amount in credit.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Being a massive debtor gives you great power, yes. Look at Greece, deep in the hole and holding the fate of Europe in its hands. I wish HSBC would roll out the red carpet to me when I felt too skint to pay my monthly dues.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“National Rail would like to apologise for the delay to your service”.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Save the Children, Amnesty International and Medical Aid for Palestinians. I also occasionally pay tax to the UK government, whom I suspect of ignoring my accompanying email requests that they spend my money on “nice things” and not on “more nuclear toys”.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
If yours rings at the theatre, let it ring, and just tut in a more convincingly disgusted way than your neighbours.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Probably an armed guard for when it passes through the Ukraine.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Argentinian steak, in a top secret genome sequencing facility that will be able to recreate me from scratch a few years after my execution.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A Negroni. (I don’t know what it is and as I said, I’m curious).
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
My son’s birthday parties. He’s only two and a complete lightweight when it comes to alcohol which is funny to watch.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My fiancée Helga. She’s had her wagon hitched to an actor/cartoonist for five years and still hasn’t realised that it’s a terrible idea.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Hotels. Piling it on at the breakfast buffet, steak and wine room service and spa options. They’re the best thing about acting. The pleasure is only “guilty” because meanwhile Helga’’ in rainy London chasing a screaming toddler with a toothbrush.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A VW Beetle (an old one obviously).
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I have a first class degree in history and philosophy of science but I pull faces and draw faces for a living.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
Some hair gel and a comb, a couple of forgotten Christmas cards, a box of matches, a hair pin, seventy Euro cents and a couple of used metro tickets, an empty candlestick and some speakers.
Charlie Anson was born in Switzerland to British parents. He studied biology at Cambridge and then acting at LAMDA and now splits his time between running his bespoke cartoon business and acting in British and French stage, television and film productions. He lives in London with his partner and two-year old son Theo.
Follow Charlie Anson on Twitter at @CharlieAnson.
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