Acting

He’s everywhere and nowhere: Jim Broadbent

‘It could be a disaster’: Jim Broadbent talks to Stuart Jeffries about his latest role

13 July 2019 9:00 am

‘I live completely anonymously,’ whispers Jim Broadbent down the phone from Lincolnshire. Nonsense, I counter. You’re one of the most…

Police raids and chanting intruders: The strange things that happen to me in the early hours

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Our upstairs neighbours are not the sort of people you want to have run-ins with. They have regular moped deliveries…

Fasten your seatbelts: Bette Davis in her dressing room during the filming of All About Eve

All About Eve was all about bitching – off-screen as well as on

26 January 2019 9:00 am

In 1950, Bette Davis had a string of recent flops behind her. She was 41, married to an embarrassing twerp…

True stories: Gary Kemp in 1971

Gary Kemp on pop, Pre-Raphaelites, politics and playing Pinter

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The first thing Gary Kemp bought when Spandau Ballet started making money was a chair. He’s very proud of that…

Never handsome, just sensuous and dangerous: Kevin Spacey

Bring back Kevin Spacey

3 November 2018 9:00 am

The sixth and final season of House of Cards has begun without Kevin Spacey, who played the murderous Democratic American…

‘I go against my instincts to be just an actor’

‘I should just shut up’: Dominic West on #MeToo and the perils of talking politics

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Lounging confidently on the sofa of a Soho hotel suite, Dominic West has been beaming at me, but now his…

Cressida Bonas’s diary: Why do I find wedding hats so tricky?

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Monday morning. Sitting in Ed the physio’s waiting room. He is theatreland’s go-to man for fractured bones and torn muscles…

Roger Allam as John Christie in David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano

A champion actor and fully paid-up member of the human race: Roger Allam interviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

A most excellent fellow, Roger Allam. On the stage he brings dignity to all he does, in the noblest traditions…

If Annette Bening isn’t Oscar-nominated, I’ll eat my hat and also yours

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is plainly wonderful, and stars Annette Bening, who is plainly wonderful, as Gloria Grahame,…

Ira Aldridge as Othello, painted in 1826 by James Northcote

Moor and more

31 August 2017 1:00 pm

In 1824 an ambitious teenage actor fled to England from his native New York where he had been beaten up…

Ivory towers

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Great novels rarely make great movies, but for half a century one director has been showing all the others how…

Three hours of vomit, fellatio and menstruation: Isabelle Huppert on Phaedra(s)

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Isabelle Huppert does nothing by halves. And she doesn’t, I think, care greatly for journalists. She expects them to ask…

‘Wanna come to Prince’s house?’

30 April 2016 9:00 am

This is only interesting, well a bit interesting, because the poor man died last Thursday and for a few short…

Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of…

Quite the hankie-drencher: Tanya Moodie as Constance in ‘King John’

There's a reason why the past four centuries have ignored Shakespeare's King John

13 June 2015 9:00 am

King John arrives at the Globe bent double under the weight of garlands from the London critics. Their jaunt up…

Charlotte and Susan Cushman as Romeo and Juliet c. 1849. Now comparatively obscure,Charlotte was widely considered the most powerful actress on the 19th-century stage

Shakespeare’s stagecraft — and his greatest players

16 May 2015 9:00 am

How many books are there about Shakespeare? A study published in the 1970s claimed a figure of 11,000, and today…

Titanic: Orson Welles as Falstaff in ‘Chimes at Midnight’ (1966)

Don’t believe Orson Welles, says his biographer Simon Callow — especially when he calls himself a failure

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Orson Welles would have been 100 this month. When he died in 1985, aged 70, the wonder was that he…

Self-portrait as Falstaff. Sher finds drawing a form of therapy and infinitely preferable to acting

Antony Sher: a surprisingly reluctant actor

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Understandably given its bulk, Antony Sher’s Falstaff in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent production of Shakespeare’s two Henry IV plays…

A misery memoir from Alan Cumming that's surprisingly thoughtful

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Misery loves company. Anyone who doubts this old adage should pop into their local bookshop, because besides celebrity chefs and…

Corin Redgrave, playing the contrarian William Roper, husband of Thomas More’s favourite child, Margaret, in A Man for All Seasons

From Trot to Thatcher: the life of Kika Markham

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In a varied career, the actress Kika Markham has regularly played real-life charcters, including, on television, Mrs Thatcher — piquant…

The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Alastair Muir

If you have teenage boys who loathe the very idea of theatre, send them to The Play That Goes Wrong

20 September 2014 9:00 am

It’s taken a while but here it is. The Play That Goes Wrong is like Noises Off, but simpler. Michael…

Want a fun job? You just have to pick the right parents

26 July 2014 9:00 am

Recently one morning, as I was weeping over Caitlin Moran’s (daughter of Mr and Mrs Moran of Wolverhampton) brilliant book…

The summer of love

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Last time I was allowed to write a story for The Spectator, I managed to get away with a frankly…

The talent and tragedy of Richard Pryor

22 March 2014 9:00 am

The troubles of Richard Pryor’s life are well known — from his childhood in a brothel to his self-immolation via…

Simon Callow’s notebook: What it’s like to lose at an awards ceremony

8 March 2014 9:00 am

It was one of those weeks. On Monday, I was in four countries: I woke up at crack of dawn…