INTERVIEW : ARTHUR DARVILL

First appeared on OK! Online

 

The musical, based on the 1992 Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicolas Cage film of the same name, was originally staged on Broadway but now it’s come to the UK with a new cast and, for one night only, a fully orchestrated score by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra.

Arthur plays the role of Jack, a mild-mannered Brooklynite, who takes his girlfriend Betsy (Samantha Barks) to Las Vegas to elope, only to have his plans compromised by a dashing gambler with an eye for his girl.

Ahead of the show this Sunday, OK! Online spoke to Arthur about the play, DC Legend’s of Tomorrow, Star Wars and who he thinks should play the next Doctor Who…

You’ve been killing it on TV recently so how’s it feel to get back on the stage?
It’s great I feel most at home on the stage, though I haven’t been on the Palladium stage before so I’m both excited and terrified at the prospect.

After years of performing in theatre have you found a way to combat nerves?
No not really, but this is different, this is a full blown thing with an orchestra and I hope I just don’t lose my voice! Although I’ve been screaming my way through rehearsals over the last couple of days and I think I need to chill out. Everyone is so good, and just by how good everyone is I feel everyone is trying to slightly outdo each other – but in a supportive way!

Any tricks to sort out a sore throat then?
I wish there was, though someone played an awful trick on me once when I had a sore throat and they told me “what you’ve got to do is gargle some Worcester sauce.” So I got some and gargled it and threw it up immediately! Then I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth so I drank a litre of water, and the water sorted my throat out – so I’ll be doing that this year…

Honeymoon In Vegas was on Broadway, had you seen it before doing this production?
I am totally new to it. They phoned me up and said “would you like to do a concert at the London Palladium, a musical orchestration?” And I said “yes, I would.” It’s been weeks of discovery and it’s such a funny play. A clever, musically difficult and hilarious piece.

What about the original film with Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicolas Cage?
No, I don’t know how missed it as I’ve watched a lot of Nick Cage films so I don’t how I let this one pass me by. I’m definitely going to go back [and watch it]. I can’t imagine this not being a musical. It’s like Michael Bublé on acid.

You appeared in Once, which was based on the film like Honeymoon In Vegas. Do you think these film-to-musical adaptations are a good thing for theatre?
I used to be really against it but some of the best pieces of theatre has come out of it, though I don’t think think this is a new thing. Go back to songwriters, to Tin Pan Alley, songwriters used to write their songs and sell them out to ten different artists who’d perform them. I think what’s exciting is that a lot of these films are based on books which are based on real life tales, so if the stories are good – why not? I don’t think you can take a film and just put it on stage but if you’re going to turn it into a piece of theatre then great. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of original theatre being made as I’m also a big advocate for those stories being made too.
I have to mention DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which has been renewed for a third season (congrats!). How does it feel to be part of the beloved DC TV Universe compared to the not so beloved DC Cinematic Universe?
I know it’s kind of unfortunate, isn’t it? I’m so pleased to be involved in this show because I think we’ve had a bumpy start; putting a show on air when no one really new what it was yet. I think the writers and cast have all worked out that it’s a big comedy and it fits really well with the rest of the shows on the network. Arrow’s quite dark, The Flash has got it’s own thing going on and we’re just the funny brother to it all. I love it, though I didn’t quite get it at first.

Rip Hunter is a master of time, and you previously played a Time Lord’s companion in Doctor Who – how does US and British sci-fi compare as an actor?
For me it’s totally different, I wouldn’t have done it I was just repeating. The characters are so wildly different and bringing something new to my repertoire. I was obsessed with Star Wars and Indiana Jones, so getting to do this [Legends] job in particular really ticks all the boxes that the eight-year-old me would have loved.

Well there’s still time for Star Wars if Disney plan to bring out a movie every year. How about a C3PO origin story and you could play a young C3PO?
Oh great! I’d love to do that with a tiny robot. I’m going to pitch that to them. Perfect. OK, so if you write, we’ll double team them.
Deal! So what about this next Doctor Who talk… do you think a person of colour should play the role after years of white dudes?
I think the great thing about Doctor Who is that it could be anyone. It is such a gift of a part for any actor and I know it will go to the best person for the job, and it shouldn’t matter what age, race or sex they are. I’ve got a list in my head of who it could be, of course it could a person of colour, why not?

I don’t think people are suggesting it shouldn’t go to the best person for the job, but that there are plenty of great actors and actresses of colour who are being overlooked for central roles, like the Doctor. Riz Ahmed just gave a speech in the House of Commons about improving representation on screen so ethnic minorities can see people who look like them in leading roles…
Yeah, I think that’s a great idea and I think that should happen across the board so people can see themselves reflected in TV shows and films, and on stage. You know if they want to do that with the Doctor then brilliant. I have no idea what they’re doing with it but hopefully it’s someone good.

Zawe Ashton maybe?
Oh, she’d be brilliant.

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