If aliens were ever bothered to study the human race to see how on earth we survived longer than a hundred years, they’d probably ingest a few dry history books then give up and watch films instead. If history books tell the tales of the victors, art tells the tales of the humans that lurk beneath. Actors are our chosen representatives; they tell the things we cannot tell ourselves because we’re too busy living the hell that is real life. And good actors do it better than we ever could. They need us and we need them. It’s a nice symbiotic relationship – only they get to keep the shiny awards.
Ricky Champ is one such actor and we were very lucky to interview him for this week’s Thinky Thinky Make Make.
Trained at Guildhall, one of the swanky proper Drama schools that you see listed under black and white pictures of serious looking thesps in glossy programmes at dead good plays, Ricky had an illustrious start in the world of pretending to be other people. And instead of getting dropkicked into the gutter after graduation, he moved straight on to an intensive training period at the RSC, learning alongside some total legends. As both observer and practitioner of the craft of acting he has mulled his thoughts on acting into a joyous celebration of the art in capturing the human, and he has worked consistently across the mediums, turning his hand and face to multi-genre show-wizzery in film, telly, & on his favoured platform – the stage.
Robbie drove to Southend to meet me so we could interview Ricky at my favourite pub The Railway because he likes to throw his new teetotal schtick in my face. Driving to another county, on a schoolnight. Alright Robbie, you’re a grown-up, we get it. It was just getting dark outside so I lit some candles and we all sat round like we were about to embark on a threeway – OF THE MIND. Ricky had just come from doing some ADR (*technical actor talk*) with Woody Harrelson in London so Robbie and I catapulted ourselves into our best most charming behaviour achingly aware of the fact we’re not Woody fucking Harrelson. We can’t compete with that shit. Robbie made his moustache neat and I only had two pints and we hoped for the best.
No sooner had we pressed record (Robbie likes to do that bit because apparently I can’t be trusted) and Ricky was off, reeling off story after story, thought after thought, insight after insight. I sat with both hands cupping my face like it was storytime and Robbie sat with his hands between his knees like he needed a wee but didn’t want to miss a single thing.
Spanning topics such as what it means to be unconsciously unconscious, the disappointing cock size of Michelangelo’s David, horse welfare, and saying cunt to millions of people over the world through the filth tannoy of Game of Thrones, we were treated to a rollercoaster of actory goodness. We could’ve kept rolling all night if Ricky hadn’t had to get home to a pregnant wife and some top notch red wine gravy. If Laurence Olivier himself had strolled in undead and asked us to interview him we would’ve been like “Fuck off, Larry. We’ve peaked. Go home.”
Ricky was so fun that when we finished recording Robbie even came and stood with us while we smoked in the garden, and he hates that shit. He just didn’t want to feel left out in case Ricky dropped another classic. And that is the sign of a good evening.
Listen for yourselves, then join Robbie and I when we go and watch Ricky play Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at The Globe in April, happy gabbering groundlings before the font of awesome. We’ve seen his Shakespeare moves and they’re dead good.