Five minutes with ... Stephen Beckett
The Brighton soap star, otherwise known as Dr Matt Ramsden from Coronation Street or PC Jarvis from The Bill, comes to Eastbourne in the guise of a detective for three-man theatrical thriller The Business of Murder. The 41-year-old family man took...
The Brighton soap star, otherwise known as Dr Matt Ramsden from Coronation Street or PC Jarvis from The Bill, comes to Eastbourne in the guise of a detective for three-man theatrical thriller The Business of Murder. The 41-year-old family man took time out with Maheesha Kottegoda to talk tears, fears and transsexuals
You are moving from Kemp Town in Brighton to Preston Park. What is it you love about living in Sussex?I love the fact that you can walk everywhere. From Kemp Town you can walk down the seafront and be in Hove in 25 minutes. We have two young kids, a three-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy. We often go up to Ditchling and Hurstpierpoint and we are members of the National Trust so go to Wakehurst Place on a regular basis. The quality of life in a place like Brighton compared with London is like two different extremes and to have the Downs on your doorstep is great. We particularly like the farms like Spring Barn Farm Park, Lewes, with all the stuff for the kids. We often go driving and find another perfect Sussex village and another idyllic retreat. What is the strangest fan mail you have ever received?There was a South African transsexual who was a regular correspondent. She used to send me lots of pictures of herself in a bra. She was a big fan of The Bill. She or he - I'm not sure how far the operation had gone - wrote to me all the time. Luckily I didn't get any nude pictures. Who is your acting hero?Laurence Olivier, at the time he single-handedly brought acting into the 20th century. I often walk past his old house on Brighton seafront and think of all the great roles he played.
When was the last time you cried?Three weeks ago but I'm not telling you why, that's private. I did once make Dustin Hoffman cry. He was giving an acting masterclass and it was just after Laurence Olivier died. Hoffman and Olivier had starred in Marathon Man and he was a famous method actor. At the end there was a question and answer session and I asked Dustin Hoffman to elaborate on the difference in acting styles between him and Olivier when he burst into tears. It was a really emotional moment. All he kept repeating was: "He loved his children" while sobbing. To this day I have no idea what that means. What was the last film you enjoyed?Sweeney Todd. It was so original in that characteristically dark Tim Burton style. He really pulls it off as a musical and it never grates on me when the actors burst into song. It had fine performances. Helena Bonham Carter more than matched Johnny Depp. Will you be returning to either Corrie or The Bill?I don't know. My story line in Corrie is still open. My character's children are still being brought up by Ashley. They have not killed me off and with Ashley and my son there's always a future story line.
The Business of Murder is at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, from August 18 to 23. For tickets from £13.50 call the box office on 01323 412000
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