One of my favourite songs is Someone New by Hozier. I remember when I first heard it, we were in a car on our way from New York to Martha’s Vineyard for a holiday after my Broadway run of Wolf Hall, or Henry as I like to call it…. Anyway, it was so sweet. Angel & Raffi told me they had a song they wanted to show me that was, “Written for you Dad.” It’s all about falling in love with strangers. That is something I love doing. Not actually “In Love” you understand, like in the song, but finding a new life to connect to. This open-hearted philosophy has mostly done me very well over the years. I have connected with people from all sorts of walks of life and backgrounds. That has given me a lot of Joy. Hell, I wouldn’t have met our fabulous webmistress Jessie or a certain Antipodean Bestie if I hadn’t taken the risk of communicating with strangers.

This has been something I have always done, but I love that I still do it. And because I am not such a famous TV face any more, I can sometimes, often really, do it with an amount of anonymity. For instance….

This week I went to a costume fitting for a new film I’m doing…. Oh yes, I am doing a wee part in a fab new film, written by the amazing Mike Radford, called Desperate Journey. If you remember Mike wrote and directed the film Flawless, I did with Demi Moore and Michael Caine. He also wrote and director the masterpiece Il Postino, one of the most touching and beautifully told stories ever on screen. Definitely in my top 20! So I'm waiting for the lift to take me up to the fitting, and the Legend that is Steven Berkoff was heading the same way. As I held the lift door for him, and on the way up, I told him what a fan I was. He was so sweetly surprised. In the world of theatre, the word Edgy was invented for him. When I was at Trauma school, sorry, Drama school, (can’t trust spellcheck) he was the pinnacle of writer/director types that we all wanted to work with.  Rather like Derek Jarman in the film world he was very anti-establishment, but in very different ways. Anyway, when I told him what a fan I was, he was pleased and asked if I was in the business. Yes. “Are you an actor?” Yes. I am in this same film. We then sat for 20 mins chatting. I quoted a bit from his plays and expounded on my Berkoff worship as he gradually came to the realisation I wasn’t a fly-by-night flatterer. I think the words, “Oh well, you must be an actor of some standing” escaped his lips. By the end, we were besties, for the day at least.  I went off thrilled to have met a legend, who, let’s be honest has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way in his time with his uncompromising attitude to his art.

I am an insanely lucky person, and I have attributed this to my privilege as both a Parker and an actor, but this man didn’t know me from Adam, and yet I persevered and made a proper connection. If ever in doubt peeps, GO FOR IT. What do you have to lose.  Obviously don’t overstep a line, but it is so good to learn people’s stories, and it can sometimes really help to have people open up. They might just need to.

Thank you all for reading this.  Have a great day.  N xx

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