Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The dangers of approaching actors in real life (or how I pestered Ben Wishaw)

Mere days after watching the final episode of The Hour and posting a blog banging on about how there should have been a third series, I came across none other than Freddie – Ben Wishaw – himself at my local train station.

Struck by the coincidence – so far I've not bumped into any actors I've mentioned in a blog, let alone a few days afterwards – coupled with the shock of seeing such a familiar face from the small and big screen (he's been in a Bond film!) in the decidedly humdrum surroundings of my local non-London train station, combined to provide me with an inescapable urge to go over and say hello.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation then I'd advise you take a few moments to stop and think about what you're actually going over for. Just to say hello? To gain acknowledgement of your existence from Skyfall's Q? Sadly, I hadn't the vaguest notion, but still I found my shoes and legs conspiring to walk me over to the man.

"Hi. Are you Ben Wishaw?"

"Yes I am," replied Wishaw.

"Oh, cool...erm, are you from around here then?"

"Yes actually, I'm going to see my parents."

It was round about this point that I realised I genuinely had no idea what I wanted to tell this actor whom I admire. While rattling off a couple of 'ums' and 'ers' while my brain frantically tried to settle upon a sentence or two that made sense, a creeping realisation that I had barged over to the chap for no good reason dawned upon me. 

Then, finally, after about 30 painful seconds (which felt like 30 minutes) had passed, my flummoxed mind came up with something. Yes!

I provided Mr Wishaw with a concise summary of my last blog: "I've just been watching the second series of The Hour. I loved it and am gutted there's not going to be another one."

At which point his concerned/worried frown disappeared and he discussed that it was indeed a shame. This might be breaking news, but he added that there was talk of doing a special episode of The Hour, now that the third series had been canned by the BBC. Overall though, Wishaw was philosophical about the series. "What would be the point of just doing a special?" he mused.

While Wishaw had seemingly started to warm to the topic my common sense returned ('where the hell have you been?' I wondered at the time) and I took my leave, thanking the man and leaving him to his book and the limited pleasures of my local train station.

Walking away from the scene I reflected that at least it hadn't gone *that* badly – he hadn't called the cops – and I had managed to impress that I liked The Hour. Did I provide a few words of encouragement that would sustain him through the rest of his acting career? Or did I leave him perplexed and maybe slightly concerned about my mental welfare?

Either way, let this be a warning to others. If you do happen to come across an actor or actress that you admire, maybe in a familiar setting that takes you by surprise, and you do feel an inescapable urge to introduce yourself then at the very least have something nice in mind to ask them. Or better yet, turn in the opposite direction and get yourself away. Quickly.

No comments:

Post a Comment