Arthur Darvill


Arthur Darvill currently plays 'Guy' in Once at the Phoenix Theatre.

Date of birth?
17 June 1982

Place of birth?
Birmingham

Did you go to training school, if so which one?
Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA)

Briefly tell us how you became involved with Once.
I went for an audition for the Broadway production. I had to learn to sing in a higher pitch and screamed my way through the audition!

Briefly tell us about the character of 'Guy' you play in Once.
Guy is an Irish musician living in Dublin. His girlfriend has left him and he is just about to give up on music. But he is an amazing songwriter and he needs someone to help him get along.

What was your first stage performance?
I played a very hungry caterpillar, in a school production, when I was about six or seven. When I turned into a butterfly, I had two girls as my wings!

What roles would you most like to play?
I'd love to play John Proctor in 'The Crucible' and the role of the Maniac in 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist'. When I'm in my eighties, I'd like to play a selection of bearded wizards.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Tom Courtenay once took me to one side and told me to talk louder on stage. He said that I should listen to the advice of the 'older ones' and told me not to mumble!

What has been your most embarrassing moment?
I generally get embarrassed easily and try to hide it with bravado.

What is the most annoying part about your job?
I don't think that there is anything annoying about it. I feel very lucky to be doing what I'm doing.

If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
As a kid I wanted to become an archaeologist, after watching 'Indiana Jones' on repeat. When I was on the dole, the Job Centre got me a position as a 'Wildlife Demonstrator' in schools. However, I got an acting job just before this was due to take place. But that could have been me!

What are your favourite after-show haunts?
My flat - with a cup of tea, my girlfriend and my cat.

Who are your favourite actors/actresses/singers/groups?
Peter Sellers - everything he did was amazing. Also, Philip Seymour Hoffman - one of the all-time greats. And Meryl Streep too. For music I like Radiohead - Thom Yorke has an incredible voice. Also like Kate Bush and Debbie Harry.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
John Peel - I'd ask him if I could buy him a pint and would talk to him about music.

What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors?
Last book was 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' by Neil Gaiman. I have just re-read this, so have now read it twice. Read all books by Sebastian Faulks ('Engleby' is in my top three books of all time). Also like JD Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye'.

What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
'The Wolf of Wall Street' was the last film I saw. My favourite films include 'Brazil', the 'Star Wars' films and the 'Pink Panther' films.

Favourite TV programs?
'Twin Peaks', anything by Louis Theroux, and lots of documentaries. A guilty pleasure would be 'The Great British Bake-Off'.

Favourite holiday destinations?
There is a house in Spain that I go back to again and again. My favourite destination is New York and I enjoy going to Majorca with family.

Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are like my work. I enjoy playing a lot of music. I tried to take up knitting, but was awful. I got as far as knitting a bookmark, and then gave up!

Do you have any superstitions?
No. I'm pretty non-superstitious.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
A guitar, a lifetime supply of sausages (I do love a sausage!), and ... good question!!

What are your future plans?
To carry on doing what I'm doing and take each day as it comes.

Looking for the best seats...