James Fleet

James Fleet played Professor Kevin Maloney in The Heretic at the Royal Court Downstairs.

Place of birth?
Bilston, West Midlands.

Did you go to training school, if so which one?
We moved to Scotland when I was a boy. I went to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.

Briefly tell us how you became involved with The Heretic
Big fan of Richard Bean. I was in another of his plays; 'In the Club'. Lobbied shamelessly for a part in this. I think he felt sorry for me.

Briefly tell us about the character of 'Professor Kevin Maloney' that you play in The Heretic?
Kevin is a serious scientist who has had to become a businessman. Universities are all about raising money. He's amusing and brilliant but not the hero he once might have been.

Your first stage performance?
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, I wore a kilt and had make-up on my legs. Best forgotten.

What roles would you most like to play?
I would say a James Bond villain, but that seems unlikely. Somebody evil.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Be memorable.

What is the most annoying part about your job?
If it's filming, I don't like hotels much. If it's theatre, not knowing when to eat.

If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I don't know. Hitman. Something would have turned up.

Favourite after-show haunts
Going home to bed.

Who are your favourite actors/actresses
Bill Murray.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
I'd tell Vincent how much his paintings are selling for.

What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors?
Kate Atkinson. I like Ian Rankin too, they remind me of Scotland.

What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
The Hangover. I like Wes Anderson films, and the Coen bros. Definitely more art-house than blockbuster.

Favourite TV programs?
Horizon, Newsnight. I'm a BBC boy. I can't stand a 'Question of Sport'.

Favourite holiday destinations?
I like mountains and West coast of Scotland.

Do you have any hobbies?
A lot of hobbies. I paint pictures and mend motorbikes.

Do you have any superstitions?
Not really. I do count magpies if I see them, but I don't worry about it.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?

What are your future plans?
To struggle on. Keep optimistic. Trust science. Smile at people on the tube without being creepy.

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