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Dreamy Paul McGann - Part Two

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Joined: 25 May 2006
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Location: Preston, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Dreamy Paul McGann - Part Two Reply with quote

Part Two as promised:

Dreamy Paul McGann - Cosmopolitan Magazine, June 1989

McGann never had a burning desire to be an actor, although he insists he loves acting; nor does he consider it a coincidence that his three brothers, Joe, Mark and Stephen – Paul is the second eldest – are all actors. “There wasn’t much else we could do. There was nothing establishment we were going to get up to, although I did think of becoming a PE teacher – all that fresh air and long holidays. An actor once said, when asked why he chose his profession, ‘So I could sleep with rich girls.’ While you’re at drama school,” – McGann was at RADA – “especially if you’re working class boys like us, you think that’s a way in. It’s a consideration. As an actor you can mingle across the whole social strata, which can be quite a crack.”

He’s clearly close to his brothers. “Right bunch of chancers. I’m quite surprised people let us eat in restaurants together.” He talks fondly of the time they all worked together in the musical Yakety Yak, in 1982. But then, as kids, they always loved singing together at Mass on Sundays. “We adored it. The Catholics always had the best tunes and the best costumes.” The musical put the McGann brothers on the map. “It was dog rough, but had a charm all of its own,” he recalls wryly. A record was made, but he won’t keep a copy, it’s so bad.

McGann insists there’s no competition between the brothers. “We share the same agent, which probably smacks of the worst nepotism. And that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t each been different in our outlook. Although there are only four years between us, we get put up for very different parts.”

McGann hasn’t worked now for four months and says he’s getting his energy back and learning to be patient. He fantasises, again half kidding, half serious, that he’d like to be a French actor. “Every time I see a French film I want to be up there alongside them, being all elemental and passionate and visual and cryptic and sexy.” But back in the real world, he’s sidestepping the mini-series route and doesn’t long for Hollywood. “I don’t want to do all this ‘Let’s put McGann next to do so and so, and we’re sure to make £500,000.’ Anyway, you’ve got to be available when the good stuff comes around. There can be nothing worse than to be committed to some piece of vin ordinaire when something really fine is being cast and you can’t do it. Right now I’m doing up the house, enjoying the domestic bit. I don’t particularly worry about not working because I’m basically lazy. If the good parts aren’t around, I don’t want to do rubbish.”

In fact his eight-month movie blitz last year had practical roots. Three months ago his girlfriend had a baby. “Last year I had to get organized. There was no house to put the baby in.” He looks wistful and confides, “This is the longest I’ve been away from little Joe, four days. I can’t wait to see him again.”

The most important thing he can teach little Joe, Paul reckons, is to be social and loving, a lesson he learned from his own father, who died in 1984. “He rarely said, “I love you,’ although we knew he was besotted with us. There was a real sad streak in him. As he was dying, he said, ‘If you love somebody, tell them and keep telling them.’”

He worries about his mother worrying about him and wanting him to be happy. “It must be heart-rendering being a mum. She’s proud of me, but it’s more important to her that we all have smiles on our faces. She’s glad that the grandchildren have arrived and the sad procession of girls and other dabblings is over.”

His new house is in Bristol, which has, he points out, “the same energy as London, ‘on a smaller scale, and it’s cleaner; a good mix of town and country. It’s only 100 miles from London.”

It’s no surprise to learn that wordsmith McGann has an Irish background. “I’m fond of citing Irish linage to disguise the English failings.”

He resents the inference that he’s settled down. “I’ve felt the pressure to buy a house and have a kid, but I’ve got a boyish fear which equates that with slowing down, seizing up. I don’t want to be like some old coot in a Chekhov play talking to a younger character about the opportunities he missed in his life. It’s a rare personality that can look back and say, ‘I gave it 100 per cent.’ I feel I’m scratching around for direction, and I don’t find it in TV or on the street. For me it’s in books, particularly in some biographies and social history, because they’re real. And I adore poetry, I read Baudelaire every night.”

McGann confesses that he’s a wanderer at heart. “I’m itinerant, scruffy. I still feel a bit shifty, like this is not really it. To be honest,” continues McGann, who doesn’t seem capable of being anything else, “one day I won’t live in England. It’s dirty, it’s violent and I have little respect for our national identity. When I tell people this they say, ‘Why don’t you f… off then?’ And I will. I promise you one day I’ll get out of your sight. I’ll go to Spain. And I don’t mean Marbella.”

McGann suddenly stops his tirade as he returns to real life.

“It’s a dream, isn’t it, because I won’t be able to work anywhere other than in England.” Then he brightens, and the puckish grin reappears as a new thought occurs.

“Who knows, maybe 1992 will mean that we, the actor, can go and find our oovre in foreign climes. But for now I’m happy. Ish.”

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Joined: 08 Feb 2006
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Location: Maine & CT, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early articles are so interesting.

It makes me wonder if we got a glance back at our own personal opinions, outlook and letters we had written twenty years or so ago how they might have changed, mellowed, tempered by life experience and what would remain the same?

One thing that clearly comes through all of the articles over time, he's very intelligent, thoughtful and well meaning. And sharp as ever.

Interesting times too....the 1980's in England. The Thatcher years. When I read the Tim Roth articles, as to why he chose to work for Indy filmmakers in the US or elsewhere gave me the impression that times were hard then and ther was a rather conservative clamp down on funding, content and regard to the British Film industry changes taking place....

Gosh, last night on our TMC channel, (of Ted Turner) they did a night of Jack Cardiff films. TMC has one of the largest film libraries in the world. They're a great station for showing world cinema, silents and classic films. Anyway, they played Black Narcissus, African Queen and The Red Shoes last night. The collaborations of Pressburger, Powell and Cardiff are such gems. They were way ahead of their time, artistically.

When I recall the opinions of Tim Roth and Paul about those times...there's sadness and anger that must represent the same from other creative people in the 1980's in that field, nearly being shut down and practically--censored? Anyway, The magnificent British Film industry had to totally start from scratch again...mostly because of funding, and some because of other pressures.

So, I take all of that into context.

Then, you listen to the leading edge music coming out at that time...and put it all together.
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 354
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just read this article - I think for the first time (hides face in shame)! Very insightful, especially now that we know what has transpired in his life since then. He once wanted to move out of England? Hhmm, I have a destination suggestion! Kentucky McGann, Kentucky! Enough Anglo/Irish community to keep you from being lonely, pretty horses and fast girls! Laughing
Gibbs: "And why do they use such weird names?"
Tony: "When you're a computer geek invading dungeons and fighting ogres, 'Jethro' doesn't cut it.
Tony: "Neither does 'Tony'."

Navy NCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service 2003
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