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An interview with the English Actor, Peter Davison

Sam Arnold

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An interview with the English Actor, Peter Davison

“What’s refreshing about Life is that it’s a story about, as Mike would say, ‘life’. It’s not a detective story. It’s not a costume drama, or a drama about how wonderful the past used to be. It’s just a slice of life there in front of you, and you have to draw your own conclusions from it. ”

What drew you to Life?

Peter Davison: Henry was a brilliant part to play. You’re fortunate as you get older to get interesting parts to play. And I’d almost resigned myself to those things not happening in the way that they have done for me in the past when along came this wonderful script by Mike Bartlett. An offer you can’t refuse!

Do you identify at all with Henry?

Peter Davison: Yes, I do. And in fact, as we began rehearsals, I just realised more of the identifiable traits of Henry. On the surface, he’s not a particularly likeable character, but in practice, you have to like the character you’re playing in my experience. So you look for things to connect with the character on.

I suppose if you don’t like what he does and the way he’s led his life, it’s as much because he’s a victim, as anyone else is, of what was expected of him. I suppose he’s very patriarchal. That’s his life and he can’t see anything wrong with it. And whether he does realise that, and whether or not he’s able to do anything about it, is what the story is about.

How does this series differ from other dramas?

Peter Davison: What’s refreshing about Life is that it’s a story about, as Mike would say, ‘life’. It’s not a detective story. It’s not a costume drama or a drama about how wonderful the past used to be. There’s not a nostalgia to it. It’s just a slice of life there in front of you, and you have to draw your own conclusions from it.

What was your favourite scene to shoot?

Peter Davison: I enjoyed – selfishly, as an actor – the more intense and emotional scenes. And I enjoyed trying to play them in a way that wasn’t too emotional, because I don’t think that real people get that emotional. If you transcribed a scene from real life and then got actors to play it, you’d end up with a much more overblown emotional thing, whereas real people are more like, “this is what is happening”. That was the challenge in some of the scenes where we were talking about big things in life – trying to talk as if real people were talking.

Originally published on Bbc.co.uk

Arnold is a senior British tech reporter at Tekrati. Before joining Tekrati, Arnold worked as an editor for his University Newspaper, writing sharable content for a student audience. Sam loves movies, running, and anything written by Oliver Sacks. The drink he chose is tea, which he does not recommend in large quantities.

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