'This is London' article

Jason Isaacs appeared opposite Lee Evans in this play by Harold Pinter for seven weeks in the spring of 2007

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'This is London' article

Post by Hilary the Touched » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:47 am

(Narayana pointed this out first:)

This is London

The last drink you would expect Jason Isaacs to order is a cup of herbal tea. This, he explains, is because he has a cold - but really, it's a bit soft for an actor who has spent the last decade playing lean, mean, hard men on screen.

Obviously, only the very silly would assume actors are like the characters they play but Isaacs is truly nothing like the savage Colonel Tavington in Mel Gibson's The Patriot in 2000 or the thuggish ex-para in the 1992 TV series Civvies.

At this very moment he's even confessing to feeling terrified. 'We've got two weeks to rehearse the thing from scratch,' he says. 'I'm sh*t scared.'

The 'thing' is The Dumb Waiter, Harold Pinter's menacing, 1957 two-hander about two hired killers waiting in a basement.

Isaacs - who is best known for playing evil Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise - admits he initially took the part because he heard that comedian Lee Evans would also be in the cast.

'Even Lee is scared,' he says. 'When we had our first meeting, Lee said [adopting Evans's voice] "What are you talking about? We just work 12 hours a day for seven days a week, it'll be fine." Then we had a meeting and Lee said: "I've been looking at that play. There's no f**king way we can do it in two weeks."'

The Dumb Waiter is an odd mix of B-movie thriller, Beckett-influenced surrealism and vaudevillian farce in which the assassins, Gus and Ben, gradually become the victims of a game played by someone they cannot see and whose rules they do not understand.

'Now is a perfect time to do it,' says 43-year-old Isaacs. 'It's steeped in paranoia. I've got two small children; I spend my life terrified about what might happen and I listen to people all the time who tell me all sorts of conspiracy theories about ID cards and bombings, how much we should believe in the papers and how much we are really in control of anything we do.

Yesterday, I noticed six surveillance cameras outside the rehearsal studios. Six cameras on a church hall in South London.

'It's interesting how much fear was part of Pinter's world in the late 1950s and how much it's a part of our world now.'

(article continues)

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Post by kjshd05 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:09 am

It's unfortunate that our world has become more paranoid, what with all the terrorists activities and unrest world wide...I dont mind being on a surveilance camera, if that is going to help keep me safe...hopefully somebody on the other end is watching...
Yes back in the 50/60's it was the cold war, and now terrorism...
I dont think it will get any better as time goes on, only worst...

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Post by Bellatrix » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:47 pm

Historically, times have been far worse than they are now. We just have more communication these days, so it seems worse. But it's not - despite what we read in the papers, there has never been a better time for human rights (and animals' too).

And we have Jason!

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Post by Gillian » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:53 pm

But ... but ... we still have global warming.
We're doomed I tell ya. DOOMED!

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Post by Bellatrix » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:20 pm

Gillian wrote:But ... but ... we still have global warming.
We're doomed I tell ya. DOOMED!
But don't you want a tan? :twisted:

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