At a recent Q&A, which took place at Louth Film Club, Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) discussed his long and successful acting career but told the audience that when he attended school, acting was just something he fantasized about.
Acting was just a dream when I was a schoolboy. I was the only one in my year at school who wanted to be an actor.
I suspect that’s very different now. It’s a tough industry. In my day, you went into rep and learned your trade in provincial towns around the country. Now people tend to go straight into television.
Back in 2002, Broadbent won an Academy Award for his supporting role as John Bayley in biographical drama Iris. When speaking of the characters he most enjoys playing, he answered with those who are historical, which of course includes Bayley. He spoke briefly of the meeting the man in question, at the premiere of Iris:
I was due to meet John Bayley before filming, but he was ill, so it was postponed.
I met him afterwards, and I was surprised at how short he was. I think if I’d have known that, it would have affected my performance.
He came to the premiere, and it was very good to meet him.
Following the Q&A, attendees were also treated to a screening of his film Le Weekend. When talking of shooting said film, which was shot in a short space of time (21 days to be exact), Broadbent said,
We would jump out at locations and film. It was almost guerrilla style. It was a lovely film to do.
He also mentioned that back in the day, he was offered the role of Derrick “Del Boy” Trotter in hit British sitcom Only Fools and Horses but was the second choice after David Jason, who of course ended up accepting it. He joked that “it’s a good job David Jason did take the role, or no one would have heard of Only Fools and Horses!”
Fans of the show will know that Broadbent did end up getting a small role in a couple of episodes of the comedy series, when he played the character of Roy Slater.
As advice for upcoming actors, Broadbent declared that “You need determination and obsession – acting is an obsession.”
Out of the many film and television productions Jim Broadbent has been involved in, which has been your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.