John Hurt shares stories of his childhood in new interview!

In preparation for his appearance at the Derby Film Festival next week, John Hurt has given a new interview to the Burton Mail in which he discusses his early life and career influences.

One of the first pieces of information he shares is about the Burton Mail itself, sure to delight his local fans.

[Derbyshire] can lay claim to me. I really hope you do. I think the Burton Mail was the first newspaper I ever read. We used to read the obituaries. I remember one that said ‘St Peter opened the pearly gates, and in walked Mam’. I thought that was brilliant. A dazzling little piece of poetry.

Hurt also shares some of his memories of the countryside, as well as what it was like to live there during the early years after WWII.

Outside of things I was expected to do, cycling was my major thing. I would leave the house early on a Saturday morning and not come back until it was dark. There was nothing really on the roads back then, and I would cycle off to Repton and places like that – just touching the pretty parts of the county.

What I do remember very distinctly about Woodville and Swadlincote back then was all the colliery workers coming back and being completely black with coal dust and the sirens going off – it was like it was still war time, extraordinary.

John also delves into his acting career a bit – though many of our readers know him as Mr. Ollivander, Hurt’s career began long before he donned his wizarding robes – in 1975. In his storied career he has taken part in many productions fans can only salivate over: Alien, the animated Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (of course), and Doctor Who. But he has no plans of retiring any time soon, and expresses his belief in the importance of staying current.

You have to keep up with it. People’s memories are so short now. So you have to keep up to be relevant. When I talk to people under the age of 20 they don’t know who Alec Guinness is, which is quite alarming. He was my complete inspiration.

When you do look back, and someone points out your CV you do think ‘how did I manage all that?’ But at the time you just go on and meet people. It’s just life. I have never had particular ambitions it has just happened…I had no idea my life would turn out the way it has or that I would be offered the roles I have. You are the result of other people’s imaginations. It’s they who see you as something. I would never have seen myself as Caligula – who would? – but Herbie Wise did (for the landmark TV series I, Claudius).

Be sure to read the full interview for more of what Hurt has to say!

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.