I Asked 10 Famous People, the Same 10 questions…

A still from short film Outpatient (currently in post production) that Charlie recently was involved with.

Charles Baker is an American actor who is most well known for his role as Skinny Pete on Breaking Bad. He has had a guest role on many of the top TV made in America and enjoyed success in films too.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

CB: My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. 

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? 

CB: I learn everything the hard way, picking one is difficult.  How about, don’t hide your glasses in your coat pocket before shooting a fight scene. 

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

CB: Art that moves me. It could be music, a photograph, a painting, a statue, a film, a scene from a show, or whatever medium– I’ve even been enchanted by TV commercials. I’m pretty easy in that regard, I suppose.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

CB: Resilience, persistence, stamina, or stubbornness: it depends on how you define it. 

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

CB: Self doubt… maybe.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood? 

CB: Trauma.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

CB: Hudson Hawk – it’s an underrated masterpiece. 

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud? 

CB: Me, when I reminisce about how I used to think I had it all figured out. 

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

CB: Maverick Sabre.

PC: Do you have any pets? 

CB: Two Dogs: Keaton (small Russell Terrier mix) and Delilah (large Doberman/Shepherd mix).

Alexander Millar is a Scottish professional artist. His paintings represent the everyday working life of people from the past and present.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

AM: I finished a commission that I’ve been working on for a client in York. It’s taken me about four months to complete it, as it’s quite complicated and the canvas measures 6 ft square. A big bugger…. the canvas not the client. 

PC: Name one thing I’ve learned the hard way?

AM; Never trust a fart. 

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

AM: Beauty… and it’s everywhere. We just need to take a wee bit of time in our busy lives to notice it. When I paint one of my landscapes, I always try to capture that fleeting moment when the light suddenly appears to light up what at first glance is a mundane, ugly, industrial landscape. When that sunlight hits the frost that may be covering the ground around your feet and turns it into a glittering Christmas card, it can take your breath away. It’s usually gone too quickly but if you notice it, it will complete your day. 

PC: What is your biggest strength?

AM: I guess it’s my tenacity. I never give up. It’s something that I’ve had to work on throughout my life, as I was a timid wee soul as a kid. I used to hate my dad as he was a persistent, angry type of man… I’ve become my dad. 

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

AM: Women.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

AM: I have two things that my mum cherished. One was a black wooden jewellery box that had Japanese painting on it that, when you opened it, it would play “Clair de Lune”. Inside of it is the second thing I have from my mum, and that’s a cheap plastic orange coloured string of beads. I would hold them up to the light and they would reflect the colour onto the walls around my bedroom. 

PC: Title of a film that’s one of your favourites? 

AM: The Quiet Man

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

AM: These days, it’s Kevin Bridges whom I had the pleasure of meeting when he came to Newcastle. Norm MacDonald and Dave Chappelle whose comedy is so very clever. Oh, and anyone who slips on a banana skin.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

AM: At the moment, I can’t get enough of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ and Young Fathers’ ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’. 

PC: Do you have any pets?

AM: Yes, I’ve got four goldfish who need the minimum of attention. I also have a ceramic pig on my mantelpiece who’s very obedient, for when I tell him to stay… he does exactly that.

Holt McCallany is an American actor probably most well known for his role as Bill Tench on TV show, Mindhunter. Holt has worked with some of the best directors in the business including Guy Ritchie, David Fincher and Clint Eastwood.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

HM: I bought the English language remake rights to an Italian film I love called L’uomo delle StelleThe Star Maker.   It was directed by Giuseppe Tornatore in 1995 and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. I intend to recreate the role originally played by Sergio Castellitto, and the film will be my directorial debut.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

HM: Love can be elusive.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

HM: Old French cinema, Ella Fitzgerald, and biographies of my favourite actors.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

HM: Generosity.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

HM: Impatience.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

HM: My mother’s records.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

HM: Marco Bellocchio’s ‘The Traitor’.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

HM: Old clips of Don Rickles on The Johnny Carson Show.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

HM: João Gilberto, Cranes In The Sky, Matt Monro.

PC: Do you have any pets?

HM: I travel too much unfortunately, but I love horses, so there could be one in my future.

Clive Mantle is a British actor well known for his roles on Casualty, Holby City and many many more TV roles. Clive is also a very successful children’s author.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

CM: More Costa Coffee voice overs.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

CM: No short cut to line learning.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

CM: Friends and family around a dinner table
.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

CM: Concentration

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

CM: Oversensitivity.
.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

CM: My love of Chelsea

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

CM: Zulu!

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud? 

CM: Lee Mack.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now? 

CM: Pink Floyd 

PC: Do you have any pets?

CM: Two working Cocker Spaniels, one pedigree, one rescue. Roxie and Monty.

Rupert Wolfe Murray, is a very experienced travel writer currently working on an amazing book Bosnian War Posters.

PC: What’s the best thing that has happened to you this month?

RWM: I’ve just hit 100% in a crowdfunding appeal for a book of Bosnian War Posters, a collection of artworks from the Bosnian War. The crowdfunding format is really simple – a blurb, a video and a list of “rewards/perks” – but what’s really hard is dealing with one’s own sense of doubt. I’d wake up every morning and ask myself, “Who’s going to contribute today?” But every day, people would and it crept up steadily and a big donation pushed us over the top. I didn’t think we’d hit 100% which, in money terms, is £5,750 but we did and the sense of achievement was incredible.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

RWM: To back down. For years, I would put massive energy into persuading my family that my way was the best. We would argue endlessly in the search for allies and eventual consensus. In my 50s, I realised this was such a waste of time and all I had to do was say, “My view is XYZ” and then be silent. I realised there was no need to invest so much time into persuading others that I was right. When others tried to get me behind their cause I’d just say, “I already stated my view.” This has made me calmer and more tolerant.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

RWM: People who are genuinely open to other points of view, learning from every encounter, and working towards their own self-development. They’re quite rare.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

RWM: My attitude – which is open, positive, inquisitive and (trying to be) non-judgemental.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

RWM: Complacency. I move around constantly, feel at home wherever I am but this can lead to complacency.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

RWM: Ignorance — but now it’s an asset as it means that I’m always learning. When I was a kid I thought I was stupid. Now I realise it’s good to admit I don’t know something, as it makes me open to those who do. I’m constantly learning – mainly from my own mistakes.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

RWM: The 1923 film of Salomé, based on an Oscar Wilde play, with the modern soundtrack by Mike Frank. It was the world’s first art film. Today, 99 years later, it still comes across as totally original, moving, and bizarre. I can’t think of any film, in the history of film, that looks or feels anything like it. And the backstory of its creator is also incredible. You can see it on YouTube.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

RWM: Old British comedy like Dick Emery (also on YouTube), and also the old Flashman books. Even though I’m quite liberal minded, the old politically incorrect comedy makes me laugh most.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

RWM: The Mike Frank soundtrack for the 1923 film, Salomé.

PC: Do you have any pets?

RWM: No, but I do love them. I’m too much of a nomad to have a pet. Currently, I’m living in Sarajevo, and I make friends with the semi-feral cats on the streets.

Gareth Williams is an American actor who has had success in a number of roles including Dawsons Creek and Mindhunter.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past two months?

GW: Hmmmm… two months? It’s been fairly uneventful, really, particularly with regards to career. Went on a long awaited, and much needed, actual vacation. I’ve always relied on jobs to take me to exotic places and on their dime, but Helen and I went on our first together. It was a group deal, so it got a bit dodgy here and there, but there were absolutely brilliant moments.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

GW: The ‘one’ thing? Man, so many to choose from! And the one I’d mention here, I’m not altogether sure I’ve ‘learned’ as much as I needed to, but here goes: temperament. A bad one burns more bridges and more quickly than anything else. I can say, unarguably, this would have been the greatest lesson to have ‘learned’ earlier on.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

GW: Kindness!

PC: What is your biggest strength?

GW: Sensitivity. I think above all else, this is the greatest strength in general. It, among so many other things, my mother imparted to me: to always be sensitive, empathetic, kind, and gracious.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

GW: Sensitivity! It is both blessing and curse. Particularly in this harsh world we live in, when one is hypersensitive, it feels like living in a meat grinder, and one is never ‘not’ feeling!

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

GW: Scars! But if you mean a material object, I still have a few. My sister saved nearly everything. I, only a few. The one thing I would mention, though, would be a Saint Christopher medal my mother gave me when I was 16. I know that’s not particularly young, but she had given them to me prior as well. This one just happens to be the only one I didn’t lose. Surfers, for reasons unknown to me, wore these and I started surfing around 12 years old. I would lose them in the water, or on the bumper of a car, having taken it off before paddling out so I wouldn’t lose it in the water, then forgetting when we drove away. It’s a beautiful, raised relief, stainless steel medal and quite unique.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

GW: “Oh my, soooo many! Favourite comedy: the original The Inlaws with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk. Favourite drama: The Godfather II. Favourite war film: Apocalypse Now. Favourite documentary: Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War. But, gun to head, favourite film: Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

GW: Jim Jefferies. Though just moments ago, Kate McKinnon made me belly laugh, out loud, several times!

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

GW: You’re gonna think this odd, I’m sure. I am a diehard Rolling Stones fan and listen to them constantly. But of late, I listen to Ed Sheeran obsessively. And one thing I never tire of is watching the YouTube video with Jimmy Page describing the creative process involved with “Stairway To Heaven”.

PC: Do you have any pets?

GW: I had a dog with my last relationship, a scruffy guy named Pip, and the loss of him is one of the more earth-shattering heartbreaks of the last decade. He’s still alive but no longer with me.

Anthony Pepe is the Make-up Department Head on the top TV show, The Blacklist.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past two months?

AP: Finished another season of The Blacklist.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

AP: How to be a leader.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

AP: Sunsets.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

AP: Creativity.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

AP: My mouth runs faster than my brain.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

AP: Tron light cycle.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

AP: Amadeus.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

AP: Stand-up comedy.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

AP: Carpenter Brut.

PC: Do you have any pets?

AP: Two children. Isn’t that enough? Lol.

Sir Ian Rankin is a prolific Scottish crime writer, well known worldwide for his very successful Rebus novels.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

IR: Well, the month is precisely one day old as I write this but I’m just back from a birthday jaunt to Istanbul.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

IR: I’ve learned that I have no aptitude for DIY. Nearly died several times while up ladders or trying to rewire something.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

IR: I’m most enchanted by green mossy forests, preferably silent, preferably with a stream running through them.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

IR: Perseverance/stubbornness. Give me a task and I stick to it. If DIY is involved, this can prove costly!

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

IR: I’m not hugely sociable. Also rubbish at remembering birthdays, people’s names, etc.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

IR: A Captain Scarlet toy car and a Monkeemobile.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

IR: Gregory’s Girl.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

IR: I’m slow to laughter but Nicholas Cage’s latest had me hooting in the cinema.

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

IR: Now I’m back from Istanbul I can unwrap my birthday gifts, including eight or nine albums from the recent Record Store Day. I’m guessing the Patti Smith album might be first on the turntable.

PC: Do you have any pets?

IR: Had a pet budgie and goldfish when young. Inherited a cat when I married. Currently no pets. But Istanbul was full of stray cats so watch this space…

Jesse C. Boyd is an American actor who has had roles on many top TV shows including Hap and Leonard, Mindhunter and The Walking Dead.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?

JB: I took a trip to Joshua Tree to have some fun with friends.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

JB: That patience takes time. Lol.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

JB: Humanity.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

JB: A sense of adventure.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

JB: Impatience.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

JB: A sense of wonder.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

JB: The Goonies.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

JB: South Park

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

JB: “House Burn Down” by King Princess

PC: Do you have any pets?

JB: Yes – an English bulldog named Beaufort. I love him so much!

Adam Zastrow is an American actor who has had roles on Mindhunter, Sneaky Pete and more recently Shining Vale and Winning Time.

PC: What’s the best thing that happened to you these past couple of months?

AZ: I had recurring roles in two shows that both aired in recent weeks.

PC: Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way?

AZ: Life changes fast. Keep up or get swept up.

PC: What are you most enchanted by?

AZ: Love.

PC: What is your biggest strength?

AZ: I’m adaptive, and have great instincts.

PC: What is your biggest weakness?

AZ: I overthink things to the point of indecision.

PC: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?

AZ: Comic books.

PC: Tell me the title of a film that is one of your favourites?

AZ: Clue. Always Clue.

PC: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?

AZ: I actually laugh a lot, and can find humour in almost anything..

PC: What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

AZ: Skald, Miracle of Sound.

PC: Do you have any pets?

AZ: My cat Djuma is still a pain in my ass, yes, but I love him.

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