Inside the Actor’s Studio

JLM as Bertie GrayI was a little apprehensive about interviewing Bertie Gray. He has a reputation for going “off the record” more often than not, as a colleague forewarned in her recent piece: Let me get into your head! Pretty please?

On a first meeting, the Harrovian does not disappoint. He has beautiful old school manners. “Ohh, crumpets?” he says. “How delightful! I’m going to have one right now.”

It’s a dreary winter morning in New York, and Gray is holed up in a five star hotel room with an array of American delights on offer, but I decided to sweeten the deal by bringing along a few of his favourite British treats.


We spent the first part of the interview discussing his appearance on James Lipton’s interview show Inside the Actors’ Studio and going over the answers he gave to those legendary ten questions.

1. What is your favourite word?

Isotope. I like what it alludes to. To me it is a world of possibilities. The chance to redraft the past.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Stilted. I had a bad review after my first ever appearance on stage that used the word and haven’t been able to stomach it since.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Honesty. Whether it is about stepping into a character’s shoes, or in relationships with others, honesty is key. I struggle to relate to those who are not open about what they feel or think, or those who are dishonest in their actions. Acting wise, to be dishonest is akin to professional death.

4. What turns you off?

I suppose my answer to the previous question covered most of it. I never do things by halves either personally or professionally and have to admit that having high expectations of myself has led to requiring the same of others. This hasn’t always served me well, but I can’t change the way I feel about it.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Ha! I use the F word more than I ought, but I can’t say that it’s a favourite. When I was at RADA we went through a phase of collecting Shakespearian curses. My gems of choice were “Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.” from Cymbeline and Henry IVs “Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!”

6. What sound or noise do you love?

I can’t tell you that. Sorry. Not for under eighteens I’m afraid. I will give you my second favourite: the sound of rain on the rooftops on a dour London day. Makes me giddy, although I don’t quite know why.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

The absence of noise. Terrifying.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

My parents are both actors. Can’t remember a time in my life when I wanted to do anything other than act, although I am told that as a toddler I was rather keen on becoming a locomotive.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

A priest or a politician. I’d be useless at both. It requires inflexibility of a kind that I don’t possess.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“There’s an eternity supply of Macallan’s best single malt waiting for you, matey. Take the first left and Peter’ll take it from there.” I do love a good measure of Speyside whiskey on a long winter night. I assume that heaven might be on the chilly side, since hell has hegemony over fire. It would be good to have something to keep me warm up there.

Bertie Gray may have once been best known as the youngest actor in West End history to be cast as Prospero. Since his Thespian debut, this prolific actor added many an accolade to his name, amongst which his exquisite Darcy in the latest Universal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that sent hearts aflutter the world over.

He is now decidedly America’s darling, the hottest Brit in Hollywood and the one heartthrob with the power to make both period  and modern attire sizzle on and off screen. I’d say that what I would like for God to tell me at the Pearly Gates is that Gray’s waiting on the other side. At this rate, he’s bound to make angels of half the world’s population and a jealous mess of the other.

As for the rest of the interview? He inspected my list of questions and politely declined to answer unless I agreed to keep it “off the record”. His reputation for keeping his private life under wraps is well founded it would seem. So all I have been able to uncover will have to stay… well “off the record” at least until FINDING JANE is published.

26 thoughts on “Inside the Actor’s Studio

    • I’m afraid it’s not quite. I dab in acting myself every now and then and count quite a few actors and directors amongst my friends, but this particular interview is part of my work for a novel I am currently revising. Bertie Gray, alas – although I have cast him as the delicious gentleman you see in the pic – is one of my three protagonists (and he happens to be an actor).
      But thank you so much for your comment. I must’ve got the feel of the interview right if you believed it to be actual – feeling a little guilty to have mislead – this is a follow up to the post I quoted at the beginning of the piece “Let me get into your head! Pretty please?” and I suppose I assumed most of those reading it would’ve already been familiar with it.
      Thanks again and a lovely Sunday to you.
      Warm regards,

      • Thank you so much! Bertie Gray has been giving me a little trouble in the last few weeks and that’s why I’ve been writing about him on my blog – trying to get him to spill the beans and move the plot forward.

    • Thank you, Belinda. I’m afraid one of my readers thought it was an interview with an actual actor. Wait a minute! Don’t let Bertie hear me say that or he’ll go in a grump again. He is of course an actual actor, even if he is only a fictional character 😉

      • …ho hum…I am so glad I did not mention that it was so cool you got to interview and ACTUAL actor — even if I did not recognise his name 😉 Just had a good giggle there at utter relevance of my name!! LMAO!…
        Though – in my favour – I did err on the side of caution in my comment right? WHEN have you known me to write so little in a comment….

      • So true 🙂 Your comments are always lovely and lengthy. I have to say that I am flattered you through it is a real interview. The second reader today as well. He-he – perhaps I ought to have kept the mystery going for a while 😉
        Thank you, Belinda x

      • Cool 😀 – So who is he then Ma’am vic?? 😉 \or have I missed a valuable clue? I am presuming at this stage he may be a character in a story?

      • He is 🙂 Gray is one of three main characters in the novel I am currently revising. He’s been giving me some trouble (as per Let me get into your head! Pretty please? post) so I am doing my best to get him to open up. I thought the interview would play up to his ego 😉

      • Sometimes I think that when we get into our fiction writing, we can come across as somewhat mad – at least here everyone is on the same page 🙂 Thank you, Belinda. Truly.

    • This right there is the best I could have hoped for. He is very alive to me, having spent quite some time in his company now, so I am over the moon that it came across 🙂
      Thank you!

  1. Thank goodness I read the comments before commenting! I too thought it was the real deal – amazing how a familiar image impacts the mind to believe a scenario with no actual evidence of it being real… well done Vics – you captured us all – now I really want to read the novel!

    • Thank you so much. It is reassuring that so many of you believed him to be real and took the interview at face value. I hope you were entertained as well, even though it happened to be fiction in the end. I hope to finish revision before long and then it will be a matter of final edit and submission. Will let you know as soon as I have news on that count. I am as keen to share the story with you all. I’ve spent so much time with my characters that it will be difficult to let go, but I do hope that all of you will enjoy their company quite as much as I do.
      Warm regards,

  2. Pingback: I don’t like your style | vic briggs

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