Last part - and some free audio for guests
Full audio for Members can be found in Simon's Secret Society Audio section (shortly)024 - All the stage reviews I’ve read have always been much better than any TV or film one, how do you react to things like that? Constructive criticism or don’t worry about them?
I don’t even think about it. Things like Casualty don’t get reviewed very much generally. Film reviews go back now quite a long time. Theatre is reviewed in a different kind of way. I think the fact for the most part I’ve not been in a kinda project or entity that’s gained that kind of critical acclaim. Death on the Nile would be the biggest, and of course I was swamped completely by all the other performers who were who they were. It wasn’t a part that lead itself to being completely ‘you’re just a leading man, doing leading man basic stuff’. I think my potential for good reviews is in front rather than behind me. When you go into something like this you stand a chance of being reviewed well. Television, I mean I’ve done 200 some odd episodes of Casualty and hardly any of them get reviews I’ve had some very nice comments but most of the time you get either just left out, I don’t think anyone’s written any negative comments about Harry that I ever recall having seen. (obviously not read comments on h.tv recently
)025 - Do interviews you do reflect current roles? Alan Titchmarsh interview seemed different to previous ones – More Andrew like?
Well yes I suppose in some extent I think that probably the truth is that one is on a different kind of energy. You have a good energy for television and at the same time it’s a controlled energy in a kinda way. Theatrical is a bit bigger and feeling good about that whole process I think that a lot of people are saying my energy seems, I seem brighter right now because. But then, you know, you’re doing theatre and when you do that you’re out there it’s a bigger performance, you’re life is bigger your more exposed and your, you get this instant feedback from the audience where I you’re more genuine. I think it’s the same thing, you go to work on Casualty you get up in the morning you go to work and you plan your day all the way through it’s a steady whatever, so that’s your motive. So you come into something like this and you know over the course of the next hour I’ll be able to build up and hit it at the beginning. I think there’s a little element on the show, I went on I was in a rush I had to do that, I had to go to the theatre so I think I was less laid back. So I think there’s an element of the kind of work you’re doing will reflect somewhat in how you present yourself.026 - Would you like to work with Susan on a film or series with both of you in front of the camera and not behind?
Yes absolutely with the right project, absolutely027 - How did you and Susan first meet? You knew each other before getting together so was there something at the back of you mind saying ‘yes she’s the one’
We met at a charity concert in the Grosvenor House in London in 1977 when I was married and she had a boyfriend. We sat on a celebrity table it was an Oscar Peterson/ Ella Fitzgerald concert for charity. And we met that evening and then became good friends over the next 3 or 4 years or so before I got my divorce and I then saw Susan a couple of times with her boyfriend in California. Then came the day when she and he split up and I said well it’s my turn to take you out to dinner so I took her out to dinner and then 6 months later we were dating, so we started off as friends.
No, it was extraordinary we were just good friends it never occurred to me at all that’s where we would end up.028 - Last thing you do before going to bed?
There is no pattern; there is absolutely no pattern which is probably not a good thing029 - What did you spend your first pay check on?
Ah! My first pay check. I can tell you exactly. I paid my first pay check before I had been given it, on a jacket to do the job I had to do. I was doing a commercial in London and bought myself a new jacket, sports coat to do it and it cost me 30 quid and I think me commercial fee was something like 30 quid.030 - First childhood memory?
Well you don’t know whether it’s something you saw a picture of and just remember because of the picture. I think in truth, see I’ve got images I can remember, think it’s only because they are stimulated by the photographs that exist. I think my first real memory was when I was about 3 ½ maybe coming up to 4 sitting in front of a black and white television at my grans house watching Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne Du Maurier with Errol Flynn and being absolutely spellbound by the story, I think that’s where my love of story telling and film and everything started. It wasn’t long after that I went to my first pantomime and therefore my first live show, and literally my grandfather said ‘did you have a nice time’ and I told him the story from beginning to end including what everybody was wearing and my grandfather said ‘I think we’ve got a problem here’031 - How many elephants left and in collection at its largest?
I think I had about 70, but I now have I think I’m down to about half a dozen032 - Who would you like to work with again?
Gosh! Well in recent years I’d love to work with Christine Stephen Daly again. I think we got on really well on stage, I mean on set, certainly out of Casualty. I loved working with Christopher Plummer when we worked together on Counterstrike in Canada and although I didn’t do very much with him we had a few moments together on Dinosaur Hunter when we did that. Interesting. There are some people I’d love to work with again who I can’t work with again, people like Bette Davis and so on. Maggie Smith I’d love to work with Maggie again, I adored Maggie.033 - Who would you like to work with?
I’d love to work with Judi Dench or Helen Mirren, that kind of calibre of artist, I really would034 - Most enjoyable episode for Manimal?
Well, different one for different reasons, I had one or two that I didn’t enjoy as much so that was easier to deal with. I think in a funny kind of way I liked the wolf girl episode, can’t remember what it was called now, because I just felt it was the one that was beginning to get closest to the idea of what I thought Manimal should have been, much more about the human relations and how he interacted, it wasn’t about police case in this one quite the same way. That one and on episode called Scrimshaw I seem to remember I liked a lot ‘cos again it wasn’t so obviously just a police show in disguise.035 - Most enjoyable episode for Casualty?
Much harder for Casualty ‘cos there were so many really good episodes. I really loved the episode we had that was the end of Guppy’s father. I thought that one was beautifully constructed. I really loved my big helicopter episode I thought there was a lot of good things in that, that I enjoyed getting into early on. I enjoyed, I remember enjoying enormously the refugee episode that was another good one. There would have been plenty of others, but if you wanted to pull of three.036 - Most challenging episode for Casualty?
Probably the death of Beth, the death ones are hard, the death of Ellen too, that was a tough one, tough for me physically ‘cos I had not long since come out of some surgery (DON’T ask)
so I was not, I was fighting that, I should have been on leave. So I was actually having to work very hard around being very post operative. And that was hard because of the emotional element of it and not wanting to repeat ‘cos then I had already had a few death ones and I wanted to do things that were different and not the same037 - Most challenging episode for Counterstrike?
Well Counterstrike was always challenging it was an extraordinary series ‘cos we we’re talking about 13 odd years ago or even 15 years ago was the last one. We worked massively long hors and they were all like little movies, they were really, really challenging. Again I think, well I had two that I remember particularly, that had everything going for them. I think one would have been episode 22 it may have been the last episode of the first season, which was an IRA story. It was very tough we were shooting it in the winter, and it was very physically demanding I mean I got beaten up and tortured and hung from chains and Christ knows what else in a very brutal series and then I had to come out from that and it’s also emotionally tough ‘cos I remember it was the episode I had to play with my ex-wife. I was having a big storyline where I was having serious doubts about whether I should or shouldn’t continue this job. The episode was I had gone to boss and said look when I came to join to work with you this wasn’t about killing people and everyday we go out and win these battles and shoot people. I said that’s not what I can into, killing too many people is not the answer, you’ve got to catch them and get them put away, and not end up just blowing people’s brains out and I didn’t want to work on it. So I quit the job and then got caught up in an IRA scam. And it was tough. That was probably one of the toughest ‘cos it was also through the winter, winter in Canada and working outdoors, I remember scenes when I was literally standing out on the lake shore where one’s mouth was freezing as you were speaking and you couldn’t do more than 20 minutes at a time without having to go in and warm up and thaw out. Think it was episode 22 of the first season.038 - Last film you watched?
(Quite funny as he can’t remember the name of the film, however it is very sweet as he gets more frustrated with himself)
Last film I watched was. . . God almighty Simon! I watched it two nights ago. . . It was one of the academy nominated pictures. . . Um. . . Jesus Christ Simon! I do this you see as I watch them late at night, it just shows that ones brain is tired. What did I just watch? . . . I watched . . . the film . . . that was called, and it’s coming back to me, Driving Bell and the Butterfly.039 - Last piece of music/song you listened to?
Well I was listening to the duet from Pearl Fishers yesterday, I haven’t turned any music on today040 - Last book you read?
Was a books called The Secret which I’m in the process of reading actually041 - Last TV programme you watched?
Would have been the BAFTA’s042 - What do you do to unwind?
Well I watch movies late at night, I do the crossword, occasionally I use the Sudoku to go to sleep by, I do the cross word everyday, telegraph crossword. I watch movies and I watch some, what one would call garbage television, the sort of Dancing on Ice thing, stuff like that, stuff you can enjoy but is not exactly taxing. I will read but generally I don’t use reading to unwind, things to unwind are things that are a little bit more brain required but not necessarily, like the crossword I do that late at night I find.043 - Who makes you laugh the most?
Probably my dog. Tenor, Tenor the Irish Setter. He is human.044 - Do you watch yourself back?
Not all the time. There are tons of episodes of Casualty I’ve never seen, but I’m not afraid to. I don’t enjoy it always very much but I’m quite happy to depending on what the work is, if there is a movie I would never not see it. Something like Casualty many episodes have gone by, but I’ve got them all I might at some point.045 - What’s been a disappointment or low point of your career?
Well a disappointment but not a low but a disappointment was the fact that Counterstrike never played in the United Kingdom. That it got caught up in a whole bunch of the political non-sense around at the time it came out and different management companies running the stations and we just never sold it here. When you thin of all the rubbish that comes out on television I think it’s a bloody good show and it never came here and it had two actors how were well known here. It’s always strange that it never came here and I was very disappointed about that and as a result I’d been away for 3 years doing it and of course nobody knew and nobody really ever saw it. I think if it had come here, it might have, something like Casualty might have come along sooner here. I still did other things everywhere else and still busy and doing things so it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing things I didn’t really have any complaints but I think I gave 3 years of a lot of effort into a show and it didn’t get the exposure in this country that I would have liked. But I don’t think it’s ever been seen, it’s one of those things I keep thinking about talking to the management company, say look can we bring it over still even now ‘cos there are still channels that put stuff on.
The other disappointment was Manimal got shut down, I mean that was a disappointment it wasn’t a low point, well actually at the time I suppose it was a low point I have to say it must have been. I went on to do other things fairly quickly afterwards but actually yes it was a low point ‘cos I had a big American television series that only did 8 episodes, subsequently became a cult show and actually I could have been a cult, as it were star, sooner had they held on to it. ‘cos once they put it out on a Saturday/Sunday in American it really took off by which time they had cancelled, so yeah I guess that was a low point.