I'm with the band: Allen Leech
We spoke with Allen Leech in 2018—catching the actor in a quiet moment during a whirlwind of an October, with Bohemian Rhapsody about to be released and production of the Downton Abbey film in full swing. In conversation with Emily Cathcart, Allen chatted about persistence in getting parts; his projects; and his process.
After warming up with an obligatory Irish icebreaker about the weather, we jumped straight in—Allen described the challenge of promoting Bohemian Rhapsody and filming Downton Abbey simultaneously: “Trying to juggle the two, the logistics of getting out of the Castle [Highclere Castle in Newbury] after we film Downton, then getting back to London to do interviews and get ready for the Bohemian Rhapsody press tour as well—it’s been pretty full-on.”
But this wasn’t always the case. “Though I think I have been very lucky—I would be lying if I said it’s always been plain sailing. There have been gaps, there always can be in any actor’s life: that’s the terrifying bit. I did a show for HBO called Rome, and after that I thought ‘Oh great, this’ll guarantee me work’—then I didn’t work for two years. I was seriously considering packing it in when I got a call from a director, Wayne Jordan, who does a lot of theatre in Dublin (I’d been in college with him).
He said, ‘Do you want to come and do a play, there’s absolutely no money going on it.’ I said yes, and it completely re-invigorated my love of acting—reminding me why I did it in the first place. Because you lose sight of that sometimes; rather than portraying a character or creating a role… you’re too busy trying to book the job. Doing this play, I got to create the character again, experiment as a performer—and I’d kind of forgotten to do that for a while.”
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