The 5-minute Interview: Russell Tovey, Actor

'People say I have big ears. They're actually small, but they stick out'
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The Independent Online

Tovey, 26, was one of the original cast members in the stage production of 'The History Boys', and went on to star in the big-screen adaptation. He can be seen in 'The Sea', which opened this week at the Theatre Royal, London.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Wolfing down some of the reduced mango I've just bought. It's the first time I've had it.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"How you doing mate? All right?" Normally, if I don't remember someone's name it's easier just to say that. But I sound really common when I say it.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

The beauty of Essex. I'm from Billericay and some people think Essex is just one big shopping centre. We've had some bad people representing it, like Jodie Marsh. But parts of Essex are beautiful and full of history.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was ...

Going on an impromptu mini jog with Dustin Hoffman around Central Park in New York. He had come to see The History Boys when we were performing it on Broadway last summer. I bumped into him in the morning outside his building. He told me I was the best thing in the show and invited me to jog with him. I was so stunned I couldn't remember a thing he said.

A common misperception of me is ....

That I've got big ears. I've actually got quite small ears, it's just that they stick out.

I am not a politician but ...

I think they should sort out the trains. The prices are extortionate here and it's been a nightmare the last couple of days. In New York, the trains run all night and the cabs are so cheap.

I'm good at ...

Being an uncle to my two nephews. I spoil them. At Christmas time I spent an extortionate amount of money on Buzz Lightyear toys, baby clothes, Disney cars and the like.

I'm very bad at ...

Cooking. I have no interest in it.

The ideal night out is ...

Something spontaneous. Going out with friends and ending up somewhere completely different.

In moments of weakness I ...

Get bad adrenalin shakes. I'm not very good at confrontation. Romantically, in my head, I'm Rambo, but if someone's shouting at me I get adrenalin shakes and go red. When I'm really low I have a good cry.

You know me as an actor, but in another life I'd have been ...

An archaeologist or a history teacher.

The best age to be is ...

Whatever age you are at the time. I just live in the moment. Or try to.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

Make sure there's a solid unit in your life and make sure you protect and look after it. The rest of your life should seem simple.

Chine Mbubaegbu

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