Caroline Quentin

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Caroline Quentin

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:23 pm

Portrait of the artist: Caroline Quentin, actor

'I could name on one hand the things I've done that are OK. The rest are rubbish'

Interview by Laura Barnett, Tuesday 17 January 2012 22.31 GMT

'I don't mind people recognising me' ... Caroline Quentin. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

What got you started?

I started as a hoofer and all-round chorus girl. I did my first ballet lesson when I was three, then trained as a dancer and went into pantomimes and summer seasons. Acting came later.

What was your big breakthrough?

Two things happened when I was 27. Firstly, I met [the comedian] Arthur Smith; he wrote some plays for me, which we performed in Edinburgh and London. Someone saw me in one of those, asked me to audition for Men Behaving Badly, and I got the job. I never expected my success to last: I was used to being mostly unemployed.

Can British television drama rival America's output?

I hope so. I love US shows like Mad Men and Six Feet Under: the broad sweep, the risks they take, the fact they don't patronise their audience. Over here, there's a real aversion to risk. We have such a unique history of television writers – Dennis Potter, David Renwick, Stephen Poliakoff. I just don't know whether we can afford to use them in the way they should be used.

Is there anything about your career you regret?

Oh God, most of it. I hear radio plays that I did 20 years ago and I can't bear it; I see things on telly that I made six months ago and I just hate them. I could name on one hand the things that I think are OK; the rest of it is just rubbish and embarrassing.

What one song would work as the soundtrack to your life?

Either a bluegrass tune by Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt – I'm a great fan of banjo music – or the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. It depends what mood I'm in.

Is fame important to you?

No, but I don't mind the fact that people recognise me. I get people coming up to me all the time and speaking to me as if they know me: "Oh, hello," they'll say, "How funny to see you here!" Some people hate it, but it makes me happy.

Which other artists do you most admire?

I'm a huge fan of Tracey Emin. She's so raw and vulnerable; she's never formed the protective carapace that I formed very early on.

What's the worst thing anyone ever said about you?

When I was younger, I had such awful, poisonous things written about me: male critics likening me to unattractive animals, and suggesting I should be in a zoo. There was a real vein of misogyny in there; I don't think they'd get away with it now.

How would you like to be remembered?

I don't give a damn. I have no desire to be remembered by anyone but my children.

In short

Born Reigate, 1960.

Career Best known for TV series such as Jonathan Creek and Life Begins. Performs in Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1 (020-7378 1713), until Sunday.

High point "Working with writers like Mike Bullen."

Low point "Selling cheese dressed as a Dutch girl."

The Gap Minder

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Re: Caroline Quentin

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:38 am

eddie wrote:Low point "Selling cheese dressed as a Dutch girl."
There are plenty of girls that would get up at 0600 to catch a bus to interview for that job. bounce

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