David Oakes – The Ambitious Englishman

I first discovered David in “The Borgias”, a series that aired a while back. If you haven’t seen it, you should. My next real interaction with his acting was when I went to see “Shakespeare in Love”, in which he beautifully portrayed Christopher Marlowe. And, after seeing him in that play, I decided to take my chance and see if I can get him to answer a few questions for us. Below is the result:

– You played in various period dramas. Which one is your favorite and why?

To be honest, in my head they’ve all blurred into one fascinating televised grand history of Europe where I play different characters in different eras and where each tortured character I play asks similar questions of pride, ego and responsibility and is always found wanting. Poor William, poor Juan and poor George; each one failed despite trying so hard. I guess some times we get dealt a hand we can’t win however hard we might train, change the rules or cheat.


– If you would have to choose between films and plays, what would you choose and why?

When I do film or TV ultimately the world of theatre seems much more appealing. But the same is completely true of the reverse! But, disregarding the inevitable need to have a job, it is the character that draws me to a project regardless of the medium. One wonderful person told me that I always want what I don’t have; maybe she’s correct in part, but I think that is one way to look at ambition. I think it’s hard for actors, humans, to do the same thing every day and to maintain the same enthusiasm one had for it as they had towards the beginning – unless it grows. My favorite projects are those that shift and evolve, whether that be through recurring seasons of the same show, or the way in which a theater project can shift and blur or metamorphose over the duration of a long run.

– You have been in a few plays over the years, what character is the closest to your heart and why?

Playing Darcy last summer was a great treat. My rendition of him, perhaps similar to my presentations in “The Borgias” and “The White Queen”, was one with a slight sociopath bent; a man with empathy issues and an inhumane view of privilege. However, unlike Juan or George, he actually gets the happy ending that I’ve always been denied. It was the first time I ever got the girl and wasn’t stabbed, hanged, shot in the neck, poisoned, pushed off a tower, pushed off a bridge or drowned in a vat of Malmsey. Change is good!


– What did you enjoy most about Romania?

I’ve worked in Romania twice now, and in Central Europe many more times beside. For years the music and literature that I’ve consumed has come from Central Europe one way or another whether it be through folky musical roots or the stories of revolution and repression as it tore Europe apart across the centuries. Having spent years now living outside England and working with people from these European communities I get to see how these places have evolved. At times I’ve often felt a part of it and dared call myself European. Unfortunately the political makeup of my country makes me feel that I am insulting “True-born Europeans” by adopting their moniker. Six years have passed between my two working trips to Bucharest – which city’s soul has changed so much.

– How did you come across the role in Love by Design and what attracted you to the role?

I always seem to play repressed psychopathic rapscallions – why wouldn’t I be attracted to playing the romantic lead for a change!

– Top 3 folk musicians, because I know you listen to quite a few?

It always changes. At the moment, and I’m using the word Folk loosely, my ears are currently listening to Lal Waterson, Elliott Smith and Chris Wood. Make of that what you will.

– I see you get involved and help a few charities, could you tell me a bit about there?

Since June I’ve been held in one location by “Shakespeare in Love”, I get to sleep in my own bed every night! Subsequently I have been able to calmly consider what it is that is important to me; emotionally, vocationally, etc… Moving around all the time does little to settle one’s mind, it can be fucking fun, but it’s an easy way to lose oneself and what is close to one’s heart. One way in which that has been manifested is by getting involved with fundraising on behalf of the BLF and ChILD UK to raise awareness of Child’s Interstitial Lung Disease – a disease my 2 year old niece has and for which there is no cure. It’s very easy for people to occasional sprinkle a little charity upon a whim, often to assuage the guilt of Western privilege. But it is so important that those that can support charities do: actively, passionately and continually. It is one very effective way to shape the world the way one personally wants it to be.

So what made me want to interview him? He has that je ne sais quoi, pardon my French in this context, which will serve him well, he is handsome and seems like a really fun to have around person. Also, he smiles a lot which to me matters, in case you haven’t realized that until now. He is young, talented and I believe that he has what it takes to make it. And, if you want to show some support, you can vote him for the WhatsOnStage Awards that will take place next month at: awards.whatsonstage.com

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photo sources:

1 – http://davidoakes.co.uk/images/uploads/David_Oakes_2web.jpg

2 – http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/32600000/David-david-oakes-32644364-1280-853.jpg

3 – http://st-im.kinopoisk.ru/im/kadr/1/9/6/kinopoisk.ru-David-Oakes-1965868.jpg

4 – http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130310042800/the-borgias/images/thumb/8/8b/004_Truth_and_Lies_episode_still_of_Juan_Borgia.jpg/1280px-004_Truth_and_Lies_episode_still_of_Juan_Borgia.jpg

5 – http://davidoakes.co.uk/images/uploads/DavidOakesHeadshot5.jpg

6 – http://24.media.tumblr.com/5b1152041e5e397132904bbcade62fbb/tumblr_mrzpxnzTyu1ryzw56o1_r1_500.jpg

7 – http://hdcontent.affino.com/AcuCustom/Sitename/DAM/146/David-Oakes-2_MDisplay_1883.jpg

8- http://31.media.tumblr.com/0e56395b59cbee6f37b7ba4b10d1be96/tumblr_mpq8x0CKiZ1ryzw56o1_r1_500.jpg

9 – http://st-im.kinopoisk.ru/im/kadr/1/9/6/kinopoisk.ru-David-Oakes-1965909.jpg

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