Dear Lupin Star Jack Fox on Acting with His Dad & More

first_imgIt’s no bad idea in a play about a real-life father and son to cast a real-life father and son. This is the case with the Apollo Theatre production of Dear Lupin, in which the veteran actor James Fox stars opposite his own son, Jack Fox. Adapted from a book of letters that onetime racing journalist Roger Mortimer wrote to his wayward but clearly much-adored son, Charlie, the play clearly struck a chord with this latest addition to the Fox acting dynasty, or so the charming actor explained to Broadway.comWas this play always intended as a Fox family venture?Not at all. My dad was attached to the play at least six months before I was. I don’t even think he even had me in mind at the time. So when it did arrive, it came as a bolt out of the blue. I was passed the script and read it on a train and it became clear immediately that it was something I wanted to do.Because of acting opposite your dad or the material itself?The script moved me greatly. I just thought it was a very beautiful adaptation and the fact that the entire cast was going to be me and dad sort of made sense to me. We’re very close anyway as a family, so it was a matter of taking off our family hats and putting on our professional acting hats before we walk onstage.The play spans 35 years of letters written from Roger Mortimer to his son Charlie. In our email age, can you relate to that volume of letter writing?Yeah, I used to write letters all the time. I would write them to girlfriends back in the day with that feeling I think we all have at such moments that maybe we’re more articulate than we actually are. And I think I still do have some [letters] from my dad.The word “lupin” in the title is a literary reference [the wayward son in the popular book Diary of a Nobody] that may be lost on non-British audiences.I know and keep wondering whether people will think it has anything to do with [auto-immune disease] lupus. If someone turns up at the Apollo Theatre wearing an ER T-shirt, we’re going to have to send them somewhere else. It’s a reference to Mr. Pooter and his family from a famous English comic novel.Have you met the actual Charlie Mortimer, the real-life person whom you are playing onstage?Yes and he’s one of the funniest men I’ve ever met in my life. He’s absolutely something else. We’ve had drinks and dinners and I call him a couple of times a week. He and his partner Tim are just unreal. They got married the other day and when I found out, I said, “Why wasn’t I invited?” He told me they had four people there and went for a kebab afterwards—that’s the kind of guy he is.Though you are from an acting family, you have only done one play before.Yes, only one—Dorian Gray last year, and I wasn’t very good in it. Let’s hope I’m better in this.Was it inevitable that you would become an actor?I suppose though it wasn’t as straightforward as you might think. I read philosophy and theology at university in Leeds and have had all manner of jobs along the way. I was fired from Harrods by a terrible man called Simon who I hope is reading this now. I also worked as a landscape gardener for one of my other brothers, who was the best boss I ever had.But wasn’t acting the family vocation?It’s funny: I was offered parts as a kid but my dad was very acutely aware of not having had much of a childhood so he was very keen for the five of us to have one. And even when it came to doing TV and film, which is where I started, my dad made it clear that wasn’t all glitz and glamour by any stretch of the imagination and that you had to experience it for what it was.What do you think your mother makes of seeing her husband and youngest son appearing together on a West End stage?It must be so surreal for her. She’s probably thinking, “Who have I married? What have I created?” But she’s a really giving woman, my mum. She’s very straight-down-the-line and has worked as a nurse, which must be part of the reason that we haven’t all gone insane. View Commentslast_img

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