Interview: John McCrea

From the interview archive.

With the success of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie… it seems like these days, everyone’s talking about you! How does it feel to have so many eyes seemingly on you and your work?

It’s an incredible feeling to have people take notice and enjoy the work you do. That’s the quest for the kingdom. 

Do you find the attention at all distracting from your craft?

Luckily for me, I’m pretty oblivious to most of the attention otherwise I’d perhaps find it overwhelming more than anything. 

What was it about the script that jumped out at you and made you want to be involved in this production?

It’s a very funny script. Tom MacRae (Book writer) does a certain type of comedy very well. It was also a breath of fresh air to have a story centre around an unashamedly effeminate young man and not centre around his sexuality or his first love etc. It’s about his journey of self discovery. This is a coming of age story. Not a coming out story. 

What do you think pulls the audience towards Jamie New? 

He’s truly one of a kind. He is also sixteen years old so that’s such a curious time that I think most people in the audience remember and connect with. Ultimately though, it’s his perseverance in the pursuit for joy that get’s people going. Nothing will stop this kid from being his happiest self. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind so I think we all need a bit more Jamie New. 

In what way would you say your personality is most like Jamie’s?

I don’t know if you can necessarily call clumsiness a personality trait but we certainly have that in common. 

What is one reason you would encourage young kids to get involved in their local theatre groups?

To find like-minded people who enjoy the same things as you. Find your tribe because they’re out there looking for you. 

Who is your all-time favourite poet and your favourite piece of poetry?

It changes like the wind. I’m still heavily into my Kate Tempest. Leonard Cohen will always own my heart though I think. My favourite piece at the moment was shared with me just yesterday actually. It was written by a fourteen year old girl named Freya.  (Thank god for the internet and the invisibility of youth.)  


Am stuck on you

Like chewing gum

Under those desks we talk at

Scribbling down lyrics 

On the wood

From songs that weren’t made for us

But fit

Like i know my hand would

In yours.

We shiver together 

And I laugh as you slip

On the ice.

My voice may not have sung for you yet

But my heart in an entire orchestra.”

What’s one skill you want to learn in order to help you in your acting career?

Just living is a skill I am constantly trying to navigate at the moment. I want a colourful enough life to inform my acting. So work/life balance is the thing. I think thats what we’re all working on isn’t it?

What’s the most inspiring performance you have seen in the last year? 

Anne Marie-Duff in Simon Stephen’s Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle. It struck me down like a freight train going a thousand miles an hour. She makes me want to be an actor. When I grow up I would like to be Anne Marie-Duff. Thank you. 

If you could choose anybody to share a soulful duet with, who would you choose?

Judy Garland or Janis Joplin. Can we make it a threesome? 

What is the most profound thing you have learned about yourself while pursuing your passion in acting?

The thing that I learnt about myself during the last four years iw that I don’t really crave the spotlight. But with that came the knowledge that the two things are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to do the work and leave all of the other stuff behind. I’m getting there. Slowly but surely. 

What is one thing you hope to accomplish by the time you turn 50?

I would like to have seen more of the world and I would like to have a family. It doesn’t have to be conventional by any means but I would really like to be surrounded by lovely happy people (and animals). I would also like to eat a lot more pasta by the time I’m 50. 

Is there a story you have read or seen on film that you’d want to adapt into live theatre?

I have always wanted to do an updated version of ‘The Vortex’ by Noel Coward. But apart from that not really. There is so much new work out there. So many people writing away in dark rooms as we speak. Readying themselves for literary greatness. I want a piece of that action please. 

What is one thing you always have to have with you on set?

At the moment it’s ginger. In whatever capacity I can get it. And my dog – Winston. 

If nothing else, what is one thing you want people to know about who John McCrea is?

He cares.

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