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Swindon Lives - Ben Nealon - Go Back for Murder Special

We popped down to the Wyvern Theatre to speak with Ben Nealon, who's currently starring in Agatha Christie's classic whodunit 'Go Back for Murder' Ben first popped up on our screens back in the early nineties as Jeremy Forsythe in Soldier Soldier.

What or who inspired you to go into your line of work?

I was 7 years and Saw Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, that’s when I knew I wanted to become an actor.

When you're not busy working hard, what's your favorite thing to do?

I set up a charity 14 years ago, so that takes up a lot of my time. Aside from that I’m partial to a game of cricket and a kick about in the summer.

Does avid coffee drinker count too?

When was your ‘big break’?

When I joined Soldier Soldier back in 1994, it was my first television role.

Over the years you've played some great characters, do you have a favourite?

Oh God, what a good question, I’m torn between two. I loved playing a character called Hewson in The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey.

But I also enjoyed playing Chris Moon in a channel 4 film called ‘Kidnapped in the Killing Fields’. It was a drama-documentary telling the true story of how Chris Moon was kidnapped by the Khmer Rouge while clearing land mines in Cambodia and talked his way out of trouble and back to freedom.

After losing his right hand and leg, he now runs marathons to raise awareness and funds for land mine victims and charities.

Apart from your home and car, what's the most expensive thing that you've ever bought?

Funnily enough I don’t actually own a house or a car; I think the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought has to be a suit that I needed for an awards ceremony during Soldier Soldier. It was from Hugo Boss and roughly cost about £600.

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

Listen, simple as that!

Tell us a little more about Pump Aid. What was it like receiving an OBE for your charity work last year?

In a nutshell Pump Aid aims to bring affordable and sustainable water and sanitation solutions to rural Africa, I’ve been involved with the charity for a great deal of time now, so to be recognised for all of my hard work felt extraordinary.

When I first got the letter in the post I thought it was a bill, so you can imagine my surprise when I opened it! The ceremony took place at Windsor Castle and the OBE was awarded to me by Princess Anne.  What made it even more special was the fact it was the first time all of my family had gotten together.

Do you ever get nervous before a big performance?

I guess you could say it comes with the territory, I get nervous all of the time! The trick is to remember you’re telling a story, as long as you’re clear about the story the rest should fall into place.

Who is the most famous person in your phone book?

Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s probably someone that you’ve never heard of! He’s called Aamir khan (not the boxer) and he’s an enormous star in India. He’s basically their answer to Tom Cruise or George Clooney. I was lucky enough to work with him on two films.

What tips would you give to someone looking to become an actor?

The more you practise, the better you get. Most young actors think it’s all about “me, me,me” but in actual fact it goes back to what I said earlier about listening, the key to being a good actor is being a good listener.

Go Back for Murder will run at the Wyvern Theatre from Monday April 8th – Saturday April 13th.

Book tickets today at wyverntheatre.org.uk or by calling the Ticket Office on 01793 524 481.

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