I’ve covered many aspects of the arts, mostly through interviews and profiles. I’ve spent time with actors such as Ralph Fiennes (gentlemanly, guarded), Kate Beckinsale (smart, savvy), Rik Mayall (energetic, evasive), Julianne Moore (beguiling, beautiful), and Jason Statham (chirpy, confident).
There have been quite a few books-related pieces. I interviewed William Boyd for his screenplay and directorial debut on the Battle of the Somme, Roddy Doyle for the second part of his The Last Roundup trilogy Oh, Play That Thing, Bill Bryson for A Walk In The Woods, his hike along sections of the Appalachian Trail, and popular children’s fantasy-adventure author Eoin Colfer. There were early encounters with Will Self and American crime writer Walter Mosley. Other authors I have profiled include Alexander Stuart, Jenny Diski and Sam North; I also reviewed books for GQ for several years.
I’ve met some pioneering film directors, such as Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Steven Soderbergh. I interviewed Martin Scorsese in Paris about the influence on his work of the English film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; I turned our conversation into a ghost-written homage to the “subversive commercial” duo. Then there was a feature for the Observer on young Dublin director Sean Walsh, who after ten years hard labour, realised his dream to bring James Joyce’s Ulysses to the cinema.
There have been profiles of contrastingly comic entertainers: brash and bloke-ish radio DJ Chris Moyles; suave yet goofball television presenter, Frenchman Antoine de Caunes; and the legendary American stand-up and satirist Lenny Bruce.
Finally, in the visual arts, I’ve profiled the great American “photographer of habitat” and architecture Robert Polidori, and British sculptor Antony Gormley – featured in a Sunday Times “Relative Values” article with his charity chief executive brother Brendan.