Rafe Spall on the Challenges of Performing on Stage

“Film acting has its own challenges but I’m most proud of my theatre work. It takes a lot of nerve. It’s difficult.” – Rafe Spall

As the son of BAFTA-nominated actor Timothy Spall, Rafe Spall entered the acting profession like many other second-generation performers: having to prove himself as a legitimate talent in his own right. While the younger Spall has been appearing in film and on television for over a decade now, including starring in blockbusters like Life of Pi and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, he recently appeared in his first one-man play, Death of England. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Spall spoke about the pride he has for acting on the stage and the early influence his father had on his career.

Though Spall is best known for his film and television work, he confesses that he is most proud of his stage performances because of the extra challenge it brings. He says, “Film acting has its own challenges but I’m most proud of my theatre work. It takes a lot of nerve. It’s difficult.”

Spall admits that his early perception of what was good and bad acting came from listening to his father’s opinions, and then reflects on how his last name helped him early in his career. He recalls:

“My dad was my drama school. Sitting on the sofa watching him shout at the telly showed me what was good and bad. And let’s get real, having a well-known actor for a father helped early on. If you’re a casting director with a list of young performers in front of you and one of them is the son of someone famous, you’re going to be curious to see their audition, so you get through the door.

“After that, though, you have to be good or they won’t want you in their production. My dad’s still hugely supportive and we speak all the time about directors, actors and the business. But I’ll never call him and say, ‘I’ve got this scene, how do I do this?’ It’s always been clear that I get on with acting on my own.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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