A Quick Chat With Dave Willetts

Dave Willetts – Headshot
Dave Willetts

West End performer Dave Willetts toured Australia in the role of Jean Valjean in the 10th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, 1997-1998.

He has also worked closely with Australian writers Tony Rees and Gary Young on their musical project Jekyll which opened in 1996 in the UK, but unfortunately failed to make it to the West End.

Dave will be releasing his 25th Anniversary album entitled Once In A Lifetime on May 28, and we thought it would be a great idea to feature him on AussieTheatre!

The album will be in Australia from Middle 8 Music.

1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

2. Who is the most important person in the world to you?
I think most people would say family, especially now that we have grandchildren. They fill a void in your heart you never knew was there.

3. What animal best represents you and why?
A guard dog, happy and content and patient with family and friends but don’t suffer fools easily.

4. If you were a contestant on Deal or No Deal, how much would you need to be on offer before you walked away?
Difficult question as you have to weigh up “the board” but between £20,000 and £30,000 if the board allowed it!

5. What was the first piece of theatre/film/TV you ever appeared in and how old were you?
“The King And I”, an amateur show when I was 21.

6. Windows or MAC?
I prefer a filofax, but if pushed I suppose Windows.

7. Favourite food?
Good old-fashioned beef stew

8. Who is the actor you would most like to work alongside?
There are many great actors but would love to duet with Barbra Streisand.

9. What five songs would be the first you put a mix tape?
Ashokan Farewell, I’ll See You In My Dreams, Main Theme from ‘Saving Private Ryan’, any Beach Boys track, The Deadwood Stage.

10. What is the best thing about theatre in Australia/England
11. What’s the worst thing about theatre in Australia/England?

I don’t think you can differentiate between countries. Theatre is theatre wherever you are, actors are actors. One of the best things about theatre is the creative process during rehearsals. The worst is if a show closes earlier than planned.

Dave Willetts as Jean Valjean in the Australian 10th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables (1997-98)

12. Name one moment when you looked around, breathed happily and felt content.
Arrival of my first grandson, Rafferty!

13. Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?
Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Australia!

14. Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Price Edward, Princess Anne, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Alexander, Mickey Rooney, Sammy Davis Jr.

15. Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage? and
19. What is the worst date you’ve ever had?

Not so much the stereotypical date but a date (job) as a “Tarzan-A-Gram” having to sing “Happy Birthday” dressed as Tarzan to a girl in a typing pool full of young girls and she had to find a banana that I had to hide on my person. Very embarrassing!

16. What’s your life motto?
Try and do something you love everyday

17. What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Light salad

18. What’s your biggest phobia?
Small tight spaces

19. What is the worst date you’ve ever had?
see question 15

20. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Contentedly playing with my grandchildren, travelling with my wife Lyn to all the places that we wish to visit, and working when I want and creating roles that fulfil me still.

For more information visit www.davewilletts.com

Dave’s new album Once In A Lifetime – The 25th Anniversary Collection is released by Stage Door Records on May 28th, 2012.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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