Today’s UK Observer newspaper – http://tinyurl.com/zdwz6 – includes some thoughts from Keith Allen, one of the finest British actors:
I think Aleister Crowley said, ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’
That seems perfectly reasonable because it asks you to consider personal responsibility.
People say, ‘Well, what if you feel like murdering?’
The answer is, don’t feel like murdering.
Actor, 53, London
Interview Ben Mitchell
Sunday September 24, 2006
I’m similar to Marmite in many respects. People either love me or hate me. Why would they hate me? Oh, you know: arrogant cock. All that kind of stuff.
Vanity takes a lot of work. I’m too lazy to be vain.
Heathrow airport is the most disgusting pile in the world, run by BAA, who I think are despicable. You’re constantly reminded that they will get everything they can out of you and treat you like shit, and that’s what I feel England is like, actually. I loathe this country, sometimes.
I’ll take anyone to task about UB40. They were as important as Bob Marley in getting reggae into the consciousness of British youth at that time. I’m proud to be their number one fan.
Snobbery I hate. And ignorance.
Who would be just above and below me in the list of actors, best to worst? Below me – a long way below me – is Ewan McGregor. Just above me, Ken Stott.
I’ve never voted in my life. That shit about ‘your vote counts’. It doesn’t.
I’ve never been a great drinker. People think I get drunk a lot, which I don’t at all. I’ve never in my life drunk at home, ever. Most of my drinking has always been done with the aid of drugs.
The most tedious job I ever had was bandsawing frozen chickens in half. The rest of my jobs, and I’ve had a lot, I’ve really enjoyed. I used to be a coal miner, but I only went down three times. I remember the men saying, ‘If you want to shit, do it in your lunchbox.’
I was 11 when I had my first cigarette. It was a Player’s No. 6 and it was at a bus stop in Llanelli. I remember it well, in fact occasionally I can taste it. I’d stopped until last week. I hadn’t smoked for 14 months. It’s always in you, I guess.
My parents sent me a birthday card with some vomit-inducing verse about being proud of me, which I thought was rather moving, actually.
Not having money is horrible. Until three years ago I would still be raiding jars looking for change sometimes, and there’s no guarantee that won’t happen in the future. When I’ve had money I’ve always spent it. I don’t invest. A pension? Yes, it’s called my talent.
I think Aleister Crowley said, ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ That seems perfectly reasonable because it asks you to consider personal responsibility. People say, ‘Well, what if you feel like murdering?’ The answer is, don’t feel like murdering.
The one thing my daughter has got from me is the inability to shut up in interviews, and things just come out. Does Lily take after me in other ways? You judge [laughs]. Do print that we’ve never been estranged. In fact, we spent three of our most joyful years together going to see Fulham every Saturday. She used to get so excited, bless her.
Three Lions is a great song, despite those two pricks [David Baddiel and Frank Skinner]. Vindaloo is not a song to be sung on the terraces, ironically. They go mental for it in pubs.
People using a public platform to further their own personal agenda, I think that’s immoral. You have no right to do that. Tony Blair is a great example of that.
I used to work at the Billy Manning funfair at Southsea. I ran the shooting gallery. The fellow who owned it, he was an old generation gypsy, really. His missus was very hard-nosed but very fair, didn’t suffer fools at all. They had a kid with Down’s Syndrome and I used to watch them loving that kid. He said, ‘I’ve got no skills, but I’ll have a go at anything.’ That kind of meant something.