Saturday, 14 March 2015

Mark Gatiss: I'm Mandy, Fly Me

“He has this fluting voice and distinctive mannerisms… ‘I’m a fighter, not a quitter’… Quite camp, yet there's something very still and sly about him.” Gatiss mimes Mandelson spooning yogurt into his mouth. “There’s this lovely old clip where he’s eating a yogurt and drops a bit on his tie. He looks down at it and says, ‘Oh,’ holding out the yogurt pot with a monarch’s expectation, just knowing someone will appear to take it. Such a fascinating character. ...

“I’ve always been fascinated by him – that Eighties ’tache, the job title of ‘Minister without Portfolio’. An interviewer once asked him: ‘Peter, why aren’t you the leader of the Labour Party?’ And he says: ‘Well, you have to remember that Gordon and Tony had a head start on me. I didn’t become an MP until 1992. Then when Tony left, of course, it was Gordon’s turn and…’ He lists all these reasons, but it never occurs to him to say, ‘Oh no, I couldn’t.’ He’s obviously thought about it for years. There’s something flouncy about him, too. He resigned when he could’ve hung on and ridden it out but instead he was overdramatic and a bit petulant. I find that an appealing personality trait. He’s not some sort of edifice or monolith or vampire. There’s a lot of humour and pathos in him. If people believed the whole prince of darkness thing, that suited him. If you go to Castle Dracula, you expect Count Dracula to meet you. Yet when you see footage of him talking to people, he’s a really good laugh and bon viveur.”

Gatiss - 'Gay-tiss, he tells me' - interviewed in The Telegraph.

Mark plays Mandy in the Channel 4 drama, Coalition, broadcast on Thursday March 26th.

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