Scott Wright started his acting career in Coronation Street, appearing as series regular Sam Kingston from 2000 to 2002, and was nominated for a national tv award for a most popular newcomer.
Add to this his roles in Emmerdale, Casualty and Shameless.
Scott also sings, plays guitar and piano, and has shared the stage with a variety of international stars including the legendary David Cassidy.
Scott talks exclusively to Brian Gorman for Revive Magazine.
What can’t he do?
Well, at the moment he’s stuck at home in the glorious Glossop countryside. He’s in the same boat with the rest of us and coping with an unprecedented international crisis. Life is on hold, and he’s a local lad, so I managed to grab his attention (from a safe distance, of course), and have a bit of a natter.
I ring at the appointed hour and imagine Scott waiting patiently by the phone, anxious for a break in the monotony of the endless days that stretch ahead. I expect a weary, faint voice, at the end of the line, imploring me to entertain and stimulate him via the ether.
“Hello, mate. You ok?” comes the infectiously cheery voice in my ear. I can feel the energy. Scott is upbeat and down-to-earth. The no-nonsense Northern accent rings clear, and we agree to ‘crack on’.
So, let’s start with the obvious – how’s he handling the lockdown? Is he climbing the walls? He’s laughing again, as he answers.
“No, mate! I’m an actor! We’re used to waiting around for the phone to ring. A lot of actors have said the same; we’re used to long periods between jobs. We use our imagination a lot. I’m not bored, but the current situation can get you stressed a bit. I’ve been a bit lazy, but I play guitar and piano, sing, and even wrote a new song, but was poorly for the first four weeks. Knocked out. So I decided just to chill.”
With so much time at home, does he find himself slavishly following the news on tv? Hoping for an imminent end to our shared isolation? Praying for any sign of the green shoots of hope?
“I think it’s a bad habit of watching the news all the time. Day after day. All the stuff about Cummings, this week, for instance. Just so much repetition.”
I couldn’t agree more. Let’s move on, I think.
Scott lives just a few miles from me, so I ask him about the area. Isn’t he lucky to be living in such a rural paradise?
“It’s lovely, and it’s nice to be able to go for a walk, but I was very poorly for the first few weeks of lockdown. I’ve never been one for long walks, but I’ve set up a home gym. We’ve got two cats, and they come into the front room and sit on my lap while watching Netflix. I’m on Narcos again, and Gangs Of London is great. There’s so much choice!”
As children of the 1970s and 80s (I’m the elder statesman, here), we then lapse into ‘Grumpy Old Men’ mode (admittedly, I’m the one to start it), and I launch into a right old moan about modern technology, and how kids are all spoilt these days. Scott’s laughing again (whatever he’s on, can I have some?) –
“Yeah, imagine back in the day, just VHS and three channels?”
I admit to trying to play Side 2 of a CD, and we are in serious danger now of lapsing into Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen sketch – “Try telling that to the kids, today!”
We are both still amazed that we can watch Netflix on our phones. “It’s bonkers!” we agree.
So, I suggest we turn back time for a moment, and talk about the early 2000s, when box sets were something you got from IKEA, and not at the flick of remote control. Let’s talk Coronation Street. With superb timing, Scott got into acting when he successfully nabbed a regular role on the nation’s longest-running tv series, with a weekly 18 million viewers. Did it change his life?
“Yeah! Bill Tarmey (the irascible layabout Jack Duckworth) told me that, after three episodes, everybody would know my face. A third of the population were watching the show! I still get it every day, even now. Some actors have a problem with attention, but I think it’s really cool. I hadn’t seen the show for a while, but I’ve recently been catching up. I think it’s really getting back to its roots.”
I ask if he’s kept in touch with his old mates from the show. Does he still get the VIP treatment, and invitations to First Nights at The Royal Exchange?
“Yeah, I still socialise with some of the cast. And I still get a few freebies!”
And autograph hunters? Selfie enthusiasts?
“If you don’t want the fame, and the attention, then just chill. Stay in! There are a couple of actors I know – big names – who are always saying they hate the attention. But, they do pick the busiest pubs to go in.”
They must be quite happy at the moment then, I suggest.
“Ha! Yeah. I think it’s always been a gift. There have only been a couple of times in 20 years, I’ve had any real aggro.”
I ask Scott about the ‘aggro’ side of fame. Has he been picked on? After all, he did flex his muscular frame in the Rovers Return, stripping down to his essentials.
“I’ve put two stone on, mate!” he chuckles. “But my character was a bit of a soft one—a nice guy. I’ve still had a couple of blokes who’ve had a pop”.
And, on that note, the hand of fate intervenes, and we may never know how those brave blokes ended up. Scott has an urgent call coming in –
“Sorry about this, Brian. Got to speak to a doctor, been waiting all day for the call. This is urgent. I’ve got to take it.”
I wait. This is dramatic.
10 mins later, and Scott is back. I am intrigued. He is apologetic –
“Sorry, mate, I knew this would happen. I’ve had to phone my dad to pick me up, and get me to the hospital.”
“I’ve got all the symptoms. Feeling really ill, chest issues. Mum has been unwell; she nearly died, actually. I’ve got headaches; a pulse is going up and down, up and down. As soon as we finish this, I’ve got to get off to the hospital, and get checked out.”
I feel obliged to wind things up now. I must admit that I have never had an actor on the phone desperately needing to head to the hospital, during an international crisis and lockdown. Drama! However, Scott is happy to chat for a little longer, so I ask about his acting inspirations.
“Robert DeNiro”, he says, without hesitation. “I met him last year. He’s always been a favourite. I’m also a big fan of Gary Oldman (who won a well-deserved Oscar, last year). I like actors who can change their voice, look, etc.”
I mention Daniel Day-Lewis –
“Yes! Look at all the Oscars he’s won, too. The most for any actor, I think. I met Tom Cruise twice; he was superb in ‘Magnolia’. His character was truly horrible. Very nasty.”
He gets a lot of stick, I say.
“Yes, he does. I don’t know why. I wish I had his discipline. I’ve had some roles that required a lot of discipline – getting into top shape. I’ve slipped a bit in this last couple of months. It seems like half the people go one way, and half the other. I’m trying, though, not drinking any more, feeling pretty good about that. And eating better. Saying that just yesterday, I bought a crispy duck (supposed to be for six people), and I ate it all myself. Nearly 3000 calories in one go! People who stay in shape all year round are great. I can’t do it. Love to have that discipline, but I have to have a reason. I can handle the work, but it’s the diet. I like ice cream and chocolate!”
So, what’s next? Once we’re all allowed out, again.
“It’s a funny one. Odd to talk about what work is ahead. I did have a massive opportunity to come up recently. A real life-changer. Just days before the lockdown, but everything’s on hold. I was absolutely gutted. There’s a possibility it’ll come back. But all actors deal with this. There could be nothing around for ages, then all of a sudden… I’ve been over to L.A. a dozen times and got to work with Derek Jacobi and James Cosmo. Things picked up, had offers, one tv job after another.
I was working on the BBC’s Doctors when everything got pulled. You just have to remain positive.
Whatever will be will be.”
A final question (which I have, unashamedly, pinched from James Lipton) – At the pearly gates, what would Scott like to hear St Peter say to him?
“If you want to enjoy yourself, it’s the other way, mate!”
We finish the business side of things and chat about catching up for a drink, one day soon. I live in hope.
Meanwhile, Scott has an urgent appointment.
The editor reports – since the interview, we’re happy to learn all is fine.
Interviewed by Brian Gorman
Ex Coronation Street actor Scott Wright was praised for saving mother and daughter from an attacker; the Metro reports… metro.co.uk.
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