He’s spent over three decades in the industry - but following the advice of Star Wars creator George Lucas, Warwick Davis has his feet firmly on the ground.
Back to host a second series of ITV quiz show Tenable, the star talks hard work and the importance of having a backup plan with Gemma Dunn.
ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE BACK WITH ANOTHER SERIES OF TENABLE?
It’s really exciting, especially when it’s a show you enjoy hosting as well. I couldn’t wait to get back into my little pod there, which is where I present the show from and start firing off some questions again and have some fun. For me that’s more what the show is about: it’s about the questions, but it’s also about the banter and the fun that we have along the way.
QUIZ SHOWS ARE A TRIED AND TESTED FORMAT - WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THIS ONE?
It’s a little bit different, this show. I’m not necessarily talking about the quiz format, but just the fact that I have a bit of fun with the contestants and I often say to them what the audience is thinking at home. We all shout at the telly when we watch a quiz show, don’t we? We go, ‘Why’s he said that?’ I don’t know the answers so I can never help them, but I can at least say, ‘Right, really think about this - let’s look at the list’. So I play a number of roles and I am also the storyteller, if you like, the narrator of this unfolding drama.
HAVE YOU HAD A GO AT PLAYING THE GAME YOURSELF?
We’re recording a special episode where I play Tenable, but not only do I play Tenable, I also host Tenable and I’m also the members of the team in Tenable. So there’s six Warwick’s altogether, which I still don’t think is enough, but there we go. It was a Star Wars round, so I did have an advantage, but it’s nonetheless a lot of fun.
HOW WOULD THE DAVIS FAMILY FARE ON THE SHOW?
Well, they’re used to being on telly. They play it; they’ll come down to the recordings and they’ll be in the green room or my dressing room watching. My son’s (Harrison) 14 and he can play some of the questions no problem. Some of the more political-based ones, he struggles with, but they have a go at playing it. If they were to do it for real - say we all four of us went on - I don’t know how we’d do, really. I don’t think we’d be in the money but we’d make a good show of ourselves.
YOUR DAUGHTER ANNABELLE IS AN ACTOR TOO. IT’S A TOUGH INDUSTRY - DID YOU GIVE HER ANY ADVICE WHEN SHE WAS STARTING OUT?
She’s a realist. She’s seen me working in the industry ever since she was born and understands how hard it is - how much hard work and effort you have to put in to be successful. You’ve got to work at it, nurture it and if she’s prepared to do that, then hats off to her and she’ll be very successful. She has got a backup plan as well. That’s the important thing: if you want to be an actor, you’ve got to have something else that you do or can turn your hand to when there’s no work. Don’t assume that because you’ve been successful in one thing that will carry on. You’ve just got to go with each project at a time; some will be successful and if something isn’t, then so be it. It’s not worth getting stressed about.
HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED FOR SHORT ACTORS NOW? ARE THERE MORE ROLES OUT THERE?
I don’t know. I think the quality of roles is better, but I don’t think there’s as many roles — as in there were a lot of different types of work for short actors at one stage, but I don’t think all of it was ethical or particularly good. We’ve definitely helped to showcase a short actor’s work and talent, which is what I aim to do in the Reduced Height Theatre Company. We’re moving into a world now where diversity is important and hopefully that can only be a good thing for individuals in the profession who are diverse, in their physical appearance or what have you.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved