Viggo Mortensen on receiving the Jameson Empire Icon Award 2009
But seriously, I would like to dedicate this award to a great actor, Alan Howard. I know this is not the right crowd for that, with a few exceptions. I saw Alan Howard more than a quarter of a century ago in a play of Good, the role I play in the movie that's coming out soon, Good. He was remarkable, mesmerising. I only wish I'd seen him play Henry V, Johann in Scenes From A Marriage. But from what I understand, he's the sort of actor I really aspire to be: meticulous, professional, who was never in danger of being seduced by flattery or prone to grandstand like I'm doing right now. Unlike his peers and contemporaries like Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, he never made the transition to fame and fortune in the movie business. But I think that his approach to acting is probably going to be more long-lasting and more valuable in some ways than some of his more celebrated colleagues. He was an actor, through and through, no bullshit, and I admire that. Anyway, enough. I thank you, and I thank Empire."
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Declan Donnellan: Director of Cheek By Jowl Theatre Company, interviewed by Mark Slaughter in BAMezinehttp in 2004.
In my case I had three falling in love with theater experiences from when I was sixteen. Many of us who work in theater have epiphanic moments when a specific theater event possesses us and we are seized by a need to do theater. Not a desire to do theater, but a need. I had three while I was still at school. And the triple whammy was: first a Doctor Faustus at the Abbey in Dublin. Actually it was a theater -go-round production from the RSC with Alan Howard as Mephistopheles. Afterwards I was on fire and wandered up and down the quays possessed and inspired by what theater could do. The second was Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Aldwych in London, also with Alan Howard and again I felt newly open and, in some mysterious way, free. And the third was Kenneth Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet at Covent Garden. My abiding memory is of Lynne Seymour sitting still on the edge of the bed as the orchestra surged.....
Mary Holland in the Irish Times, 15.7.02
........... In the evening I plan to go to the Gate Theatre in Dublin. There is a new play on by Frank McGuinness which I want to see anyway. But the main reason for my visit will be a personal act of gratitude to Alan Howard, the actor who has the role of Micheál MacLiammóir. He played Oberon in Peter Brook's legendary production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. No one who saw that will forget him reclining on a trapeze above the stage, then swinging out towards the audience while his glorious voice transported us to Shakespeare's world of magic, human foolishness and lovers reconciled.
Deka Walmsley in interview in entertainment north east.
Walmsley was back in Newcastle last year for the premiere at Live of Keepers Of The Flame, during the Royal Shakespeare Company's annual season. "It was brilliant to work with Alan Howard. He's such a genuine bloke as well as a fantastic actor," he says. "It would be great if the play was seen somewhere else. It went down very well in Newcastle and did great business."
John Nettles in the publicity for Midsomer Murders:
John Nettles notched up a personal achievement in the new run of MIDSOMER MURDERS mysteries - with the guest appearance of his acting hero Alan Howard.
"Alan is my favourite actor of all time - because he's the best. He has an amazing ability to walk on stage in whatever part he's playing and bring a whole world on with him. You are not conscious of he fact that he's acting and I think he's the last of the great heroic actors."
Celia Imrie in the publicity for Midsomer Murders:
Celia Imrie describes the role of Louise August in MIDSOMER MURDERS as a dream come true. "I had the chance to play opposite Alan Howard who has been a hero of mine for years. He is so unusual and I loved playing his wife, which made it a dream part.
"I never want to stop doing theatre. I feel that's my own. Before I went into film, I had done a large body of theatre work, mostly classical. And that's kind of my roots, really. And so I don't want to let that go. One of the reasons I thought I wanted to be an actor is because I love Shakespeare and I love dramatic language. "When I was very young, I would see plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company and I just got a *high* out of seeing some of those actors using that kind of language. I said, 'That's what I want to do, I love it.' I went to Alan Howard play Richard II and I was right up in the gods [balcony seats] and he had this long, dense soliloquy and completely gripped me....
Alex Jennings 1990, Interviewed by Vera Lustig
Jennings comes to Richard II as free as is possible from preconceptions about the role and the play. 'You have to approach it as a new text' he says, but admits that with well-known classics there does exist 'all the baggage of past productions'. He himself has seen Richard II twice, at the Bristol Old Vic and ten years ago in Alan Howard's interpretation for the RSC, which he greatly admired.
Simon Russell Beale interviewed by James Rampton in The Independent, December 27, 1997
For all his acclaimed screen work, Russell Beale's first love remains the stage.
"There are all sorts of thrills about stage acting," he declares, "like that bit at the end of Othello where Iago says, 'What you know, you know,' and you can feel the audience's disgust and incomprehension. The greatest feeling ever is that point which comes very late in a run when you're so economical that you could do anything in character, and it wouldn't break the bubble."
He talks in awe-struck tones of "my heroes, Alan Howard and John Wood. They're not huge telly stars, but they're massive in the theatre. They would grace any stage.