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I didn't get where I am today without--words from Joe McGann

 
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emay
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject: I didn't get where I am today without--words from Joe McGann Reply with quote

From The Times July 26, 2008:

I didn't get where I am today without...

Joe McGann, 49, actor

Alan Jackson

A family to be proud of

Iím the eldest of four brothers [Paul, Stephen and Mark McGann are also actors], and while weíre all very independent people, we do watch each otherís backs and give whatever support we can. Iíve never claimed to be the leader by virtue of age and certainly donít tell the others what to do. Occasionally thereís feuding, as in any family, but it always peters out; the bond between us is too strong. For that we must thank our mum, whoís a dear friend to all of us and whom I speak to every day. Sheís a very modest person, but Iíd like to think sheís fostered in all of us the same innate decency thatís at the heart of everything she does. She was only in her forties when Dad died, but at 74 is as fit and alert as sheís ever been. She runs her local Cruse bereavement counselling group and is more adept with a computer than I am.

As mums go, sheís really cool and a great example to all her boys.

Getting answers to my questions

Success spun me out. When youíre in a show that regularly attracts 19 million viewers [the Nineties TV comedy The Upper Hand, in which he co-starred for six years with Honor Blackman] you lose your anonymity, and I hated that. Iíve long had a propensity for depression and it culminated in what I suppose was a classic midlife crisis. I was asking all the big questions Ė Where?, What?, Why? Ė but didnít have any satisfactory answers. I had to take a step back, rethink my place in things. It was a practical, sensible, necessary decision, rather than a brave one, and Iím just so glad I had the time, wherewithal and support to do it. Itís odd in a way that it should take me 45 years on Earth to learn anything of real significance, but there you are. Better late than never.

Finding my place in the world

For a while I thought Spain might be the answer and tried living in Andalucia. It was the other English people there who put me off it, though. It was very much an expat, drinking culture and I remember one guy telling me proudly, ďIíve been here 15 years and still canít tell a taxi driver where I live in Spanish.Ē Not for me. Then I realised that what I really needed was solitude and found it living in the middle of a 5,000-acre forest in Wiltshire. There I was able to stay away from stuff that was no longer satisfying me, reflect on my life and relationships and learn for the first time how to look after myself properly. Since then, thank goodness, Iíve gone from strength to strength. Iím married now to a wonderful woman and am fit, well, contented and complete. My life is the best itís ever been.

An appetite for work

Some actors wax lyrical about the artistic choices they make in their careers. More power to them, but Iím a working-class lad from Liverpool and that kind of talk doesnít come naturally. I think of work in terms of staying employed, and to that end Iíve endeavoured to be as versatile as possible, embracing every opportunity thatís come my way. Iíve been blessed in terms of what Iíve done and whom Iíve worked with and if it carries on Iíll be a very happy, grateful bunny. I certainly wouldnít willingly give up on what I do. Iíd hope to be like Tommy Cooper and die in harness. To just keel over on stage one day and have them drag my boots under the velvet curtain would suit me fine.

I greatly enjoyed this article, and maybe you will, too. Smile

Estelle
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did too, Estelle! They are quite the cast of characters, the McGann brothers, aren't they? Obviously their mum has to have a lot of credit for raising such rational, down-to-earth gentlemen.
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