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Michael Fox

25th October 2023

Interview: Amy Bell

Photography: Iona Wolff

You might recognise this familiar face from playing Andy the Footman in Downtown Abbey. Releasing his first EP 'Michael and Michelle' with his Downtown Abbey co star, Michelle Dockery. We chat to Fox about his stage production of 'Othello' at the Riverside Studios in London.

Was acting and composing music something that you have always been interested in, and how do the two merge together?

Yes, so I have always wanted to build music into my acting career. It's been such a satisfying process. Especially seeing it come to life on stage each night. Id spend the days rehearsing Iago and the evenings recording music. It made the process quite overwhelming at times but ultimately it's been incredibly fruitful.

You have appeared in various popular programs/movies such as ‘Dunkirk' and 'Downton Abbey', what made you want to audition for these roles, and what does preparing for an audition look like?

Working with Christopher Nolan is still one of my greatest highlights. I feel very proud to have been a part of that movie. I got very lucky to be seen for both projects. And from there all you can do is offer your work and your choices up in the audition and then hope for the best. I do the same process for all auditions. You win some, you lose some. 

What does a day on set look like for you? 

Filming starts very early especially on Downton. Alarm set for 5am, in makeup at 7, rehearsing on set at 8. Im mostly fueled on set by coffee and biscuits, actually that's not exclusive to being on set. 

If you weren’t cast as Footman Andy or the engineer, who would you have liked to be cast as and why?

It's too hard to say. I think in Dunkirk I would have liked to have flown a plane. That looked like an amazing experience. In Downton I wouldn't change a thing. I love being downstairs. 

Your production is running from 6th-29th October, how are you gearing up for this production, and how do you know which songs to choose?

It's been a long process. For many months before the rehearsals begun. I basically wrote many many ideas and we have whittled away at them during the process. It's important to work off instinct in the room. Normally it becomes quite obvious which bits are working or not.

You have a mix of actions/musicians in this production, how did you choose the cast and what were you looking for, when auditioning?

First and foremost it's about the text. Michael Checkhov work is also not for everyone. So it was a case of workshopping with alot of people and seeing who would fit a whole ensemble dynamic. Not just for the part specifically. We need devisers and ensemble makers.

What is next for you? Any new roles you have been auditioning for? 

I'll be auditioning. It's a constant process of hope, despair, success (sometimes) and then going again. But on the music side I have an EP lined up at the end of the year. So from this, I go back into the studio. 

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