Actor Larry Lamb on Hamlet, hangovers and hamburgers with a Hollywood legend

 

Guilty pleasure? Occasionally treating myself to some chocolate. At my age [69] I have to watch what I eat and, as a matter of policy, that normally doesn’t include chocolate.

 

Where is home? Highgate in North London, not too far from where I was born in Edmonton.

 

Career plan B? Before becoming an actor I was in the oil business, working in corrosion control, so I probably would have stuck with that.

 

Dream dinner-party guests? Napoleon, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, says Larry Lamb

Dream dinner-party guests? Napoleon, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, says Larry Lamb

 

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Charlie Chaplin.

 

Biggest bugbear? People being rude.

 

As a child you wanted to be… A surgeon. There was a television series when I was growing up called Emergency-Ward 10, and the surgeons got all the good-looking nurses.

 

Earliest memory? My grandad’s fat old spaniel Buster lazing in the garden of his house – I would have been three or four.

 

Secret to a happy relationship? Be nice to each other.

 

Your best quality? Honesty.

 

And your worst? I can be bad-tempered.

 

Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? I have to confess that I’m not much of a romantic.

 

Last meal on earth? Steak and chips. I no longer drink alcohol – the hangovers got too long – but if it’s my last meal, I might have a glass of rioja, which used to be my favourite tipple.

 

Dream dinner-party guests? Napoleon, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela.

 

Advice to teenage self? It will all be all right in the end.

 

Cat or dog? Neither. I don’t mind them, but I wouldn’t want one.

 

Starstruck moment? Meeting Lauren Bacall in 1976 after she saw me perform on Broadway in a play called Comedians. Some years later, I played opposite her in A Little Piece of Sunshine, a TV film, and she was great company – happy to sit eating hamburgers and tell stories of her life with Humphrey Bogart.

 

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Hell on earth.

 

Big break? Being told by a woman when I lived in Germany that I should be an actor. She worked as a secretary in the US Air Force stationed there and got me involved in one of its amateur theatre groups.

 

Career highlight? Playing Claudius in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet in 2001.

 

Secret skill? I’m very good at hanging out washing.

 

One thing that would make your life better? Winning the lottery. The fun would be giving much of it away to family and friends.

 

Philosophy? Be nice to everyone on the way up, because sometimes you meet them again on the way down.

 

Last film that made you cry? Manchester by the Sea.

 

Where would you time travel to? Ancient Rome.

 

First record you bought? ‘To Know Him is to Love Him’ by the Teddy Bears.

 

Most extravagant purchase? A two-week trip to Canada and America in 2010 to do research for my book Mummy’s Boy: My Autobiography.

 

Your biggest regret? Not being nicer to a lot more people.

 

Celebrity crush? I don’t have one.

 

Happiness is… Spending a day with my family.

 

Larry has teamed up with Thomson Cruises to celebrate the launch of its new ship, TUI Discovery 2. To watch three films following his Mediterranean journey of discovery with the company, visitcruise-mates.co.uk