his Wednesday, scriptwriter and actor, Sam Rees, is going to be one of my guests on The Mid Week Mix Up. Before the show, I thought we should get to know him a little. Here's what I found out about Sam.
Q. What was the most interesting thing you did last week?
A. "Interesting"... I guess whether it qualifies as "interesting" is down to the beholder, but I ordered two books... Considering my reading has dropped to about four or five books a year, two in one week is unprecedented. Interesting or otherwise, I continue to pat myself on the back.
Q. What's the best name for a dragon?
A. Hmm... a fire-breathing reptile... Lizzy, perhaps?
Q. What's the first record / CD you ever owned?
A. My first CD was probably some pop compilation aimed at kids. I received my first record as a gift for my 22nd birthday - a limited edition pressing of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, my favourite song.
Q. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
A. Teleportation: More time for procrastination. And the trains are always late.
Q. If I came to your house for dinner, what would you cook for me?
A. Bluntly, I'd order something in. You can choose what, though.
Q. Best flavour ice cream?
A. Unequivocally, the correct answer is mint chocolate chip. I don't actually like the chocolate, but if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain. Mint on its own is a tragic rarity.
Q. Create a cocktail and give it a name.
A. Vodka, club soda and human tears - I'd call it the Rees.
Q. Who was the best teacher at school or college, why?
A. I've had many great teachers over the years. But if my arm is being twisted to pick one, I'd have to go for Mr. Jeff Hankins, my final English teacher in secondary school. He had a real passion for the subject; he'd get emotional when reading The Great Gatsby, for instance. I admired that deeply, holding on to that passion in the face of indifferent students and the increasingly ridiculous proscriptions of education. He was just an all-round lovely man and he kept me firmly on the track to being a writer.
Q. What's the best way to spend a Friday night?
A. A meaningful conversation with someone for whom you care deeply - sounds a little pretentious, but I stand by it.
Q. Theatre or cinema?
A. Cinema. There's little more transcendent than sitting in the dark and completely losing yourself. I find theatre to be a little more self-conscious. I worry for the performers or that someone's phone will go off. There are plenty of irritating things about the cinema, but at least the stakes are lower.
Q. Have you got a favourite item of clothing?
A. I had a leather jacket that was recently stolen. I haven't let go emotionally yet.
Q. What's the last book you read?
A. The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell - a great read.
Q. Where was the last place you went for a holiday?
A. I don't think we can count going to London as a holiday... and so I believe it was Ireland, probably about eight years ago. I haven't left the country since then. I should probably get out there more.
Q. What's the last film you watched at the cinema?
A. Blade Runner 2049. A long film, perhaps unnecessarily so, but a visual masterpiece.
Q. Whose voice would you choose for your satnav?
A. My own. It'd nullify any neuroses about being patronised.
Q. What's your dream car?
A. I could maybe name four types of car. So a dream car? I won't run before I can walk.
Q. Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with and what would you talk about?
A. Damon Lindelof, one of my writing heroes. I'd try and somehow absorb how the hell he does it.
Q. Who was your best friend when you were a kid. What is he / she doing now?
A. In primary school, there were four of us in a little gang. My best pal was probably a chap named Gareth Pardoe. Last I knew, he was a central heating repairman back in Pontypridd, in a happy relationship. We're probably way overdue a catch-up, actually...
Q. What new skill would you like to learn?
A. Playing the guitar. I'm in a band and it'd be a handy addition.
Q. Is it true that blondes have more fun?
A. Strawberry blonds definitely don't. As for "blonde" blondes, I don't feel qualified to answer. I doubt it, though. Who's actually happy?
Q. What's at the end of a rainbow?
A. Violet, innit?
Q. If a panda knocked at your door, what would you do?
If the panda knocked, I'd assume a degree of civility. Which would probably lead me to the irrational suspicion that the panda could talk. So I'd ask what it wanted. Go from there. If conversation wasn't possible, I'm afraid animal control and/or a kitchen knife would enter the story.
Q. What's the most annoying song ever?
There are a lot of contenders here. But I think "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas is at least one of the most stupid. It contains the lyrics,
"And mix your milk with my coco puff
Milky milky coco
Mix your milk with my coco puff
the contents and delivery of which are cultural travesties.
Q. How many languages can you say hello in?
A. I'm gonna say between ten and fifteen.
Q. What's the best advice your parents gave you?
A. My father's guiding philosophy is "Be nice, be yourself and be clean." Can't argue with that.
Q. What's your karaoke song?
A. I've performed in a band more times than I've performed karaoke, which is currently a grand total of once - my song of choice was "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor" by Arctic Monkeys. If I had to choose now, it'd be "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis. Belter.
Q. Best Christmas / birthday present you ever had?
A. This is quite a convoluted gift to explain... last year, I set up a writer's room for a TV idea of mine called Groovy. I came up with an idea for an ideal poster - a grid of mugshots displaying the main character in various states of distress. For my birthday in December, my friend and one of the writers had a version of that poster made featuring some of my closest pals in the mugshots, as well as salient quotes from the show. The fact that it features many of my closest friends and they all managed to keep quiet about it... that meant a lot.
Q. What would you tell your 13 year old self?
A. Put down the chocolate and go talk to somebody. It gets better. And then worse. And then better. And then worse. Profound pain is coming your way, but the highs make it more than worth it. All things considered. You won't feel this alone forever. This is getting quite emotional now, so I'll wrap it up there.