Veteran of a variety of challenging roles, Charlie Condou is perhaps best known for his portrayal of midwife Marcus Dent in Coronation Street. An ambassador for the gay community, Charlie is a proud supporter of Manchester Pride and a patron for charities Diversity Role Models and The Albert Kennedy Trust. Recently I caught up with Charlie to talk acting, marriage and his idea of romance.
Hi Charlie, you’ve starred in a number of vastly different roles over the years, at what point did it really click that you had made it as an actor?
I’m not entirely sure I have made it! I suppose Corrie gave me the fame side of the business but I’d worked fairly consistently for a good ten years before that. I guess when I realised that I could support myself and my family through acting without having to get part time work in between jobs, that was when I knew I was successful. I’m always convinced each part I get is my last though!!
As a profession, a jobbing actor can often be portrayed as a struggle, was there ever a time when you were tempted by the 9 to 5?
Oh God yes! Many, many times. Being an actor is HARD. Not the acting part – that’s the bit we can do. It’s the long periods of being out of work that’s the real struggle. I’m sure I would’ve jacked it all in on a number of occasions if there’d been ANYTHING else I thought I was any good at
You’ve featured heavily in a number of pride lists in recent years, what advice would you give to men young and old struggling to come to terms with their sexuality?
It’s very difficult to advise anyone in this situation because you’re asking them to confront their fears and that’s something people have to come to themselves. But in my experience (and the experiences of many friends), it’s not nearly as frightening as you think it’s going to be. Be true to yourself, lead an honest life as best you can and accept yourself as you truly are. The rest is easy.
Appearing on British soaps such as Coronation Street can often propel an actor into the limelight, how did your role as Marcus affect your every day life?
It’s very strange going from basic anonymity to suddenly being recognised by a huge part of the population virtually overnight, but that’s what happens when you’re on a show like Corrie. It’s been a good few years for me now so Im used to it, but like most of the cast, I found it quite overwhelming at first.
Congratulations on your recent marriage to the handsome Cameron, how did you know he was the one?
I’m not sure he is the one, I just wanted to get my first marriage out of the way early! Seriously though, I knew very early on that I was in love with him, but more importantly, that he was someone I wanted to spend my life with. We’ve been together 10 years now and while it hasn’t always been a bed of roses, I love him more now than I ever have. It doesn’t hurt that he’s fairly easy on the eye either.
Any dating horror stories?
Yup, loads, and none that I’m sharing! They all know who they are.
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
It’s the small things that Cam does that I love. We’re not ones for big romantic gestures; we don’t buy flowers or even celebrate Valentines day. But he brings me a cup of tea and something to eat when I’m working hard or he cooks a meal that he knows I love. I suppose he thinks about me first and often knows what I need before I do. That’s the stuff I find romantic.
Online dating: Curse or Convenience?
I’ve been in a relationship for a long time so Grindr and the likes have passed me by. But I remember Gaydar and I think like all things, it’s fine if you know what it’s all about. Sometimes you just want sex, and that’s ok. But those sites can become compulsive and that can be a real problem for gay men.
Rob Lowe, who I’ve actually just worked with. He’s a lovely man and still as sexy as he was when I was 15.
Does our perception of love change as we get older?
No idea, I’m still working it out. But I think what we want changes, so we look for different things.
What’s next for Charlie Condou?
I have two shows coming out, one for Channel 4 and one for Sky. Im developing a comedy series, working on a book, getting a treatment together for a documentary and trying to focus on my company Out With the Family. This, while trying to spend more time with Cam and the kids. So it’s fairly quiet at the mo!
Check out Charlie’s website www.outwiththefamily.co.uk, an organisation aimed at bringing together LGBT families to aid networking of gay parents and children of same-sex parents.
*main image courtesy of Magweb