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Russell Tovey sent a text to God as a teenager asking if he would make it as an actor

Patrick Kelleher November 25, 2020
Russell Tovey on Section 28 and being 'slightly envious' of younger queers

HAY-ON-WYE, WALES - JUNE 1: Russell Tovey, actor, during the 2019 Hay Festival on June 1, 2019 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

Russell Tovey has revealed that he once sent a text to God as a teenager asking if he would make it as an actor.

The gay Being Human star opened up about his journey to becoming an actor in an interview with The Guardian.

“I texted God when I was 18,” Tovey said. “It cost 30p to message him with your question. I asked if I’d make it as an actor. Yes, came the reply, but you’re more Littlewoods than Hollywood.

“I have to say that I wasn’t impressed.”

The 39-year-old went on to reveal that he decided he wanted to become an actor after watching the 1989 classic Dead Poets Society.

“I was so moved by Robin Williams and the story,” Tovey said.

“It seemed like an honour to create characters that viewers could connect with; to make people who’d never met you feel so many emotions. From that day, aged 10, I had no backup plan: this was what I was going to do.”

Russell Tovey opened up about starring in acclaimed stage plays The History Boys and Angels in America.

Elsewhere in the interview, Russell Tovey opened up about his theatre roles in stage plays Angels in America and The History Boys.

The actor said starring in The History Boys, written by Alan Bennett, was like being in a boy band as he and his co-stars were “greeted by screaming crowds wherever we went”.

“I remember asking [co-star] James Corden for career advice,” Tovey reflected. “He said, ‘It’s simple: you can be brilliant, so just do it.'”

Meanwhile, Tovey said starring in Angels in America, a play about the impact of the AIDS epidemic on New York’s gay community, pushed him to the limit.

“I played the bad guy: a repressed homosexual Mormon Republican. I obsessed with making the audience empathise with this character, exposing his inner pain on stage. Doing so made me a better person and actor.”

Tovey revealed that he has “always been comfortable” with being gay, but said he was told as a young actor that being open about his sexuality would “hinder” his career.

“Coming out to my family was at times a struggle,” he said.

“In my own mind, though, I’ve always known who I am.”

More: angels in america, coming out, Gay, God, Russell Tovey, The History Boys

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