Russell Tovey: ‘I do think acting can be as transformative as meditation. You can lose yourself and be someone else’
‘What are you doing at the minute?’ Is the question Russell Tovey dread the most because “it made you feel like you were failing if you had nothing on. I got over that when I started to get very busy and began to realise that having a life is just as important as having a career,” he says on the recent interview with the Guardian UK.
He continues: “I do think acting can be as transformative as meditation. You can lose yourself and be someone else, and if you’re a good actor you can access and shut off parts of yourself. When I was younger and really busy, I think I did lose sight of who exactly I was. Mental wellbeing is something that is so important in any career but in acting in particular. That’s why friendship and family is so important to me.
“I used to always feel like everything was happening a bit too quickly; when I passed my driving test or started having sex I panicked because I didn’t feel old enough. I’ve always been someone who feels like they need to catch up or pretend to be ready for these things, but in my head I’m not, I’m thinking: ‘Get out of the car and stop having sex!’ Now I feel like I can legit do sex and do driving – I’ve caught up with it. I’m finally ready at 36.
“One thing I notice about living in New York is the positive mentality. If you want to do something, someone will say: ‘Oh cool, let’s make this happen.’
“I like to try all the classes, like Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle. I was going to have a go at cryotherapy, where you stand in a pod and you go like -1,000C for three minutes and it reactivates your enzymes.
“I’m definitely a worrier, I get it from my mum. She has always gone from zero to panic in seconds. I’ll be flapping about and Steve, my fiancé, will say: ‘Chill out, give it 10 minutes.’ I can’t be with someone who is like me; I need a calming influence in a partner. I couldn’t be with another performer – I can’t have that anxiety.”