The James Dreyfus Interview

James Dreyfus is a British actor who was born on October 9th, 1968 in London. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. James is best-known for his roles as Constable Kevin Goody on The Thin Blue Line and as Tom Farrell on Gimme Gimme Gimme. From 2012 to 2017, Dreyfus starred as Reverend Roger in the Sky Living series Mount Pleasant. Deputy Editor of Country Squire Magazine, James Bembridge, interviewed James last week:

JB: Lovely to meet you, James. Thanks for taking time out to be interviewed. What are you currently working on?

JD: Apparently, for some reason unknown to me, or, indeed, anyone in the acting industry, I’m not allowed to say. I’m in Canada, filming. I can assure you of this, though. I’m not the new Bond, nor the new Moneypenny. Teaser: I might appear from the sea, in a skimpy bikini, all wet & dripping, a la Ursula Andress, but you’ll just have to wait and see.

JB: You are obviously famous for The Thin Blue Line which was adored, as was Gimme Gimme Gimme. What have you enjoyed acting in the most?

JD: Both of those shows were filmed in front of live television audiences, so I can’t say the filming was enjoyable, as I tend to suffer from nerves. But both shows were equally brilliant to work on, because of the people. Cast and crews were wonderful, as was the writing, but I don’t think I truly enjoyed them as much as I ought to have. Very self-critical I was, back then. Still am. I was never satisfied with my performance. But the joy of working with Kathy Burke, Jonathan Harvey, Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson et al, far outweighed any inner turmoil.

JB: You worked with Rowan Atkinson on The Thin Blue Line. He is an all-round genius. Do you agree with that perception?

JD: Rowan is, most definitely, a genius. As an extraordinarily good actor, comedy and tragedy come to him naturally. He rehearses, meticulously, to deliver his performances. I, indeed, would say he is a genius and an incredibly lovely and kind man.

JB: What would be your ideal acting role?

JD: I know this is from far-left field, but I’ve always loved the role of Rocky. Not from the Stallone film, funnily enough. But the exploitative & corrupt MC, who makes money from those old dance-a-thons they used to have, where couples danced for days on end, with very little rest, for money, in a version of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Yup. Odd, but there we have it.

JB: Obviously with your fame has come a high profile. Like JK Rowling and others you have been targeted by Twitter trolls for your stance on the Trans lobby. Indeed you slammed trans activists as ‘misogynistic guys in skirts’ for waging war of hatred on Rowling. They can be quite vicious, no?

JD: Well, I could go on for days at the lamentable state of social media, but let’s just say this. “A lie goes round the world before the truth has finished putting its boots on. And even when it has, people are not interested.” I signed 2 letters. One asking for an “honest and open debate with Stonewall”; their answer, naturally, reflected their name. And the other was in support of JKR, in light of the fact her words had been intentionally twisted & grossly misinterpreted. I also had “Not Cis” in my Twitter bio. That alone was enough to get me fired, publicly & without prior notice by ‘Big Finish’, the audio company who produces Dr. Who episodes, and have me branded as a “transphobe” overnight, capitulating to an aggressive, offensive mob, against whom I had to defend myself, vigorously. ‘Big Finish’ folded immediately, like sodden cardboard, thus enabling & perpetuating a vicious lie. A deranged game of “ Chinese Whispers” ensued, played by sociopaths & cowardly collaborators.  Go figure. “Vicious” is putting it mildly. “Insane” would be more apt.

JB: Do you think the madness will pass? Or are we to see the capitulation to postmodern identity politics continue for years to come?

JD: I really don’t know. Women are ready to take to the streets. Gay men, bisexuals, & transsexuals are not far behind. We have been completely abandoned by Stonewall and other supposedly “gay friendly” institutions, and if you are “gender critical”, then various MP’s and Lords, refer to you as “anti-trans” and “scum”. Homophobia is on a scale I have not witnessed since the mid-80’s & women & girls’ hard fought for and won rights are simply being discarded. By men, incidentally, who seemingly have no regard for safeguarding, or the fact women’s rights are being steamrolled by a small, but viciously, aggressive contingent of TRA’s, encouraged & emboldened by institutions, who should know better. The entire situation is an utter disaster, rolling back years of great work by the former Stonewall, who, at least, understood what “equality” actually meant & were honest in their intentions. Equality. Nothing more, nothing less. In the meantime, I expect brazen & cowardly capitulation by big companies, for fear of the abusive & bullying online mob. I apologise if I can’t be more positive.

JB: The prism of social media distorts power. Tiny minorities have found a voice when before perhaps they were so fringe as to be irrelevant. Is that a good or a bad thing?

JD: Social media was, and still is, an experiment, which has the potential  for good and bad. It’s an experiment. The results and consequences of which, we do not yet fully comprehend. An entire generation has been brought up, listening to air headed celebrities, and mindless “influencers”, and institutions, living off past clout, who, because of “big bucks” have betrayed an entire generation. Ironically, the very generation that fought so hard to win the rights these extremists so ignorantly benefit from, so who knows what the final outcome will be. As “Big Tech” continues to mercilessly censor facts & content they do not accept, nor tolerate, we, sadly, have many rivers to cross. To quote UB40.

JB: I see that you are a dog lover. Are your walks out in the countryside or are you a townie at heart?

JD: Yup. Dog and animal lover. Increasingly disturbed by humans, I prefer the company of animals. Of course, there are some wonderful people out there, but they ALL tend to prefer animals, so I don’t feel quite so alone in my sentiments. My grandmother kept Green, Red and Blue, free flying Hyacinth Macaws,  and, quite by accident, became the first person in the UK to breed a Green Hyacinth Macaw in “captivity”. She also was home to an incredibly old tortoise, 4 dogs, and 2 African Grey Parrots. She also had an indoor Macaw who was kicked out his nest when young, and had to be hand-reared, who kept us company during supper, by performing impressive, but startling fly-by’s, as we all ate. I shall retire to the deepest countryside very soon. Rural. I loathe what London has morphed into. It’s incredibly sad. I’m putting that down to age though. It’s no longer the city of my youth, having been born in Holloway, next to the prison. The hospital I was born in is no longer there, but I was delivered, by forceps, by a Dr. Savage. So I think that explains quite a lot.

JB: What are your plans for the future? Any exciting projects in the offing?

JD: Who knows? During these ridiculous “woke” times, I’ll probably be lucky to work in the Arts again. That said, the way things are at the moment, I don’t believe I’d miss it. If I had to start the rehearsal by sitting in a fucking “pronoun circle”, as is happening in certain theatres, I’d certainly “go postal”. So perhaps I shall have to sit this era out, until it comes to its collective senses. Thank goodness there are still some brilliant, and savvy folk out there, who are not afraid to speak out against this current insanity. I only hope others slowly join the ever-growing chorus of rejecting this new, authoritative, Orwellian manifesto.

JB: James, thank you so much for taking part in this interview. Good luck for the future. Our magazine has your six when you’re being savaged by Trans trolls!