Chris Gascoyne Q&A

Chris Gascoyne

I wouldn't change anything about manchester ~ it's got everything London's got except less stress and less wankers!


Chris, did you always want to be an actor?
No, I didn't know what I wanted to do. At comprehensive they had a 'drama' class. I'd never heard of that before. But it fed my imagination and I found a freedom in it.


If you hadn't become an actor, what do you think you would have ended up doing?

I was on the waiting list for the pit since I was 4 years old. I knew I didn't want to do that. I had hardly any qualifications when I left school. I probably would have been a milkman like my dad, which would have been fine.


What has been your worst job prior to acting?

A pizza delivery driver ~ biking round Hammersmith Broadway on a 40cc scooter in the lashing rain in rush hour traffic. The helmet didn't fit ~ when I looked left the helmet stayed where it was! Delivering Pepperoni Passions 9 flights up for £1.50 an hour with no tips. People complained it was cold and some tried to rob me.


Although you're a resident of Wetherfield in Coronation Street, your accent sounds from further afield. Where are you originally from?

I grew up near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire in a mining village. My mum was a Geordie. I lived in London for 12 years and now Manchester for 10. God knows what my accent is like now.


What brought you to Manchester in the first place?

I did a play at the Royal Exchange and the Coronation Street casting people came to see it and asked to see me for a part (not the Peter Barlow character). The day before the interview I broke my ankle on stage, so they couldn't cast me for obvious reasons. Later they asked if I would be interested in being Peter Barlow. My first entrance was the live episode 10 years ago. I've been here since then.

What's your favourite building in the city?

I love all the old buildings and especially the back alleyways of Manchester - it's like stepping back in time.



What would you do if you could change anything about the city?

I wouldn't change anything ~ it's got everything London's got except less stress and less wankers!


Coronation Street actors are extremely well known to the public. Have you had any memorable heckles when you've gone shopping, or out for an evening as a result of playing Peter Barlow?


It has mostly been good humoured, friendly banter. I've been called a tosser once in 10 years, so that's not bad!


People quite often fail to make the distinction between an actor's fictional character and their actual personality. Do you ever get sneered or 'tutted' at if you're out having a beer these days?

No again, light humoured jokes. Manchester people pretty much have left me alone, but you have to expect it in certain places.


What would be your perfect night out in Manchester?

1) Taking my wife to a play and then a meal & in bed by 11.30pm.
2) Without the wife ~ sitting in the Britton's Protection with mates; getting to bed by 3am (not that it happens much these days - I can't do the hangovers).


We've seen in some scenes in The Street that you have a lot of tattoos. Are they part of the character, or real? If so, did you ever wake up after a night out and think, 'What's that?'

They're all real. Most of them were done when I was young. They fit well with the character as Peter Barlow was in the Navy. The first tattoo I had was a panther's head with my name written under it. The tattooist said, 'Oops, sorry mate I've bolloxed.' He had written 'CHIS' under it instead of 'CHRIS'! He squeezed an 'R' in which looked rubbish so I had another black panther on top of that to cover it up. I don't regret them, I don't really think about them


Do you watch much TV? Is there anything that you're particularly enjoying at the moment?

I don't watch a lot of TV ~ mainly the odd documentary. I watch a lot of HBO series ~ The Sopranos/ The Corner/True Blood/Curb your Enthusiasm.


What's the best film you've seen in the last five years?

The Apostle - Robert Duvall.


Favourite film of all time?

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning


The last live music you experienced?

Richard Hawley at Bridgewater Hall with the wife.


Other than Coronation Street, do you have any other projects that you're working on or got planned for the future?

I'm under contract to Grenada, so it's hard to think about anything else with the Coronation Street schedule. I've written a few things but I try not to think in the long term.


By Alison Bell


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