This is the story of an actor who went from being ignored at the stage door to having his face plastered all over the internet.
So about three or so years ago I saw this guy in a play in London. I’d never seen him in anything before, didn’t recognise him from anywhere, unlike the other actors onstage, I didn’t even know his name until I flicked through the programme during the interval. But his performance stole the show. There were other actors onstage that night who were established performers, well-respected in the industry whom i’d seen onstage many times before, but this guy, the unknown, unheard of one, blew them all right out of the water.
After the curtain call, I was waiting outside the theatre to meet a friend and I happened to be stood just down from the stage door. There were a couple of people milling around there, waiting for the “big names” to appear, but this guy slipped right on by, unstopped by those waiting there, and happened to walk in my direction. I stopped him as he passed me and said I just had tell him how incredible he’d been that night, and that I couldn’t wait to see him in something else soon. He seemed a bit taken aback at first, and I briefly panicked that he thought I was going to mug him or something (this being London), but then this huge smile broke out onto his face and he thanked me, gave me a hug, and said he had to run for his train but that he was so grateful. He ran off, a few minutes later my friend appeared, and life went on.
A year or so passed, I hadn’t seen him in anything since then, and, one night, I was casually sitting in front of my TV, curled up on the sofa, eating my dinner, when suddenly, there he was! On my TV! At first, I wasn’t sure; I spent much of the episode waiting for him to reappear so I could figure out if I was right, and then, in the final scene, he did. He was brilliant, I smiled, and then the credits rolled, I checked his name, and ran to find my programme from that play. Eventually I found it, flicked through, and there, sure enough, there he was. I couldn’t believe it. Of course, i’d seen theatre actors on TV before, but this guy had gone from being fairly unknown in theatre circles to playing one of the most infamous characters in fictional history on primetime TV. I flailed, but had no one to share that excitement with.
A few weeks later I was on my way home from uni, headphones in, trying to block out the noisy, mayhem of rush hour on the London Underground, when, as I travelled up an escalator at my final stop, I spotted a poster on the wall. It was him, and then six posters later, it was him again. In another play, finally! I ran home, booked my tickets, and was there at the Old Vic, the following week. This time he was yet more amazing, he stole the show even further this time round and as he left through the stage door, I was happy to see there were three or four people gathering round to get him to sign their programme.
Skip forward to 2012, and once again he’s back on the TV. I grinned and flailed when he appeared, and even more so two weeks later, when, as was clearly custom for him, he once again stole the show. The difference was this time, the world noticed. The next day, my dash was plastered with his face. Gif after gif of that guy who I happened to catch in a play that one time years earlier.
Suddenly he’s everywhere. He’s gone from that guy I happened to stop one time in the street to being this BAFTA winner, in every other primetime drama on the BBC.
Andrew Scott, you are the definition of proud mama feels if ever there was one.