Interview: Marc Warren

Actor Marc Warren tells us his travel tales, from his love of Turkish cuisine to why he doesn't do package holidays

By Andy Greeves
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:22 BST, Updated 28 Jun 2021, 16:55 BST

I don't tend to see myself as a holidaymaker as… well, I don't really go on 'holidays'. Trips overseas for me usually involve work. You can be abroad for so long at times that coming home feels like a holiday! But when abroad for pleasure, I like to label myself a traveller. I've never gone to some luxury resort and sat on my behind for weeks on end. I'm not into booking package deals either.

Work has taken me to Majorca a lot over the past few years. It's somewhere I enjoy visiting. It comes with preconceptions, but I love the place. The Sky One series Mad Dogs, which I appear in, got a grant from the Majorcan Tourism Foundation to shoot there, and we visited places like Sóller, Pollença and Palma. They're so serene. I've just come back from filming the second series out there and we're heading back for a third at the start of next year. It's certainly a nice place to go to escape the British winter!

My favourite kind of cuisine is Turkish. When I'm at home in Finchley, north London, I love visiting a restaurant called the Izgara. Travelling is one thing, but we shouldn't forget London's multiculturalism – you can try so many different types of authentic cuisine on your doorstep. I still feel excited in places like Covent Garden and Soho. London is my kind of city.

I got food poisoning once on-location out in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, and spent two days in hospital as a result. It was a horrible experience. Being ill is bad enough, but being ill when your thousands of miles from home is even worse. I'd never want to go through anything like that again.

I'm quite a methodical traveller. I research places well before I go, even if when there I tend to leave the guidebook in the hotel room. There's something quite manly about exploring far-flung destinations without a safety net… until you get lost.

Canada is home to the one place I have felt unsafe on my travels too. I was in Vancouver once and ended up in an area of the city I later found out had a big reputation for drugs. You can probably imagine the sort of things that were going on there. It was very unsightly and very intimidating given that I'd randomly ended up there.

I'm friends with the photographer Rankin. One of my most memorable travelling experiences was going with him to America. It was my first visit to Los Angeles; we stayed in a hotel I can only describe as 'completely rock 'n' roll'. We drove around in a convertible Mustang and travelled along the incredible Pacific Coast Highway. It was a massive fun experience that came shortly after both of our careers had taken off. It was like a big escape before the serious stuff began.

If there's one place that springs to mind for the warmth of its people, it's probably India. On my visit there, there was a general feeling of friendliness, and a culture that I felt totally in tune with. India's a great place and without meaning to sound glib, it's the people who make it. I'd love to go back there.

Other than work commitments, I haven't got anything in diary as far as travel goes next year. I'm not someone who agonises over where I'm going next. If I have some free time and an idea of somewhere to go, I'll go – simple as that.

I'm currently in a theatre production of Cool Hand Luke. Based on Donn Pearce's novel, it's a hard-hitting story about a prison in Florida and inmates who refuse to conform, staying cool in the face of brutality. Theatre can present stories which feel like a journey and this is one of those. I would have liked to have travelled to the States to research it properly, but the offer didn't come!

Northampton-born actor Marc Warren's acting career has spanned over 20 years. He was a member of the National Youth Theatre and earned his first break in a 1988 production of Godspell. Marc is best known for the character of Danny Blue from the BBC 'sleight of hand' drama, Hustle. He has starred in numerous films, including Green Street, Hellraiser: Deader, Land of the Blind, Colour Me Kubrick and Wanted


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