Catfood talks to Danieal Fandandlio, one of the up-and-coming, soon-to-be-famous rising stars now blazing a trail over the twitching reanimated corpse of the British Film Industry. He
caught the eye of industry moguls with appearances in films as
diverse as Trainspotting and Kenneth Branargh's Hamlet, and has
recently enjoyed considerable acclaim in Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth.
His success in character roles has been shown to be a delightful triumph over adversity, as he has recently revealed that he is a medium sized bowl of fruit.
CATFOOD: You wowed the acting scene back in Ď96 with your appearance in Kenneth Branargh's Hamlet. What was it like working with Kenneth ?
DANIEAL FANDANDLIO: Yeah, it was great working so close to him, he's a real genius when it comes to directing. Kens a really good friend of mine now. I have a lot of respect for him as an artist.
CF: Where did you actually meet him first, was it on set or socially?
DF: Oh, I never actually met him.
CF: Moving along to your work in period dramas, you were in the much applauded BBC adaptation of Tom Jones last year. There were suggestions in the press when it was screened that you were unhappy with the way it was cut by the censors.
DF: Yeah, they cut my main scene. It was called The Fruit Bowl Scene.
CF: Could you tell us a little more about it?
DF :[nodding sadly] I think all the actors felt along with me that it was a pivotal scene in the film, and it was quite vital to explain the emotional development of one of the main characters in the film, the squire, who was played by Brain Blessed. Honestly, everyone on the set thought there was nothing to it at all. I mean all you could see was the banana sliding in and out from below Brian's buttocks.
CF: You've been quoted recently as saying the hardest part of the business is the bitchiness and in-fighting. Do you think this applies more to the kind roles that you play?
DF [grimacing] : Working with other fruit is always difficult. You know how the saying goes, never work with children, animals, or fruit. You get trouble with certain avocados. I mean [says the name of a certain well known avocado] is a lot of hassle. She wants attention all the time, she wants her own orchard on set, she has to be glossier than the other fruit in close-ups. [Looks up darkly] The oranges are bastards. They're always out to stitch you up.
CF : I saw you last year on stage in The Cruicible, and I remember
thinking at the time that you were very lifelike in that. How do you
play these incredibly demanding parts ?
DF : I wasn't in that. There was a bowl of fruit in that film, but it wasn't me.
CF : You're currently the hot tip to star opposite Pierce Brosnan in the next James Bond film, ĎNever Say No To A Spy Who Never Says No Never Again, Again. As well as obviously being a great big bound for your career, this is surely an enormous leap for fruit acceptance in the film industry too.
DF : No, Not really. I feel my acting skills are well up to the part. The megalomaniac sorbe I will be playing will be in exactly the same league as the usual gibbering, fat receding old buggers who try to kill Mr Bond.
CF : If itís not revealing too much, could you tell us how you got the part?
DF [Slightly bashfully, apples wobbling] Well, I first went to the casting interviews and everything, but I didnít really feel that the casting director, Mark Jadiel, was allowing me enough space to create the character I felt I was capable of in the interview. I needed a better illustration of how a bowl of fruit could be, you know, menacing.
CF : So what did you do ?
DF: I crept into Mr Jadiel's house in a grocery bag, disguised as a bowl of fruit, which is obviously quite a good disguise for me. Then I jumped up onto his kitchen table and waited to tempt him with one of my nice juicy apples. I knew he would go for it Ďcos he's one of these, you know, Californian healthy types. As soon as he came in from work, I could see he was hungry and was thinking:
"Mmmm. I really fancy one of those lovely juicy apples in that bowl on the table that my wife has thoughtfully left out, knowing I get hungry on the way home from work and I'm one of those Californian healthy types."
ĒAs soon as he went for the apple I jumped up, smashed him on the head with my bowl, and threw all my fruit over him shouting: "Now you will die Mr Bond!!!"
Well ... heís still in hospital now unfortunately as he had a weak heart, but the guy they hired after him said I could have the job.
CF: Finally, Iíve heard rumors from some of your showbiz pals that you can juggle whilst riding a bike. If we ask you really really nicely can you give us a quick demonstration?
DF: Look of course I can't juggle while riding a bike, I'm only a fucking bowl of fruit.
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