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Everyman Alone

He has a face the world knows as one of the greatest actors the world has known. With his new film Inferno out in November, The Best You explores the life of Tom Hanks, and traces his rise to success.   The first five years of Tom Hanks’s life were perhaps the most stable. His […]

Against all odds – Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr is a man who has succeeded as an actor, despite being blessed with talent, parents in the business, natural charm and a photographic memory. It sounds like a paradox, but The Best You explains why, in his case, it is not Chaos is probably the best word to describe the early years of Robert […]

Rocky Roads to Success: Wes Bentley – The Path of Most Resistance

One could be forgiven for assuming that Wes Bentley, an actor who has already lived a dramatic Hollywood existence by the age of 37, was born to privileged Los Angeles parents that were successful in the entertainment industry. This however, is not Bentley’s story. He was born and raised in Arkansas to parents that were […]

Daniel Radcliffe – Carrying the gift

The story of Daniel Radcliffe’s rise to fame is the classic ‘dream come true’ story. A boy, picked from thousands of boys, when the producer supposedly got a chance sighting of him is the classic account of the fickle finger of fame plucking someone from the crowd and lifting them to superstar status. The truth, […]

Rocky Road to Success – Jon Cryer: Nobody’s Second Choice

Jon Cryer was born into an east coast family that had an appetite for show business. They had been successful enough in and around the theatre to be able to provide a path for Cryer’s later career in film and stage. Born in New York City in 1965, Cryer’s education centred on the arts. After […]

What does it take to be a… pantomime actor? by Matthew Kelly

Alongside Hayley Mills and his son, Matthew Rixon, Matthew Kelly is appearing in Cinderella at Richmond Theatre, as one half of the ugly sisters. It could only be pantomime time! How did you first get involved in pantomime, and what is it you enjoy about it? I love the colour and spectacle of it. I […]

Harrison Ford: So low before Solo by The Best You

At the release of a new Star Wars movie, The Best You looks at the astonishing story of how Harrison Ford finally achieved recognition Harrison Ford has sometimes boiled down the ingredients of his success to two things: “Persistence and luck”. But this is not the whole story. There are other elements in his story […]

Daniel Craig – reluctant sex symbol? by The Best You

Back with Bond, Daniel Craig is centre stage once more, but as secretive about his private life as ever   As he makes his fourth appearance in the 24th James Bond Film, Daniel Craig has made his own a role which initially drew criticism from Bond fans when he was cast. The first ‘Blond Bond’, […]

Emmanuel Jal – Child of war by Bernardo Moya

Bernardo Moya talks to Emmanuel Jal, whose terrifying story of fighting as a child in the Sudanese Civil War has given him a unique voice “It took us three months; we thought it was gonna take us a month,” he remembers, his dark eyes looking levelly at me for a moment.  Many boys died of […]

The wobbly revolution- Actress Francesca Martinez

 Comedian and actress Francesca Martinez  is on a mission to make us rethink our definition of normality With her striking looks, the genetic inheritance of her Spanish father and half-Swedish, half-English mother, gamine haircut and sparkling wit, Francesca Martinez is the stand-up artist who can cut a politician down to size with a quick one-liner […]

It’s Elementary: a Benedict Cumberbatch interview

  Though Benedict Cumberbath’s meteoric rise to fame is a familiar story in the world of here-today-gone-tomorrow stars of the screen, few have achieved his level of superstardom whilst remaining so down to earth.   Benedict Cumberbatch’s star is on the rise. If his trajectory continues, he is likely to shoot through the ceiling of […]

Samuel L. Jackson: The Way Up

  “If you have an opportunity to use your voice, you should use it.”   Samuel Leroy Jackson was born far from the bright lights of Hollywood. Growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee without a father was a trying existence for Jackson and his mother. While his mother worked full time, Jackson’s grandparents also helped to […]

Robert Downey Jr – Down But Never Out

  “The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven.”   Born in New York City in 1965, Robert Downey Jr. was brought up in a culture of drug and alcohol abuse. Downey’s father, Robert Downey Sr., was a filmmaker of some repute. It was his father that gave Downey access to […]

King of the world – Leonardo DiCaprio

  With his latest movie, The Wolf Of Wall Street, shocking and impressing in cinemas worldwide, The Best You looks at the titanic phenomenon that is Leonardo Di Caprio.   Perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio was always destined to be involved with the arts. The first time his mother Irmelin felt him kick in her womb, she […]

What does it take… to be an actor?

  Part of being the best you can be is focussing on what it takes to get there. We’re continuing the “What does it take…?” column, which looks at this aspect of being the best. This month we chat to renowned British-Nigerian actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, of Hotel Rwanda fame.   On a scale of one […]

Mickey Rourke: The Stage and The Ring

  “I never look backwards. I have always been an athlete. I boxed before I acted.” Mickey Rourke was born in New York in 1952. His father was an amateur bodybuilder and would provide the blueprint for Rourke’s stint a boxer later in life. After Mickey’s father left, Rourke’s mother moved to Miami. He was […]

The Rocky Road to success. Michael J. Fox: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Him Now

  Michael J. Fox was born in Canada to an actress and a policeman. Fox landed a role in Canadian Broadcasting Network television series, which turned out to be the platform that launched his Hollywood career. However, he wasn’t able to find success right out of the gate. He has famously said that early in […]