TOBY STEPHENS: 'MY GREATEST WEAKNESS? HARIBO SWEETS'
TOBY, 45, lives with his wife, fellow actor Anna-Louise Plowman, in London. The couple have three children, Eli, seven, Tallulah, five, and Kura, four
By: James Rampton
Published: Sun, September 28, 2014
Toby Stephens opens up about his greatest weakness and biggest regret
Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at… cheering myself up when I’m down. I have episodes of Father Ted on my laptop and those work every time. It’s not just the humour that does it – it’s the humanity of that show.
It’s not good for my image but… I’m no stranger to embarrassment. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was forgetting my first line in a play. The curtain rose, the lights went up, I entered – and couldn’t remember a thing. I had to ask for a prompt. The audience groaned. It was terrible.
My biggest fear is… my children getting hurt.
The shop I can’t walk past is… Aesop. It’s an Australian company that makes amazing skin and hair products. There’s one near where I live and I always have to go in.
The one thing I’d change about myself is… that I’m frequently referred to as posh. That really gets up my nose, because it’s simplistic and patronising and it shows how depressingly hung up about class we still are in this country.
My favourite TV programme is… House of Cards – that’s a very smart show.
My first kiss was… at a school dance, with a girl called Suzy. I probably wasn’t very good.
If I can, I always try to avoid… answering questions about my parents [actors Dame Maggie Smith and the late Robert Stephens]. I wouldn’t want my background to be any other way, but sometimes I do envy actors who just get asked about their work. I’m a 45-year-old man – I don’t need to be talking about my parents any more.
My greatest weakness is… Haribo sweets, which I steal from my children. I’m ashamed of myself.
My last holiday was… with my wife and kids in St Lucia last Christmas. It was so nice to get away from the rain and long nights of an English December.
I’m currently reading… The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. The size of the book is a good reason to get a Kindle, but it’s a fantastic read.
The last time I cried was… recently. I cry all the time. It’s mostly music that does it to me, and I always cry at my children’s recitals.
The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on was… a necklace for my wife. It looks great on her.
My favourite place in Britain is… Norfolk.
My perfect Sunday is… at home with my wife and children. I’ve recently spent a lot of time away, filming in South Africa, so being back here is fantastic. After an extended period abroad, being reunited with my family is very grounding. On a film set, you tend to get tunnel vision and you think work is all there is, especially with the pressure of a big production. So it’s very good to get back into the parental routine and remind yourself that there are other things in the world which are much more important.