Hubby, for his role as the Good Son in “My Father is a Flipping Moron”.
Although he has played this role his whole life it is only now, after the death of his mother, that Hubby has really gained a depth of intensity in this psychologically demanding and exhausting part.
Playing alongside the leading role has never been simple but is now more complicated and depressing than ever and it has taken real strength and energy to stay in character during rehearsals and filming over the last few months.
“Sometimes I just want to tell him to get lost” he admitted to me over breakfast last week. “Tell him I’ve had enough of his selfish, childish, unacceptable behaviour. But I know I never will. Not now…” His eyes show the weariness of a man who has been on set for fifty tough years.
Those who know Hubby well will see the tension arrive in his eyes and mouth as soon as he steps into character. His brow furrows ever so slightly and the left-hand edge of his lips twitch imperceptibly before his voice becomes that of the Good Son. Kind, concerned, controlled. Never raised in anger, never saying the words that he longs to say. Always helpful, warm, gentle.
“Would you never think of taking on another role in this film?” I ask over a cup of tea, as the rest of the cast sleep off the excesses of an over-indulgent lunch. “I’m sure the Bad Son would necessitate just as much acting expertise”.
He shakes his head sadly. “I’m just not cut out for that role. And Mum would never have wanted me to play a baddie.”
When filming ends he leaves the set with both a sense of relief and worry for the next scene being shot in a few days time. He never stops wondering how long he will have to do this. Will he ever crack under the weight this role imposes on his shoulders?
“Not for now” he sighs. “But I’m not doing this for him. I’m doing it for her. That’s who she made me – the Good Son. And that’s undoubtedly the role I’ll play with him forever, even if he is the biggest flipping moron who ever walked on this earth.”
He looks at me with a smile and falls into one of his other characters – the Good but Very Sad and Extremely Tired Husband.