FIRST IMPRESSIONS: DAVID LEON
Friday, 16 January 2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: DAVID LEON

…is an English actor best known for his role as DS Joe Ashworth alongside Brenda Blethyn in the ITV detective series Vera. Before graduating from the National Youth Theatre, he played football for Blackburn Rovers. He lives in London with his dog

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m just in the very final stages of my first feature film called Orthodox. It’s about a young Orthodox Jewish boy who’s bullied and turns to the boxing community as a means of self-defence.

When are you at your happiest?
I think I’m at my happiest when I’m not worrying whether I’m happy. And when I’m with loved ones, friends, family, my dog – she makes me very happy. Frankie is a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs Home.

What is your greatest fear?
Continuing to make the same mistakes is something of a fear.

What is you earliest memory?
Clearing snow off our front drive with my dad. I’ve got a picture of it, so I can never remember if it’s the picture that I’m remembering or if it is actually that moment, but I think it’s a little bit of both.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
Impatience. Sometimes I really want to make things happen and actually you need to allow time. You have to be patient and allow things to slot into place.

Who has been your greatest influence?
My mother.

What is your most treasured possession?
Frankie, who is a boxer-cross. She gives me a lot of respect and she’s very good. Dogs are very good for the soul, I think.

What trait do you most deplore in others?
There are so many, aren’t there? You’ve got to be careful that they don’t tally up with things that you see in yourself. I especially dislike a lack of loyalty.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I don’t really buy into the modernday attitude of how we’re supposed to look; I think it can have a hold over you.

What is your favourite book?
The Alchemist.

What is your favourite film?
A French film called The Beat That My Heart Skipped. It’s by a director named Jacques Audiard.

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Your favourite piece of music?

I’m a big fan of music, so it’s very hard for me to pick one thing out. I tend to love a band or a track for a period of time, and then for whatever reason the mood will change and I’ll listen to a completely different genre or whatever.

What is your favourite meal?
Spaghetti bolognese.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
I’d go with Jacques Audiard, Marlon Brando and George Best, because he’d liven things up. I think it would be a nice, quiet, uncivilised affair.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
At school being told that my work would never amount to anything. I remember specifically one time thinking, ‘Oh, I want to prove them wrong.’ Physical and verbal insults strike a chord – you can use it to spur you on.

Do you believe in aliens?
Yes, I think so. I find it hard to believe that we’re the only life out there.

What is your secret vice?
Football. I used to be a pro footballer until I was 19. I grew up in the northeast and it’s in my blood.

Do you write thank-you notes?
No. I try to say it in person.

Which phrase do you most overuse?
‘You know what I mean?’

What would most improve the quality of your life?
Less choice.

Tell us one thing people might not know about you.
I don’t know if I can. I’m a pretty open book.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘He was somebody who was generous, respectful, loving and loved.’

Vera, series 1 to 4, is out on DVD now (ITV Studios Global Entertainment).


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