Fra Fee: Les Mis actor tells all in revealing interview

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

Whipping winds, an unsturdy table, a discussion about the removed verse in the “Drink With Me” musical number, and a lot of laughter are a few things I remember most about my morning spent with Fra Fee.

It was our second meeting, having first met the night before in an act of happenstance, and I was eager to photograph him because a quick Google search of Fra’s name uncovers only a handful of high-resolution photos which seems odd for someone who has skyrocketed in his fame in recent months.

For those who have been living under a rock, Fra has become an overnight favorite to moviegoers and theatre fans alike for his role of Courfeyrac in the Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated film Les Miserables. Previously, he starred in the musical on the West End playing various roles.

Transitioning back to stage after being seen around the world on the silver screen, Fra will be heading to Toulon, France, where he will spend a month in rehearsal before performing Follies from March 8 to 10.

While I admit that the sun’s bright light, the shrubbery on the rooftop terrace and Fra’s cute face helped inspire my photography that day, I have no explanation for the lovely silliness in this interview. A desire to break away from the traditional professional questions, which I asked Fra in our previous interview, I decided to try to uncover a bit more of his personality.

From the song Fra most enjoyed singing at the barricade and who he would be happiest to be stranded on an island with to why “feck” is among his favorite words, this is Fra in perhaps his most revealing interview ever.

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Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

 

SDD: Which Broadway [and/or West End] show would you most like to be in?

FF: Umm…I’ve always fancied a stab at Boq…

SDD: During your NYC holiday, which shows did you see and which one was your favorite?

FF: I saw ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’, ‘Golden Boy’, ‘Bare’ and ‘Annie’ – it’s a close call between the brilliant serious drama that was Golden Boy and the brilliantly camp Broadway classic that was ‘Annie’. In fact, I definitely preferred Annie – who am I kidding?

SDD: Who are your favorite theatre performers?

FF: Hadley Fraser is my hero. Daniel Evans, Jenna Russell, Bertie Carvel.

SDD: Besides spending some time on a windy rooftop with your *favorite* interviewer (I’m joking), what was the highlight of your NYC holiday?

FF: You joke..? I was gonna say just that! Highlight..? Hanging out in DUMBO, just under Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge…cool spot!

SDD: You said NYC is your favorite place on Earth. What makes it such a special city for you?

FF: The people – very open, assured and welcoming folk! There’s a buzz to the place that just excites me! It’s an incredibly creative, inspiring place to be.

SDD: You are about to be in Toulon for five weeks. What do you have planned when you aren’t working?

FF: I was planning on taking my bicycle, but unfortunately there’s no room on the train for my yellow ray of sunshine, so I may rent one for the month…lots of cycling, exploring coffee haunts, drinking wine and eating mussels!

SDD: What are the pros and cons of traveling for work?

FF: Only cons are sorting out things before you leave; subletting your room, cancelling any appointments, etc. Pros are obvious – get out of London for a bit, see somewhere new, meet new people, gain a bit of perspective!

SDD: Do you collect anything?

FF: Apart from books, not really.

SDD: Which hobby do you wish you could pick up?

FF: Probably a team sport. I used to be a Gaelic football player at school – I should really get back into it.

SDD: What is your favorite way to travel?

FF: Train! Love trains – so much time to read, sleep or gaze out the window and let your imagination go into overdrive.

SDD: What is your least favorite way to travel?

FF: I’m not a fan of long bus journeys.

SDD: Which languages do you speak? 

FF: I did GCSE French at school and have forgotten it ALL…Ashamedly…I once pretended I could speak Irish to get a job in a call centre in Manchester…Funny story…I’ll tell you another time.

SDD: Your cat Buckley is someone fans really take an interest in. Is his personality as big in real life as it seems to be on Twitter?

FF: Absolutely not. His personality is null and void. He’s useless. Sleeps and eats… Does NOTHING else.

SDD: What is your all-time favorite: book, movie, stage show, song?

FF: Brooklyn – Colm Toibin, Adventureland, Sweeney Todd. Roscoe – Midlake OR Step outside in the morning light – David Kitt.

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

 

SDD: Since our last interview, a lot of people have been tweeting you for their “dog” nicknames. How do you handle the very determined fan base?

FF: Cool and collectedly…I hope.

SDD: You told me that you avoid Tumblr. Why? Is there anything that would make you change your mind?

FF: No. I don’t have any aspiration to keep a blog of my own. Although I do write quite a bit. Those words are kept under lock and key in my bedroom – I doubt anyone would want to read my generally aimless stream of consciousness.

SDD: How do you cope with the attention bestowed onto you by your new fans? Did you expect this kind of support and so much love?

FF: Not at all. It really is very lovely. Thanks for being so lovely…did I mention you’re lovely..?

SDD: I received several comments from people about how you inspire them. Who inspires you or who is your idol? 

FF: I admire my three amazing sisters… They’re all heroes.

SDD: What words of advice, quote, etc. do you try to live by?

FF: Be nice..!

SDD: What advice would you give to young theatre hopefuls?

FF: Do as much amateur theatre you can find! It’s the real training ground. And have fun.

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com.

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com.

 

SDD: What is your favorite word?

FF: Umm…I haven’t thought about this… ‘incandescent’ sounds good. We’ll go with that for now.

SDD: What is your least favorite word?

FF: Egg.

SDD: What is your favorite curse word?

FF: Feck…It’s genius…It’s basically ‘fuck’ but with an ‘e’ to make it more acceptable in day-to-day speech. (See ‘Father Ted’ for examples of its usage.)

SDD: What is your biggest pet peeve?

FF: I haven’t thought about this…I hate people farting in front of people…Is that even a pet peeve? Who knows?

SDD: What album are you currently obsessed with?

FF: Midlake – Trials of Van Occupanther. I’ve been obsessed with this album for a while. It’s insanely good.

SDD: What song would you be happy to never hear again?

FF: I’d gladly get rid of one of the nursery rhymes… ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ has had its day I think.

SDD: Describe yourself in five words or less:

FF: …umm…can’t think. Not good at self-analysis.

SDD: How do you hope people remember you?

FF: As a good person.

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

Photo credit: StageDoorDish.com

 

SDD: Who would you most want to share a drink with?

FF: Russell – he’s a dude.

SDD: Who would you most want to star in a show with?

FF: Aaron.

SDD: Who is the funniest member of the cast?

FF: Killian.

SDD: Who would you want to have your back in a fight?

FF: Killian, George, Alistair, Hugh Skinner.

SDD: Who would you most want to sing a duet with?

FF: Eddie.

SDD: Who would you enjoy being stranded on a deserted island with most?

FF: Killian – we’d probably find the whole situation hilarious.

SDD: Who do you wish you worked more with?

FF: Anne – as she’s blatantly about to become an Oscar Winner..!

SDD: What happened between takes behind the barricade? (Rumor has it you were fans of singing together, did you have a favorite?)

FF: Yeah – ‘The Circle of Life’, with wee Danny (Gavroche) used as Simba was a particular highlight.

SDD: What did you learn from a member of the cast or ensemble?

FF: Learned a lot from Eddie – great actor.

 

Interested in winning a Les Mis film cast recording album signed by Fra? Look here for more information. 

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About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald
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2 Responses

  1. I love how all the Les Amis share the same kind of bond even off-set. George Blagden, Hugh Skinner, Aaron Tveit & Eddie Redmayne have NEVER done Les Mis on Broadway or the West End, but the fact they have all become such wonderful friends through the film is extremely heart-warming.

  2. I would love to hear what Fra had to say about the removed verse in Drink With Me!! It is one of the things I was most sad they left out.