What have you been watching during the COVID-19 shutdown?
After ﬁnishing Tiger King, I sat down with my wife and sons and wrote a list of all the ﬁlms they should have seen, and we’re working our way through those in my DVD collection after dinner. I wanted to introduce them to things like Being John Malkovich, old war moves like Where Eagles Dare, Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Also on the list is Tree of Life, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love and Moneyball. We could never watch my own ﬁlms—they would wonder what kind of narcissist I was.
What are you listening to?
I’m listening to a lot of podcasts, such as The Ballad of Billy Balls, which is set in the late-70s in New York and is about a girl’s attempt to discover a punk singer called Billy Balls. I’ve also been listening to Anton Lesser, who I played with at the Royal Shakespeare Company back in the 80s for Richard III. I also read the new Hilary Mantel novel, The Mirror and the Light.
What else are you reading?
I brought down a whole bunch of scripts to our little place in Sussex right on the edge of the Downs. I always ﬁnd reading for pleasure diversionary and not as profound as something I’m going to be performing on stage. I did enjoy the coming-of-age story my wife wanted me to read, called The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, about a college baseball player aiming for a national championship.
What do you miss the most?
I’m itching to get back to football with my friends in the garden. I play every Monday and Friday with the same guys I’ve played with for the last 17 years. I love the camaraderie and skill of six or seven a side. I’m missing it so much, because it makes my head feel right when I’m ﬁt.
What will you be working on when things loosen up in the industry?
There will be another Shazam movie—people are realizing superheroes can be funny, which is good. I’m reading the script for Temple, as we are meant to be working on the second series. I’m going to be doing Oedipus next year with Hellen Mirren, so I read that every couple of days to try and let it get under my skin.
Editor’s Note: Mark Strong’s acting résumé includes unforgettable turns in Zero Dark Thirty, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Imitation Game and the two Kingsmen movies. He also stars in the British TV series Temple. This Q&A was conducted by The Interview People.