58, made his name as the writer of the cultrock opera The Rocky
Horror Picture Show: He was known to a younger audience as the
presenter of channel 4's game show The Crystal Maze, has a starring
role as a photographer in the Spice Girl's movie Spice World
and is currently working on a Rocky sequel with the working
title The Second Coming.
-You're 58 but how come you don't seem ancient?
RO'B:I'm one of those
people who never really joined the grown-ups. On one level,
I was completely incapable of doing so. On another, every time
I looked at the grown-ups and thought it was about time I matured,
I'd think: "I don't bloody well like you." They are
all a bit pompous and boring. I never wanted to be aligned to
a mature group because they go off and become politicians and
-Are you surprised
by the run the Rocky Horror show has had?
RO'B: I was surprised
it did more than its original five-week run. It's one of the
shows that seems to strike a chord somehow. To an extent, it's
almost a thumb print of my psychological pathology and I think
that kind of arrested development and pubescent adolescence
is part of its appeal-apart from the fact that it is a nice,
simple Rock'n'Roll evening.
-How's the sequel
RO'B: I'm having
a lot of fun at the moment. I'm writing the songs bit by bit
and when I have finished the songs, some will probably change
and I'll go back and start writing the scenes. As long as I
keep the narrative drive acceptable and strong, and get as many
jokes in as I possibly can, I think it'll be all right. The
nice thing is, if it starts down the tubes, I can always stick
it in the bin.
-What are the roles
you have most enjoyed?
RO'B: I like being
in fantasy-driven films but what I really enjoy is being employed
and working with nice people. Life's too short to be working
with divas. That was a good thing about the Crystal Maze-there
wasn't one arsehole on the set. You spent the day with everybody
doing their job to the best of their ability and you didn't
have to stroke an ego.
-Which actors' egos
needed a good stroke?
RO'B: I'm not giving
any names but there are one or two who have an ego problem.
They make life difficult for you and don't want you to be very
good in their scene.
-Why did you say
after appearing in Spice World that the Spice Girls had had
their 15 minutes of fame?
RO'B: I didn't say
that. Everybody has their 15 minutes and they were probably
the luckiest girls on the planet at that moment. They all appreciated
that because they are five girls who, with the exception of
Mel C, are not the greatest singers in the world but it all
came together for them.
-What were you doing
in your late teens?
RO'B: I was till
cutting hair in those days. Now I look back and think: "What
a waste of five years." However, I met some nice people
so I suppose it's all part of life's rich tapestry, as they
-Any connection between
that and your baldness?
RO'B: Well, no. I
was getting into trouble messing around with it for roles. So
one night I went home, cut it down with a pair of scissors and
then got in the bath and shaved it all off. I've never looked
-Did you ever want
to be gray-haired?
RO'B: I think it
is good as it is. I am 58 and it's difficult for people to gauge
-When did you come
from New Zealand to Britain?
RO'B: I didn't hit
these shores until I was 22. I paid my dues at drama school
and worked backstage in every Theatre in London. I have done
every job in the Theatre apart from wardrobe. I was out of work
more times than I was in it.
-Is your own wardrobe
important to you?
RO'B: Yes, but I
think the big thing for everyone is to wear what they want and
what suits them.
-So what do you think
you will wear when you get the MBE that every British actor
seems to get when they turn 60?
RO'B: I don't think
that's going to happen and I don't think I would want to go
down that path. It means alot to some people but I'm not that
sort of person.
-How do you deal
RO'B: It is difficult
to go on the next night after you receive a sandbagging. There
is always an audience for different individuals, but critics
sometimes stop the audience finding the show and the show finding
the audience. For example, a lot of critics who don't like musicals
have come to review the show. But, I suppose, they have got
to make a living too and hopefully, they are giving their judgment
for what it is.