Three weeks ago last Friday, I received a phone call from a director friend of mine who lives in France - he's Dutch, but let's try and keep this simple. He asked how I was and whether I was particularly busy at the moment. I told him that I was, along with many others in my profession, coming to terms with the decimation Covid has inflicted on our working lives. 'Do you fancy a job then?' He asked. 'If so, you'll be playing a leading role opposite Elizabeth Hurley and flying out to Latvia on Monday morning.' 'Ah.' I replied. 'I had planned to go shopping at Lidl on Monday, but Latvia's cool too.'
And so, here I am, writing this in my hotel suite overlooking the fast-flowing Daugava River, in the centre of Riga Old Town. Moments like this come along rarely in showbiz, but it is the hope of such possibilities that keeps many of us going through the tough times.
The movie – as they call it out here – is a fast-paced supernatural thriller, with a great story and superb international cast. I can't say more at the moment, due to contractual stipulations regarding secrecy. In fact, I may have said too much already, in which case I may receive a visit from the secret 'movie police' at any second.
Needless to say, I'm not treating this as a late flowering drive for Oscar recognition – although a nod from the Academy would be most happily received. Pigs, of course, will already be flying by then. I am enjoying the process enormously, however, and it cements what I've always felt – I like filming for the camera more than any other discipline my profession demands. They haven't chosen the next Bond yet, but I find myself attempting the odd sit-up now, and I've discovered an excellent volumizing hair shampoo and conditioner. I don't want to be caught on the hop when Barbara Broccoli calls.
Latvia is an extraordinary place, and I'll be going into more detail about my first visit to the Baltics in my next blog. Suffice to say; this has been the sort of November Surprise I never really expected - that's surprises for you. I'm missing family and home terribly, and the lockdown situation is very ominous and worrying. Fortunately, Amy hit the nail on the head, when she told me to count my blessings, learn the lines and not bump into the furniture. That list should keep me occupied for a few weeks.
Take care all and thanks for reading.