The unofficial Nat and Anna Parker fansite

Caught in the Spotlight
Hoffman magazine
Spring 2013
By Serena Gordon
Photo by: Adrian Sherratt

 

Serena Gordon interviews actor Nathaniel Parker, better known as Inspector Lynley. Nat did the Process in 2007.

I’ve had the real joy of knowing Nat Parker for the last 30 years. We were at drama school at the same time, hung out with the same people, and devoured every acting job as if it were our last. In 1998 we acted together in Dancing Queen, a romantic comedy for television written for Rik Mayall and Helena Bonham Carter, and our paths have crossed several times since.

Nat was one of the few really good-looking, athletic, daring English actors around in the 1980s - a strong contender for James Bond – and he threw himself into every role with the enthusiasm of a young puppy.


His extensive CV covers theatre, film, television, audio books, and charity work. He’s probably best known for his performance as DI Thomas Lynley in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries, as well as Bleak House, Vanity Fair, Merlin, Injustice, the recent film, The Domino Effect, and the soon to be released TV series Still Life. Despite being an eminently recognisable face, Nat is nowadays remarkably at ease with his fame.


This year Nat celebrates being 50. He and his beautiful wife, the talented actress and now interior designer Anna Patrick, also celebrate 25 years of being together.


We met again at Soho House in February this year, and Nat treated me to a sneak preview of his performance as ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown in The Audience, a new play by Peter Morgan starring Helen Mirren as the Queen. As Nat entertained me by demonstrating how smoothly he could morph his impeccable Gordon Brown into Sean Connery, then into Billy Connolly, with a touch of Dr Finlay thrown in for good measure, he told me about his delight at being back on stage in the West End.

A few years ago Nat would have found this impossible. He was performing on Broadway with Dustin Hoffman in The Merchant of Venice, when halfway through the run, he was gripped by devastating stage fright. He soldiered on until the end of the run but it was many years before he got back up on stage again

Nat told me that the Process acted as a springboard to release real positivity and joy, and allowed him to join in the celebration of being alive. He feels that he has genuinely emerged from the Process at ease with being Nat Parker - happy to be who he is, to experiment, to make mistakes, to immerse himself in life, and to live in the present.

I know myself one of the joys and dangers of being an actor is that you find yourself in an eternal playground, playing a variety of characters. Acting provides the perfect platform to avoid facing up to the challenge of the ultimate role – being yourself. What I particularly admired was Nat’s courage at that point in his career to decide to do the Hoffman Process.

“The Process allowed me to be more myself. It was a relief to find that we were all treated as individuals with our own needs and issues. The difference in my attitude was apparently evident from the moment I returned home.”


Nat also spoke of how the Process helped him prepare for the pain of losing his mother to cancer in 2010. Being able to really be present to her at that time, to see her and connect to her as one spirit to another. In that moment it was about pure love, intimacy and compassion, and, without words everything that needed to be said was said. This year he and Anna will take to the streets again as part of the Marsden March to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity in memory of his mother.


Where once there was brittleness, there is now a softness. Where once there was an over-eager schoolboy, there is now a gentle man at ease with himself. Where there was impetuosity, there now sits grace and wisdom. Nat Parker has found his own voice and the courage to express to the world who he really is.


You can follow Nat’s career via his website www.nathanielparker.com. To read more about the Royal Marsden Walk and charity work please visit www.royalmarsden.org


The Audience is playing to rave reviews at the Gielgud Theatre, London until June 2013.

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