Howard Antony’s Acting Masterclass
Brits may remember Howard Antony from his mid-90s stint on Eastenders where, as Alan Jackson, he cut a mighty figure in Walford, strolling into the Vic with the grace and poise of Frankenstein’s monster and asking where Bianca was, with his lone – some might say trademark – facial expression (intense confusion). Let’s take a look at his acting showreel and rest easy, because in this time of Megan Fox and the 3D CGI remake of Capturing The Friedmans, I’ve finally unearthed our new Gielgud.
* Marvel at the subtleties of his performance as a homosexual. If not for my almost superhuman gaydar, I never would have picked up on it. Although in hindsight, the netted-top, Julian & Sandy voice and pantomime level play-to-the-balcony facial mincing may have been a bit of a clue. All of us remember the kid from school who was mocked and teased for being a gay, often on such incontravertible evidence as accidentally bumping into another boy in the dinner queue, wearing those shoes that looked a bit like Cornish Pasties, or having a name like ‘Stuart.’ The above footage is almost exactly what the bullies would do to the poor swine as he passed them in the hallway.
“Ooh hello ducky, I’m a bit of a whoopsie! *bends wrist at 45 degree angle* Men’s bottoms are just fa-bu-lous!”
Howard Antony’s failed audition for the Stephen Hawking biopic, which consisted of stucking his tongue under his bottom lip and making a Joey Deacon noise, was unsuccessful.
* Howard Antony: Master of Accents! When I was five, and me and my mates would play A-Team or The Cosby Show in the playground, we did so with more convicing American accents. Who was his voice coach, Joss Stone?
* THIS IS A SHOWREEL! This wasn’t deliberately put together for some sarcastic wag like me to have an ironic laugh over, it’s – presumably – a highlight package to illustrate his extraordinary range and attract offers of work. The next time I pitch a book to publishers, I’ll do it the Howard Antony way and just send an old suicide note, or a story I wrote when I was 13 about a big flying boob that squirts out other, smaller boobs and lives in my closet.
Hopefully for all of us, the scenes that were deemed ‘not good enough’ to make the final cut are in a vault next to The Day The Clown Cried and the fabled lost episode of Parkinson where Anne Bancroft spent the entire show repeating a short, inane anecdote about a pen she’d seen on the floor, even as they carried her back to the dressing room.
* Holy shit, if the death scene that kicks in at 3:55 isn’t just a collection of every “Leave me behind, save yourself *splutter*” cliches ever put to film. There’s even a little toy solider, which the other guy surely now has to pass on to the son Howard Antony spent the whole movie talking about returning home to. “I only do it for him. Why, when I get home, I’m gonna…” This is just a guess, but I’m going to say that Howard Antony from Eastenders’s character was only one day from retirement.
* “She the one gon’ be scurrrrrred! Time to pay, PAY PAY!”