Undisguised Charm

Undisguised Charm

February 2003, source: Next magazine

Undisguised Charm – Craig Parker: much-loved actor and world-famous elf

This man so wanted to be involved with Lord of the Rings that he would have been happy making tea on the set. As it was, he got his moment, as Haldir the elf of Lothlorien, and, apparently, a whole new bunch of international fans as a result. What an elf. Craig Parker fanciers as far afield as Russia plug in to his unofficial site, lauding his praises. “It was the eyes, so intense,” writes Ilseanna of Kent. “I’ve been praying for him to be saved,” confesses Ces of Brooklyn, New York.

Others, closer to home, loved him as social worker Guy Warner, late of Shortland Street, and Dr. Alister Kingsley of Mercy Peak. Xena, Young Hercules, yep, he’s been there too. Or you may have caught him lately as the narrator of the Auckland Theatre Company’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show which continues its season in Wellington from January 23.

Then there are the ad voiceovers – more than you or he can name on the spot. They’re bound to save him, from penury at least. So fear not, Ces!

MY EARLIEST MEMORY: I’m four, in Suva, leaping off our balcony with cardboard wings strapped to my back. Thanks to the elasticity of youth and my ignorance of gravitational mechanics, not a bone was broken. This pursuit of flight continued into later years but with the wings replaced by a Batman suit and cape, much more aerodynamic.

I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER MEETING: Bono, at Western Springs, after the magnificent Zootopia concert. He was charming, tiny and immaculate in green Armani, drinking scotch and talking about Frank Sinatra and his all-white couches.

THE BEST CLOTHING I’VE EVER OWNED: In the mid 90’s I left our summer to arrive in a wintry London wearing only jeans and a t-shirt. I got off the plane, went straight to Armani and covered myself from head to toe in the Italian man’s lovely stuff. The gloves were lost, the shoes wore out, the suit eased elegantly out of fashion, but the coat remains perfect. Midnight blue, full length and as cozy as a dressing gown.

I CAN’T GET BY WITHOUT: Art, books, CJ, cellphones, chardonnay, chicken, credit cards, email, family, friends, going out, gossip, laughter, lying on the couch, movies, music, my Mac, occasional employment, Ponsonby, SPQR (Ponsonby cafe), stage management, sex, shopping, summer taxis, theatre, water…

MY SIGNATURE DISH: I don’t cook much but I can open a mean bottle. It takes just a minute in the kitchen and I can whip up a glass of chardonnay or two, and after that no one seems to care about dinner.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. A painless method of going from two packs a day to nothing overnight. If you smoke, buy this book. At once. It’s the best thing you can do for your stinking, addicted self. The government should sponsor it.

MY MOST CHERISHED MOMENTO: A signed photo of Margaret Thatcher, from an auction lot called “Three Prime Ministers and a President.” There was a boring book from Bolger, Brian Mulroney’s bland tie (given away), Ronald Regan’s cufflinks (lost), and the pic of the Baroness, looking as imperious and evil as any of the world’s great dictators.

MY DESERT ISLAND ESSENTIALS: A locator beacon or a satellite phone. Failing that, the staff and facilities of Vatulele Island Resort (in Fiji).