Callum has previously dazzled fans in West End productions such as CATS, Half a Sixpence and Top Hat to name but a few.
He is currently wowing audiences with his “beautiful legs” in the West End production of Matilda the Musical and is by far one of the loveliest of people we had the pleasure of meeting.
We simply couldn’t wait to ask him some questions about all things theatre, Matilda and of course, The Train to Houston!
I know I’m a little late but I just wanted to say Happy Birthday for the other week!
Did you do anything special to celebrate?
“Thank you very much! Well believe it or not I don’t like Birthday attention so my plan was to do nothing as it was only my 31st but I was told by my Matilda cast I had to have drinks! So it was a spontaneous night of lots of cocktails and hours of dancing.. it was super fun and I’m just about recovered ;)”
For anybody who may not know, you’re currently playing the fabulous Rudolpho in Matilda the Musical. What would you say has been your favourite thing about performing with this production so far?
“To be honest Rudolpho was a role I never thought I would play but I’m thrilled it happened. I think my favourite thing about him is that he’s so ridiculous and extreme. It’s only one scene and one song but it’s a real workout, I come off every night dripping with sweat.. I just love it! I must also say, getting to do it with Marianne Benedict (Mrs Wormwood) is a scream and we have had the best time together.”
I’ve got to say, I’m honestly gutted I never got the chance to catch you covering the role of Miss Trunchbull, but I’m curious, how much fun is it to play the bag guy (woman?)?
“Miss Trunchbull has been the biggest dream of mine since the show first came out. The transformation into her is wonderful and the role is a total gift! It truly has been an honour to play her and one day I would love to go back and play her full time.”
Matilda is based on the legendary children’s novel by Roald Dahl. Other than Matilda, which would you say was your favourite Dahl novel while growing up?
“It has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I always remember being desperate to go to the factory and see all the magic. It was true escapism for me as a child. The film was always on repeat too as well as The Witches.”
Matilda is an incredibly empowering show about setting your own destiny and standing up to bullies, but what message you’d love fans to take away from a visit to the Cambridge Theatre?
“To quote a lyric from the show, ‘ nobody else is gonna put it right for me, nobody but me is gonna change my story, sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty’. It is perfectly written and like you said in the question, you are in control of your own destiny so be strong, brave and courageous in life because there are no limits and if you have to be a little bit cheeky along the way to help yourself out then do it :)”
I don’t think there’s a day which goes by where I do not laugh at least one of your Train to Houston videos. Where did the idea for the page come from?
“I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve asked about this Instagram page! Basically when I first started Matilda and I began to get to know the cast I realised that Peter Houston was just as weird and crazy as I was and we hit it off instantly. Throughout the first contract I would film Pete just being Pete which was hilarious and I would always get so many messages commenting on how much it made people’s day. So this was when Train to Houston was born.. an Instagram page full of our weird ways which people seem to love. We don’t take life too seriously, we absolutely love our job but we make sure we have the best time along the way and I hope that shows 🙂 so on that note, follow- @traintohouston folks lol.”
Let’s be honest, if Greggs doesn’t snatch Jenny up for their next marketing campaign they’re really missing out! Do you have any big plans for Jenny in the near future?
“Hahaha.. you are so right, I might have to send Gregg’s a little email and get that ball rolling! Jenny will continue with her dinner lady adventures but if the BBC want to create a new comedy show for her then just drop us a DM on Instagram!!”
Now we’re in the middle of graduation season what advice would you give to any budding stars looking to find their feet in the industry?
“My main advice to anyone wanting to pursue a career in theatre is if you really want it go for it, but go for it knowing that it is one of the toughest industry’s to be in with a lot of rejection. It isn’t a reflection of your talent a lot of the time so you must always keep chipping away for the right thing for you. Individuality is a wonderful thing in our world and you mustn’t try and fit a mould, just be true to who you are and what you have to offer. I sometimes struggle with being so tall but at college it was drilled out of me to stop apologising for my height, ‘stand tall and proud Callum’. It was one of the best things I was ever told. Finally, never stop learning and perfecting your skills, the more strings to your bow the more opportunities will come your way.”
In 2014 you stared as Munkustrap in the Palladium and touring production of CATS. I was wondering, what are your thoughts on the new film trailer?
“I am absolutely intrigued by the new film! I think the trailer is magical, the new take on the choreography is stunning and because I know so many people in it and I have heard about the process and the technology used to create it I think it’s mind blowing.”
If they ever manage to invent time travel and you could go back in time, what message would you give to your younger self?
“The best question I’ve ever been asked!!! I mean I’m kinda repeating myself but my message would be simple.. don’t apologise for yourself and especially your height. Embrace it, be proud of who you are, stand tall and show your individuality.”
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Callum for taking the time to answer these questions!
For more information you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram or you can head to the official Matilda website to catch him performing at the Cambridge Theatre.
Click here to check out the official Train to Houston Instagram page.
Images courtesy of Callum.