Jack Whitehall will do anything to get to Glastonbury Festival

Remember what WC Fields said about never working with children and animals, lest they steal the show? Jack Whitehall isn’t worried, even though this animal is so massive that its size alone fills the screen.

In “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” Whitehall plays the irresponsible uncle Casey of Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp), a bullied sixth-grader who pours her love into a bright red puppy, causing him to grow in proportion to his size. size of his heart. . This meant that Whitehall found himself in awe of a 10-foot animatronic dog operated by two puppeteers – sometimes inside the dog, sometimes just holding its dismembered head in a rather disconcerting way.

A challenge, certainly, but he had experience. Whitehall filmed “Clifford” (in theaters and on Paramount + on November 10) shortly after completing Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” where one of his stage partners was a four-legged stuntman in a leotard. peas replacing Proxima the jaguar.

“I feel like now I’m probably the go-to person if you want someone to take action in the face of a CGI animal,” he said. In a call from London, Whitehall shared the things he loves when he’s not fighting over a menagerie – a tailored suit, a meal at the Wolseley – and why when he’s home he remembers looking up . These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

1. The BBC The joy and the beauty of the BBC is that it provides this amazing service to so many different people. He has something for everyone. It’s such an incredible institution, and it’s always under attack too, which makes me even more virulent in my defense. And it has the best news release of any platform in the world. Especially when I come to America, I realize how much I cherish the ability to have this unbiased news.

2. Glastonbury Festival It is one of my favorite places on the planet. I think this is the flagship experience of the festival, and I love that it doesn’t sound so commercial or cynical. There is a great charitable element running through it. I will always strive, wherever I am in the world, to come back to Glastonbury. Even when I was filming “Clifford” I managed to make my way to get on a flight and come back for three days to Glastonbury, and I was just floating. I was ecstatic before, during and after.

3. Bob Newhart “The driving instructor” It was a recording my dad played to me when I was younger. It’s so funny, and it also has extra resonance for me because I can’t drive and I’ve had several driving instructors who I think were pushed into a situation similar to Bob Newhart’s character. in this comedy sketch.

4. Look in London It was advice, I think, in an interview I saw with Donald Sinden, the actor. He said that when walking in London people never look up. London has this amazing architecture but people are always looking down, looking at each other, looking at the storefronts. The thing about London is you can have a laundromat and then look over there and it has this beautiful Regency architecture. But you never really noticed it because we all live our lives at eye level.

5. One Thom sweeney suit I love Savile Row. I love wearing a well-cut suit and I love the kind of fine stitching they do wonderfully. I love going to one of their stores and having a strong drink in a small glass. Then there’s the kind of drama of it all – and having the costume adjusted, and coming back a few times and discussing it, removing the fabrics. Love the whole ritual of it.

6. Alan Bennett plays The first time I acted on stage was when I put on my own production of “Habeas Corpus” at school with all my friends. But “The History Boys” is probably the play that I have seen the most often. I remember the first time I watched it – I was completely captivated and amazed that this is an experience one can have in a theater. Richard griffiths [who played Douglas Hector, the teacher] was a very important part of my life. He was my godfather. He was my hero. He was part of the reason I ended up becoming an artist.

7. The film scores of John williams I have this weird thing where I train to film music. When I go to the gym or jog, I find myself adapting my workouts slightly to the different songs I listen to: speeding up to the beat of the music from “Jurassic Park” and maybe slightly mimicking the gait. of a dinosaur; get excited when “ET” lights up and want to take off as the music crescendos; and then suddenly the “Schindler List” pops up, and I feel like I need to slow down in deference.

8. Corbin & King Restaurants Jeremy King and Chris Corbin are like the deans of industry in London when it comes to restaurateurs. They launched the legendary Ivy and Caprice and then sold them. Then they had this second generation – the Wolseley, the Delaunay, and the Colbert – and they’re fantastic. The cuisine of our country has been criticized a bit over the years, but I think it is the benchmark when it comes to hospitality. The Wolseley is the restaurant where I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of my life and be satisfied.

9. Podcast off the menu It’s such a brilliant premise. It’s those two fantastic comedians, James Acaster and Ed Gamble, browsing a different guest each week and their dream menu. He has such a tall, handsome and eccentric British humor. I like food. I like to eat outside. I am very obsessed with the menu of my dreams. And so it’s a good podcast for me because I hear other people doing just that.

ten. Edinburgh Fringe Festival This is where I first saw stand-up and fell in love with it and realized it was something you can do for a living. I’ve been there every August for several years, and every time it’s August I always have that pang of not being at the festival. All the comedians I love started there – John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis. The only problem is that every time you go back to Edinburgh and it’s not the festival, it never gets so exciting.

Jan G. Gilbert