Michael Nouri on Edinburgh, weather and busking

Hollywood actor Michael Nouri (NCIS, Damages, Flashdance), who plays the English-speaking narrator alongside an Italian company in Siddhartha, The Musical, is thrilled to visit rainy Edinburgh for the first time. Next stop, the wet West End?

 

Michael Nouri

Michael Nouri

I’ve never been to Edinburgh before. This is my first time and I love it. I love the rain! I was walking to meet someone the other day when it started raining and I thought that, ‘I love rain.’ I always have since I was a kid. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel safe and cosy and warm.

 

It’s ironic that I live in Los Angeles where we never get rain. When it does rain there, I love it and people think I’m very strange. We don’t get weather in Los Angeles. It’s not weather. It’s like Woody Allen says, “there’s no there there”. There’s no weather there either.

 

I grew up on the East Coast in New York. There’s a lot of weather there – long cold winters and long humid summers. So I suppose I’m happier now living in a place that’s more temperate, and also Los Angeles is good for work.

 

I saw the workshop of Siddhartha, The Musical in Los Angeles. When I was invited to be a part of it here in Edinburgh, it was a no-brainer. I love to travel and I was very happy to come here.

 

I was also excited to be in a musical again, though, in this show, I only sing at the very end. I love to sing, that’s my first love. Earlier in my career, I did Can-Can with Patti LuPone, South Pacific and Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews on Broadway.

 

I’ve always been musical as far back as I can remember. I’ve played guitar since I was ten years old. This is the first trip I’ve taken when I haven’t brought my guitar. It’s become too cumbersome. I wanted to travel light. The security at airports these days is a pain, and if I check it, I have anxiety about it getting damaged.

 

But the first time I came to Europe was in 1964 when I was just out of high school. I had my guitar then and I paid my way around Europe by busking as a street musician. I started out in Paris, went down through France then to Italy and back up to London. It was very cool.

 

I can get myself into a lot of trouble with Italian. I don’t know much but have a good accent because of my musical ear so I can replicate the sounds. What I do speak, I speak very convincingly. But then people try to engage me in a full-on conversation and I just nod my head.

 

I have a meeting with an agent in London when I finish here in Edinburgh. Performing in the West End is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s a dream of mine. I’d just love to be paid to be in London. I don’t have any ideas – it could be drama, comedy, a musical. I’ve always loved the stage. I just love acting, period. And I love it when somebody hires me!

 

– Siddhartha, The Musical is at Assembly Rooms, 31 July to 25 August 2014 at 18:10 (runs 1 hour 10 minutes).

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