My essentials: Alan Paris’s cultural picks

99 | Alan Paris, 49, Actor and Creative Director

Photo: Rene Rossignaud
Photo: Rene Rossignaud

1. Book

I don’t get much time to read unfortunately. But I do make an effort to at least get a few pages in at night. Probably one of the best books I’ve read in the past year would be A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. The storytelling is beautiful it involves a bit of everything politics, love, it’s also a bit of a spy-thriller. I’ve also read his more recent book The Lincoln Highway which is just as good.

2. Film

Since both my wife and I are involved in theatre we don’t watch many movies unfortunately, because one of us is in rehearsal! Series are easier. I recently did watch the latest Indiana Jones at the cinema with my son. Not the most intellectually taxing of films, but it was such fun to watch him enjoy one of my childhood heroes. The film wasn’t too bad either!

3. Internet/TV

I’m not a huge ‘Internetarian’ so I’ll go with TV. There’s a fantastic spy series called Slow Horses with Gary Oldman. Besides it being hilarious and totally gripping, there is one very simple scene where he’s chatting to someone while eating a bowl of noodles. I have no recollection of what was said in the scene. But I’ll never forget watching Gary Oldman slurp his way through the whole scene. Brilliant!

4. Music

I like all kinds of music as long it’s not death metal or techno. Recently my daughter created a Spotify playlist for us to share, she called it ‘Spray paint the vegetables’ which is one of my favourite song lyrics from the song Loser by Beck. We’re filling it with music that we both like from the nineties and noughties, so I’ve pretty much got that on shuffle all the time.

5. Place

One of the most surreal places that I’ve ever been to must be the El Tatio Geysers in the Atacama Desert in Chile. They’re at an altitude of 4,300m. You’re woken up at stupid o’clock to get there before sunrise to experience this incredible natural spectacle of hot steam shooting out of the ground. It felt like we were on some other planet! It’s all over once the sun is up, so our guide warmed milk for our coffees inside one of the geysers and we had breakfast! Surreal.