Mario Micallef: ‘I would have loved to be a professional footballer or a piano player’

Veteran actor Mario Micallef tells all in our Q&A

Active for the past 50 years, veteran actor Mario Micallef needs no introduction. Versatile and extensively experienced on stage, TV and radio, Micallef is also an accomplished director and producer. In 1988 he set up the Talenti Theatrical Company, making his mark with numerous one-man shows at the Saint James Cavalier, and Shakespeare plays in Maltese at the Manoel Theatre. Micallef was voted best male actor at the Malta TV Awards in 1998, the first edition, for his role of Dun Grejbel the adaptation of Oliver Friggieri’s ‘It-Tfal Jiġu bil-Vapuri. Micallef was honoured with the Medal for Service to the Republic in 2010.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

The first thing I do, sacrosanctly, is make myself a cup of tea.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice which was passed on to me and which I adhere to closely is to remain humble and grounded despite the successes one might have achieved in life.

What do you never leave the house without?

I never leave the house without my mobile phone.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Ambitious, honest and true to my word.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

When back in 2010, I was awarded the Medal for Service to the Republic as a tribute to my contribution to Maltese theatre.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Secretly eating sweets while watching evening TV!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To live every day to the full as if it were my last and to not plan too far ahead.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Golden bracelet and ring.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That youth is but a fleeting moment.

Who’s your inspiration?

The late Prof. Oliver Friggieri.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My interpretation of Dante in the one-man show, Divina Commedia.

If you weren’t an actor what would you be doing?

Professional footballer or piano player.     

Do you believe in God?

Yes, undoubtedly.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Robert De Niro.

What’s your worst habit?

I re-check doors and locks before I go out more than once.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m not in the habit of getting drunk.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Sir Anthony Hopkins.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I dislike individuals who are dishonest.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ as I believe that the choices I have made in life have always been to my best intention.

What is your most treasured material possession?

A gold watch gifted to me by my late uncle.

What is your earliest memory?

Playing with marbles and football in the street where I lived with my brothers and friends.

When did you last cry, and why?

Very recently, when I learnt of the passing of a dear friend and outstanding actress, Karmen Azzopardi.

Who would you most like to meet?

The Pope.

What’s your favourite food?

All types of pasta.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Ronnie O’Sullivan.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I’d travel back in time when Jesus roamed the Earth.

What book are you reading right now?


If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

I’d like to perform a two-hander play with my grandson.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Neapolitan classical music.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?