Karl Schembri: ‘Do your utmost to be the best version of yourself, any time and everyday’

Actor and writer Karl Schembri tells all in our Q&A

Besides his full-time job, Karl is an actor who also writes and produces his own work. He started his acting journey at the age of 15 when he attended drama courses at the Malta Drama Centre and Freespirit Acting drama school. His most famous role to date is Ciccio Spada from Deċeduti. He also wrote, produced, directed and starred in various theatrical productions including those chosen as finalists in the Cospicua Short Play Festivals 2020, 2021 and 2022. Karl attained three Distinctions and one Merit in LAMDA Grade 4, Trinity Guildhall Grade 7, MQF Level 5 Diploma in Drama and Acting, and Trinity Guildhall Grade 5 examinations respectively. This year he is playing a lead role in a theatrical play he wrote and is also co-producing entitled Bank il-Għażż, which shall take place at the Black Studio, Malta School of Drama and Dance, Pietà from 20 to 24 September. Tickets can be purchased from https://www.showshappening.com/Bank-Il-Ghazz/tickets.

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

I press snooze to win another 15 minutes of sleep – yeah like that will be of any help!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

‘Do your utmost to be the best version of yourself, any time and everyday’.

What do you never leave the house without?

An adequately charged mobile phone, and most of the time, my backpack.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Worrier, sensitive, passionate.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I believe my greatest achievement is every time I summon up the courage to triumph over any deep -rooted insecurities and stretch my comfort zone. For example, when I decided to embark on challenging acting roles or to write and produce my own work.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Chocolate, diet soft drinks and watching brainless cheesy comedy movies to unwind.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Nothing is to be taken for granted and some people do not deserve an ounce of your energy and concern. Also, you can give people the world, but if you are too good and it turns out to be unworthy for them to like you, you should not expect to have your feelings reciprocated. Hence, most problems are not worth pondering upon and one should learn how to prioritise concerns and keep on living in the best way possible – a concept I am yet to fully embrace.

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

I am definitely not a big spender but I consider my camera kit to be one of the most expensive things I ever bought.

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

I wish I kept on practicing and further indulging in art. On another note, I wish I knew how to worry less, live more and not be too good.

Who’s your inspiration?

Without a doubt, Jim Carrey has been my childhood hero and I still look up to him till this very day. As a child I used to watch his films and documentaries with undivided attention and enthusiasm. He kept on persevering and rose against all odds via an insane belief in his abilities to make a living out of being an actor. His acting versatility also inspires me in my contribution to the entertainment industry.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Learning how to be confident and mature enough to distinguish between noteworthy and insignificant thoughts, comments/feedback and attitudes (an almost everyday struggle).

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

It is hard to say since nothing interests me as much as the art of writing and acting. However, since I am fond of filmmaking, I would be a more technology savvy filmmaker/editor.


Do you believe in God?

I believe in the existence of something much more superior to us which is beyond our comprehension. I would be arrogant to confirm or deny His existence.


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

Rowan Atkinson


What’s your worst habit?

Wasting time indulging in an endless YouTube video watching spree.


What are you like when you’re drunk?

I tend to loosen up and be talkative and fun.


Who would you have play you in a film?

Judging from my big stature I think that the most apt actors would be either two of my favourites, Vince Vaughn or Will Ferrell.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

The older I get the more the list of traits I most deplore in others expands. A trait that encapsulates all the other negative traits is arrogance.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

It’s not a question I think much about but if I had to pick up a song that would be ‘Silk’ by Wolf Alice.

What is your most treasured material possession?

At the moment, my camera.

What is your earliest memory?

I remember I was about five years old crying my eyes out during the school assembly as the teacher had not arrived yet.

When did you last cry, and why?

Honestly, I do not cry a lot, not that there’s something wrong with it. In fact, for so long I have been promising myself to let go and cry, but unfortunately the feeling does not come naturally to me. The last time I shed a tear or two was when I was opening up about my deep-rooted struggles and insecurities.

Who would you most like to meet?

Many persons come to mind, but I would pick Jim Carrey reason being that I have met him many times before… in my dreams!

What’s your favourite food?


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

Arron Crascall, he cracks me up every time.


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

Mid-80s to early 90s (I was born in 1991 but I would love to experience those times as a grown-up)


What book are you reading right now?

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

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

Flying and invisibility.

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

Write and play a lead in a highly successful television series or film.

What music are you listening to now?

Dire Straits songs particularly Money for Nothing.

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

Depends on the mood and what song is stuck in my head at the moment.