Simone Spiteri: ‘Anxiety isn’t something that can ever go away, it’s part of the fabric of who I am’

Fresh from the success of the acclaimed Repubblika Immakulata which she wrote and directed, playwright and actress Simone Spiteri brought back the theatre company Dù, which she founded in 2004, back on the boards

Simone Spiteri: ‘We can only be responsible for ourselves. And that is already a very challenging feat.’
Simone Spiteri: ‘We can only be responsible for ourselves. And that is already a very challenging feat.’

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

Usually run the day’s plan in my head while encouraging myself to get out of bed. Also - ask myself what’s for breakfast.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Live and let live.

What do you never leave the house without?

Sadly, my phone. I feel limbless without it and it’s not something I like about how we’ve become.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Curious, shy, kind.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

My friendships.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Cheese. Ice cream. Salty, savoury food. Trash TV when I’m stressed.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

We can only be responsible for ourselves. And that is already a very challenging feat.

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

All my travels.

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

Don’t care so much about everything.

Who’s your inspiration?

My family, close friends and people. Simple hard-working individuals with strong values.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Living with anxiety. It’s not something that can ever go away as it’s part of the fabric of who I am. I’m an over-thinker, which is handy in some ways especially as a writer, but mostly challenging because my brain never ever takes a breather.

If you weren’t in Malta’s arts scene, what would you be doing?

Maybe something related to food and travel. A food-travel blogger or writer would be my dream job.

Do you believe in God?

It’s complicated.    

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

Probably my grandparents. All four of them. I miss them and there are so many other questions I’d still have for them, even though I had a very close relationship with them when they were still alive.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my nails, over-thinking.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m the cheapest drunk in the land. Two glasses and I’m done. I’m giggly and hilarious… according to my friends.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Many people have told me I bear a resemblance to British actress Rachel Weisz… which I don’t quite see to be honest – but I’m not complaining. One man once followed me around Covent Garden insisting I was her and that I was denying it to get rid of him. I like her as an actress and I like most of her films so she’d be more than welcome to play me.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Dishonesty, unfairness, attention seekers.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Nothing morose.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My home.

What is your earliest memory?

Sliding down a slide near the edge of a frozen river while visiting my cousins in England. I think I was around two and a half.

When did you last cry?

At curtain call during the matinee of Repubblika Immakulata recently. I didn’t cry, but for a split second I teared up a bit because I was so proud of the whole team and the audience was amazing and loudly cheering them on. They trusted me with my vision and worked so hard for months – they totally deserved it.

Who would you most like to meet?

Donald Glover – I love his writing. A total Renaissance Man.

What’s your favourite food?

Can I say everything? I’ll honestly try anything once. I’m a total foodie, all foods, of all cultures, their method of preparation … I like learning about (and tasting) food.

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

No person in particular. I do follow an inordinate amount of food and travel pages though.

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

A grand tour of all the ancient civilizations.

What book are you reading right now?

A play called The Jungle.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Not worry about everything.

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

Keep being happy. Travel as far and wide as I can. Write meaningful things. Have fun. Keep my family and friends close. Laugh and learn as much as I possible. Live in a house by the sea away from the hustle and bustle.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to music in bursts. I just came out of an intense rehearsal period listening to Brodu, Brikkuni, Stalko, Danjeli on loop – because they were part of the play’s soundtrack. So after plays I often like a period of silence with no music or just background noise I don’t pay attention to.

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

I just put what’s on my playlist on shuffle – it’s a mix of everything, I don’t just like one style.

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What advice would you give anyone interested in getting involved in the Arts in Malta?

Work hard, push the boundaries, don’t be afraid, there’s no need to be liked by everyone, don’t skip learning steps, it’s important to make mistakes.

What should we expect from you in the coming months?

First a break, then a lot of writing projects, a few small theatre projects and my two plays Appuntamenti and Repubblika Immakulata published later on this year through the Malta Book Fund.

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