Louiselle Vassallo: ‘Kindness is key. Pay it forward, I say’

Maltese acting veteran Louiselle Vassallo tells all in our Q&A, ahead of her return to the stage in Masquerade’s contemporary take on The Accidental Death of an Anarchist

The actress is back following a break from performing to focus on her media career. This November, Louiselle Vassallo returns to the stage in Masquerade’s contemporary take on The Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo. Vassallo has been active in the theatre for the past 30 years, having played a variety of characters in comedies, musicals and pantos, as well as the occasional part in more sober dramatic productions.

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

Put my specs on. Make a coffee.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t say more, when you can say it in less. Keep it simple.

What do you never leave the house without?

My contact lenses and a sense of irony.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Observant, pensive and short.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I’m still getting there.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Lie-ins on weekends and decent wine (thanks to my partner). Not simultaneously, though.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That kindness is key. Pay it forward, I say.

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

My sofa.

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

To trust my instinct more often.

Who’s your inspiration?

My late parents: my mother was an awesome superwoman, with the most wonderful sense of humour, and my father was a kind, hard-working, gentle man, who never had a bad word to say about anyone.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Accepting that there are some things that one cannot change.

If you weren’t an actress/TV personality what would you be doing?      

What I am doing – research and activism.

Do you believe in God?  

I believe in Science (although, I wish I had paid more attention at school).

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

Too many to choose from – I’ll go with Stephen Fry, for now.

What’s your worst habit?

Smoking.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Sleepy.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Maggie Smith – I’ll have to get to old age for a film about me to be made.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A manipulative personality.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations and Abide with me.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My mother’s engagement ring.

What is your earliest memory?

As a three-year-old, reluctantly (understatement) being shoved onto the school van on my first day of school

When did you last cry, and why?

This year, on August 9th, the day after my father’s funeral.

Who would you most like to meet?

There are many people I admire. Perhaps Kim Longinotto – she’s a documentary film-maker who focuses on strong, rebellious women.

What’s your favourite food?

Italian – I know that’s vague, but there are too many dishes to choose from.

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

Anybody who does not post every single inane thing they do.

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

The roaring 20s, New York… although, as a woman, I would rather not travel back in time.

What book are you reading right now?

Teaching critical thinking – practical wisdom by Bell Hooks.

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

Invisibility.

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

Give a home to a couple of donkeys.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Anything that’s playing on Classic FM (courtesy of Campus FM).

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

In the shower, nothing… and on my walks (that’s my workout), I chat.

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