Joseph Zammit: ‘God? Very difficult for a student of history to believe in one’

The professional actor, tenor and history graduate Joseph Zammit has played numerous leads in various musicals and operas and performed in Shakespeare plays, pantos, burlesques and tragedies. He recently took the lead role in The Jew Of Malta

Joseph Zammit, right (Photo: Jacob Sammut)
Joseph Zammit, right (Photo: Jacob Sammut)

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

Have a cappuccino.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Nanna’s words, “Alla tak warrani kbir u sabieh, uzah biex tistma n-nies fih”.

What do you never leave the house without?

Clothes. Preferably on me.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Loud, loud and I would also say, loud.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Playing a new original character in a new musical that I would love, which was ‘HUSH’ earlier this year.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

PS4, as I spend more time playing games than I reasonably should.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That friends and good company are what make it worthwhile.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My car, Eva.

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

That I’ll eventually find people who’ll get me.

Who’s your inspiration?

Hate to sound cheesy as they’re local, but it’s Malcolm and Angele Galea. The fact that they are a happy family and make a living by working in the arts sector full-time pushed me to try do so myself.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Pluto in ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’. It was my first lead in an opera, but luckily my sister was also playing lead, so she made the stress a bit more bearable.

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

Probably writing papers and doing research on history, or an archivist in a museum.

Do you believe in God?

Very difficult for a student of history to believe in one.

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

Freddy Mercury. He has been my idol since childbirth and I would imagine it would be a blast.

What’s your worst habit?

I really enjoy being lazy sometimes.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Quite tipsy is the worst I’ve gotten. Though predictably, I just get louder.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Jeremy Jordan, I guess, as I like his voice. In no way am I implying that we look alike though.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Brawn over brain.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

A classy cello quartet. Or Viking Metal. Either or.

What is your most treasured material possession?

As weird as it may sound, an old ps1 game called Suikoden 2.

What is your earliest memory?

Swimming with my mother in Birzebbuga.

When did you last cry?

Three weeks ago. Script demanded it.

Who would you most like to meet?

Right now? Stephen Sondheim.

What’s your favourite food?

Cannelloni.

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

Not really a social media kind of guy.

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

Temporarily? Renaissance Italy. Permanently? Anywhere where modern medicine is a thing.

What book are you reading right now?

‘When Will Jesus Bring The Pork-Chops’ – George Carlin.

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

Stopping time.

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

Maybe write something resembling a musical one day.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Sondheim’s ‘Company’ soundtrack.

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

I’m not really a shower-singer, though, on the few occasions where I do work out, a variety of heavy metal songs usually help.

You’ve been in over 50 productions in the last seven years, both in Malta and abroad, what are the challenges of living such a hectic life?

Having to sacrifice social time and activities, and having some good friends mock you for it.

 

TELL US

If you could play one character for the rest of your life, who would you choose, and why?

Oh so many options. Sweeney Todd, MC in Cabaret, Benedick from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. So many options.

What advice would you give anyone interested in becoming an actor in Malta?

Don’t simply be an actor, be an artist. Don’t simply wait for an acting job. Write, direct, try different venues and styles. Not only would it give you more options professionally , but it would also make the work overall more rewarding.

You are currently taking part in The Jew of Malta, what should we expect from you in the coming months?

After The Jew of Malta will be done, I will be taking part in Teatru Malta’s ‘Gawgaw, Panto in the Dark’, and after that, I actually have nothing planned. I might give going abroad for a while a shot. We’ll see about that.

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