Everyone’s favourite Jean Valjean stars (as the Bishop this time) in the new Les Misérables movie, and is currently touring a solo show. Here, the 10 things he can’t live without
1 | My awards
I’m really chuffed to have two Doras—one for Phantom and one for Les Miz. And I love the award statue. It’s so beautifully done. Maybe I should keep them out and use them as doorstops. That’s what Gambon does with
2 | My guitar repair kit
My son Aaron, who’s a talented singer-songwriter, gave it to me to use when I’m on the road. It’s great for making quick
3 | My notepad
Jessica Tandy came to see Les Miz a few times, and I got to know her quite well. She gave me a beautiful leather notebook as a gift.
4 | My favourite guitar
When I was leaving the Broadway run of Les Miz in ’87, this was one of the gifts the cast gave me. It’s an Ovation Special Series, which is quite expensive. I was so taken by it. Contrary to popular belief, most actors aren’t paid a lot.
5 | My candlesticks
I bought these in Waterford, Ireland, because I thought the twisted wood was just beautiful, but candlesticks also have symbolic meaning for me. In Les Misérables, the Bishop hands candlesticks to Valjean as a sign of faith, and Valjean keeps them with him the whole time. Playing the Bishop now in the movie, I feel like I’m handing the baton to Hugh Jackman, who’s playing Valjean.
6 | My Hirschfelds
I have two: one of me as Valjean, the other of me as the Phantom, which was a gift from Garth Drabinsky. It’s quite an honour to have Hirschfeld sketch you. I don’t know what they’re worth. I don’t bother finding out.
7 | My wall clock
I like that it’s made by a company called Wilkinson. It was given to me by my friend John McColgan, the producer of Riverdance. It was hanging in his house in Ireland when my wife, Deirdre, and I were staying with him. I remarked on it, and then we went out for a walk. By the time we came back, it had been bubble wrapped and put in the trunk of our car!
8 | My music stand
It was a gift from the Phantom cast. I use it every day when I’m rehearsing. The cast and crew were all such incredible people.
9 | My swim gear
I swim every day—it’s great, low-impact exercise (though my two boys tease me that “floating isn’t a swim stroke”). I’m fortunate enough to have a pool in my backyard that I use in the summer. In colder months I use the indoor pool around the corner at the Leaside
10 | My countrymen
My anthology of Irish literature is full of incredible authors: Beckett, Joyce, Shaw. Seamus Heaney, my favourite poet, is in here, as is William Butler Yeats, another of my favourites. Now and then I dip into it and just knock myself out.