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ALL RISE FOR ANTONY COSTA!

Published by: Kirstie Niland on 3rd Jul 2015 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland

TOMMY, Blackpool Opera House

12th-26th September

The announcement that Blue’s Antony Costa is to star in rock opera Tommy when it premieres in Blackpool is exciting news for North West fans. However they should prepare themselves because this role means no more Mr Nice Guy. For the boy band hearthrob is playing Tommy’s sadistic Cousin Kevin who bullies and tortures the deaf, dumb and blind pinball player.

And he can’t wait to get started. “People know me for being the Cockney boy, Jack the Lad, so this is out of my comfort zone,” says Antony. “If I can pull it off and do it to the best of my ability it’s another string to my bow. If you’re given the chance to play a different character you have got to audition. You’ve got to be able to act and not be stereotypical. Be resolute. I don’t want to get parts off the back of my name. For Tommy I have to play a psycho really well and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it.”

This is definitely a step away from the norm as Antony is more often seen in wholesome roles - such as Aladdin at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. Coincidentally this is the very same location Pinball Wizard was filmed in the 1975 movie version of Tommy, a number Antony performs in the show. Even more prophetic is that Antony plays the character made famous by the show’s director, stage and screen star Paul Nicholas. “Paul auditioned me, and I’m looking forward to him giving me advice. I will take everything he says on board.”

Born Antony Daniel Costa on 23rd June 1981, the 34-year-old singer/songwriter began his career in TV as a young boy playing pupils in Grange Hill and Chalk. In his late teens Blue was born, and his focus turned to music. Over the ensuing years Antony has done reality TV, modelling and the Eurovision Song Contest. Theatrical success began in the West End, 2006, when he starred as Mickey Johnstone alongside Maureen Nolan. In 2007 he played Roddy in Boogie Nights opposite Alvin Stardust. Then in 2010 he became Cal in POPSTAR the Musical. This Christmas he’s back in panto as Prince Charming at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre.

Meanwhile the boys from Blue are still going strong. Currently on tour promoting their album Colours they’ve just returned from Japan. So many bands have short-lived success, what is the bond that keeps the Blue boys together? “Laughter and friendship,” he says. “Come on the road with us for a couple of days and you’ll see we are worn out from laughter. If one of us is feeling down the other three picks us up. We love each other to death. We’ve always had respect for each other, it’s about staying together but letting each other do other things, encouraging and supporting each other” explains Antony. “When we started out we were non-stop for five years, we only had Christmas and Boxing Day off. You don’t get tired, you get drained. In 2005 we sat down and said we’re not enjoying it, let’s take six months off, let’s chill and do other things. That turned into six years."

It seems Antony has always been a bit of thespian at heart: “I got into acting first but you just don’t know where things are going to take you when you’re 17 or 18 – and 16 years later I’m doing another show and still gigging with the boys. It’s nice to combine the two. A lot of people think if one of us is doing something else then the band must have split up but look at Gary Barlow and Take That. It’s good to do other things, it keeps your mind active, and I don’t want to live with regrets and think I wish I’d done this or done that. I can’t wait to get on that stage and be someone else for a couple of weeks.”

It will be great to see Antony back up North again too. Blue were a huge draw at the 80s v 90s night at last year’s Lytham Proms (even though Blue are from the noughties!) Before that Antony’s last trip to Lancashire was in 2010 for a gig in Preston, before travelling through the night to Gatwick to find out who his surprise fellow guests would be in Channel 4's Celebrity Five Go To Turkey. “That was a wicked show! Russell Grant was there so it was nice to see a friendly face.” Out of his housemates Antony got on best with Russell and former 80s wildchild, Emma Ridley, now famous in LA for her Goddess Fitness Dance studios. “Emma’s a Piscean, Russell is an Aquarian and I’m Cancer,” he says. “All water signs. I’m not that into astrology but you have to listen. Russell did my astrological chart years before the show and said he knew I was coming to Turkey!”

Blackpool certainly seems written in the stars for Antony. Tommy looks set to be a sell-out, and Boogie nights also premiered in Blackpool. “Haha yes there is a bit of Blackpool vibe going on!” he admits.  “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to a few parties there with Blackpool’s own Nolans, we used to have a right old craic.”

Now a father and engaged to dental nurse Rosanna Jasmin, Antony has put his wild days firmly behind him and is dedicated to family life. “I love to share my experiences and say Mum, Dad, Fiancée, baby – this is what I do.” All the Blue boys have children now, and recent Rat Pack style promotional shots reflect their album’s chilled lounge/Motown feel and a more mature, Hollywood image. Could a movie role be on the cards?

“You never know! My film heroes are Pacino and De Niro. I love their presence and performance. Robin Williams was an amazing actor. I played an extra in Secret Agent when I was about 12 and he was ridiculously good. I told him and he said “thanks man, thank you” in his Genie voice from Aladdin. My dream stage role would be Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys. Who knows after Tommy but as long as I’m auditioning and working I’m cool.”

So what would Antony’s advice be to anyone starting out? “Keep going. Learn your trade and work hard at it. Make sure you’ve got thick skin - and enjoy what you do.”

Last but not least, the most important question of all. Has he ever been on the Big One? “No but it’s got to be done,” he laughs.

Despite growing up near Blackpool I confess that neither have I. “That’s dreadful,” Antony says, “We’ll have to put that right! We'll do it together, I’ll meet you on the Big One in September!”

It’s a deal :-)

Tommy the film, based on The Who’s 1969 album, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Directed by Ken Russell it starred the band members, with lead singer Roger Daltrey in the title role, alongside Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Elton John and Jack Nicholson. Antony will appear in the stage version at Blackpool Opera House with X-Factor winner Joe McElderry as Tommy.

For tickets prices and bookings go to www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk

 Photograph courtesy of Winter Gardens Blackpool

 

Comments

4 Comments

  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 2 years ago
    Really nice interview.
  • Kirstie Niland
    by Kirstie Niland 2 years ago
    Thank you :-) Yes I did - really nice guy. Be great to see him in Tommy after chatting about what a different type of role it is for him.
  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 2 years ago
    Sorry, I edited my comment because I found out that it was an interview and you commented on my former comment. Anyway, really well done. Loved reading it.
  • Kirstie Niland
    by Kirstie Niland 2 years ago
    Thank you Caroline, that's kind of you to say. Sorry for the delay replying, I didn't see the notification until now. Just read your review of Spitfire Grill and really enjoyed it. In fact it has spurred me on to buy the book!
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