The Curious Interview: Ryan Sampson
Ryan Sampson is both an actor and a writer and manages to do both of those things brilliantly. He is probably best known as Grumio in the British sitcom Plebs but has also been in Doctor Who, Glitchy (a show he created himself), The Frankenstein Chronicles (which he is currently filming the second season of), Up The Women and The Work Experience to mention just a few... and that doesn't even cover his theatre roles which have ranged from musicals, comedy and new writing.
Ryan is a tour de force, hugely talented, quick witted, endlessly curious and constantly creative - aka the perfect Curious Interview subject!
The Curious Interview with Ryan Sampson
What are you most curious about?
How people work, why people do the things that they do - I think psychology is often why people are actors. We are curious about the machinations of people.
I'm curious about why I want to do the things I want to. I've been going to a hypnotherapist recently because I think there are certain things which are quite malleable inside people. If you have certain inclinations towards things for example then you could either amplify or change things so I thought I'd give that a go.
It's been really interesting, they use your own words to spin the beliefs or perspectives you have. It's quite gentle but afterwards you think 'ooh that was quite fascinating'.
How does your curiosity serve your creativity?
If you're a writer and actor, your curiosity is basically all you've got, so it massively affects my creativity. It drives you mad sometimes because you're always picking at things. I have one of those minds that is a bit annoyingly niggly about things, I will obsess over stuff. I'll write an idea because of something that I've overheard in a conversation that then balloons into something, a sort of obsession.
Recently I started writing a radio play about a mother who removed herself and her children from modern life and preserved this innocent, 1940's style of world for them, free from any modern influence. That all came from a lyric I heard that was about a girl who lives on a marshland.
What inspires you?
Being outside, which I am not often enough being an actor and writer. I do try and work outside sometimes but my papers blow away... I think humans have a natural reset button inside them which can be pushed by certain things like being surrounded by...I read how Green as a colour has a strong significance for people as when we feel we are in fertile places our bodies can relax, we're programmed that way.
I am also very inspired by travelling, I went to India in January which was amazing and really eye opening. There are a lot of people who are just happy, arbitrarily. Part of their culture is about keeping the people around them happy. They have a saying which translates as "A Guest is God" so any stranger, foreigner or not, they just talk to them and it makes them a very friendly group of people.
How would you describe your style?
I used to dress really eccentrically and recently I've stopped doing it. I've been debating with myself whether that's a shame or not but I think because other things have taken precedence, like my writing, you just want to be able to do that. I want more functional things, maybe that's about getting older too.
10 years ago fashion was much more exuberant, certainly for men and now it is much more functional. I'm all about a good solid basic in 4 different colours right now.
I reach for a more 'eccentric' piece when it has a memory attached to it or story. For example had a dressing gown and some shirts made in India in beautiful Sari materials. The shirt maker I found made really quite boring, conventional shirts so I went to a Sari shop and bought the silk to take to him. He wasn't very happy but they're so nice.
I like vintage details, Ties that belonged to my Dad, a belt that was made by the company that make pieces for the Queen's Horseguards. I like little details that I am a bit more attached to.
What do you particularly like about Wool & Water?
I like that you make them - the pieces, the packaging, it all has a strong personal identity. That's what I mean by choosing things that have personal significance, if you know where it comes from it feels like it has a lasting value, whereas so many things nowadays don't. I like the narrative behind the label, knowing your story behind it.
Ryan's Wool & Water piece of choice are the Blue & Red Braces/Suspenders
Follow Ryan's adventures on Twitter and Instagram via @MrRyanSampson