The Times, 1st January 2005

How the fit and fabulous stay that way: Julian Rhind-Tutt

Actor Julian Rhind-Tutt, 36, works hard at sitting still - marshmallows for breakfast don't help.

Interview: Anna Shephard

You played a surgeon, Dr Mac McCartney, in Green Wing. Do you take your health seriously?
I try to balance my hypochondria with levity. To prepare for Green Wing, we watched several operations, which made me aware of the robustness of the body. It’s extraordinary to watch a surgeon plunge his hands into a patient and hold up organs as if he was lifting socks from the washing.

Have to brush up on your bedside manner? We tried to look as if we just about knew what we were doing aside from our lack of mask wearing. We were given pointers on stitching techniques but the emphasis was on the comic rather than the medical.

Were you ever mistaken for the real thing? Frequently. We filmed in the corridors and operating theatres of Basingstoke NHS hospital, so we’d be hanging around in the thick of the action. After being asked the way to the urology department a couple of times we realised the potential to cause medical havoc but managed to resist.

Some doctors have been known to be fond of booze and fags. Fit in well? Ha! Once, but not any more. I don’t drink heavily or smoke these days. Actors are often portrayed as hell-raisers but the reality is usually less exciting.

If you were ill, green tea or your GP? I’d drink green tea all the way to the GP.

What about alternative therapy? I had acupuncture once for a muscular problem. It didn’t work, but it was a very positive experience. I’ve absolute faith that it could work for other things.

You’ve also been working on a mockumentary about women addicted to their vibrators. Sounds hilarious. It will be. The film’s called Rabbit Fever and it’s about women who end up going to Rabbit Anonymous meetings to cope with their addiction to the infamous Rampant Rabbit vibrator. I play the uptight husband of a woman coping with her habit.

Any experience of addiction? Let’s just say it’s been interesting to explore the process of addiction and therapy.

You often play the smooth talking dandy in Brit-flicks; how are your chat up lines? Not great. It’s not really me, I’ve just fallen into playing the womanising type. Now I’m older and wiser, I’m sticking with doing it on screen.

Are you hot on looking cool? I do shampoo my hair every day. I was teased in Green Wing for looking like a girl and fiddling with it all the time. In fact, keeping it long is a cunning way of covering my big ears.

Any pressure to stay young in the acting world? The great thing about being a man is that you have the opportunity to play interesting parts at any age. Women suffer from having a window of opportunity in their twenties and then often nothing until their late forties.

Physical comedy must keep you on your toes. Are you fit? I fluctuate between going to the gym and telling myself that I can rely on my naturally toned body.

Champagne or soya milk in the fridge? Champagne, definitely. And margharitas, if there’s room. Does that ruin the “I’m not a heavy drinker” thing I was going for?

What tempts the tastebuds? I love red meat. I like to think that steak and vegetables compensate for the packets of marshmallows that I have for breakfast.

Any other vices? I have a very, very sweet tooth. I used to eat a Mars bar a day; now I have more general methods of sugar delivery. Cake, ice-cream — any way I can get it.

Comedy must be draining. How do you unwind? I don’t. I have a high metabolism that never allows me to consciously relax. I never think: “I’m very tired tonight. I should probably unwind with a nice glass of merlot.”

Do you exercise the soul? Listening to music is probably the closest I get.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? My high metabolism. I’m up at 7am thinking: “A new day, how exciting! What can I do?”

The secret to being healthy, wealthy, wise? Luck

Any New Year resolutions? I make resolutions daily and usually don’t keep them, so I wouldn’t set much store by today’s.

What makes you happy? Apart from sex? Chocolate, and my girlfriend, Tara.

The Rotters’ Club will be shown on BBC Two at the end of January

Original Article