In the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series – where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way – we’re posing some of the big questions to JULIAN OVENDEN.
Best known for his role as Lady Mary’s suitor Charles Blake in ‘Downton Abbey’, Julian has also starred on Broadway and in the West End, as well as having an international career as a concert and recording artist.
To mark the release of his album ‘Be My Love’, Julian talks to HuffPost UK about the wonder of the breakfast table, and the hardest lesson he’s had to learn along the way…
What do you do to switch off from the world?
I try and do as much yoga as possible. Being naturally unbendy, it takes all my mental strength, and I stop thinking about everything else.
How do you deal with negativity?
Try and not let it takeover. It’s hard to be positive all the time. I like the Chinese proverb, ‘You can’t stop the birds of sorry flying over your head, but don’t let them build a nest in your hair.’
When and where are you happiest?
With my children. At the breakfast table.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t bother to imitate others. The answer is within yourself.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Trusting that I’m enough. And that nobody will do the work for you.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Breathe. Enjoy every day. Concentrate on happiness rather than success.
What 3 things are at the top of your to-do list?
Go to India. Write a film. Teach my son to ski.
What do you think happens when we die?
Something of your spirit lives on. That what you strived for, achieved, stood for, has some resonance beyond your life.
When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
In the mountains. Or on stage.
What do you try to bring your relationships?
Honesty. Patience. Humour.
What keeps you grounded?
My family. Walking the dog every day.
What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?
My daughter shared her Easter egg. Very unusual.
Julian’s new album ‘Be My Love’ is released on 22 April on Warner Music, available for pre-order at Amazon.co.uk.
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