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  • Writer's pictureFrancisco Mahfuz

E3. The Spy's Son Who Became Superman's Enemy with Ralph Lister

Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.

Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.

Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host Francisco foods. My guest today is Ralph Liston. Ralph has made his name acting on independent films and on the stage, but he's also worked with some of Hollywood's biggest stars. His last major role was in the blockbuster movie Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice. In the past seven years, Ralph has also been writing and directing audiobooks, and has recorded over 300 titles and directed $30 This conversation was great fun. If you enjoy it, please leave us an iTunes review. And I'll be happy to take all the credit. If you hate it, just leave it on Ralph. He's good looking rich and famous. He can take one for the team. Ladies and gentlemen, Ralph Lister.

Ralph Lister 1:47

Hello, Francisco and how very nice to be here with you on this podcast.

Francisco Mahfuz 1:51

Welcome to the show, Ralph. How are you doing, sir?

Ralph Lister 1:54

Yeah, Daddy has been busy.

Francisco Mahfuz 1:59

I think it's probably safe if you and I agree that the daddy nickname shouldn't come back during this interview. Mike, just let people into the secret that you and I know each other a little bit.

Ralph Lister 2:14

Very well. So I have to be serious actor. Now.

Francisco Mahfuz 2:19

I wanted to start by by telling you that every year on my birthday, my mother likes to remind me that I was born at 9:30pm. At Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Where exactly were you born? Ralph.

Ralph Lister 2:36

It's a strange story. First of all, I was not meant to be a boy. But I meant to be a girl because my mother ran over a bicyclist in New Delhi. And she slightly impaled her pregnant self on the steering wheel and elevated my heartbeat. And in those days, which was 10,000 years ago, it feels like an elevated heartbeat in a soon to be born. They thought it would be a girl. And no, I was a boy. And I understand that I was born on the desk of the British High Commissioner in Delhi because it was a bit urgent, fast. I was actually child number four. And I think it'll happen rather quickly. And I think it may I rather suspect that the Labour began on the desk of the High Commissioner in

Francisco Mahfuz 3:25

what was your mother doing in the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom in Delhi? Well,

Ralph Lister 3:33

that's a very fine question.

Francisco Mahfuz 3:36

I'm not sure we need to.

Ralph Lister 3:40

Let's, I

Francisco Mahfuz 3:42

know I can't doubt my mind. Because I think I think in in storytelling, jargon that is called immediate rests. So you that is the middle of the action. Something happened before that, because your father wasn't the High Commissioner.

Ralph Lister 3:57

No, he was not. In fact, it was in Delhi that he was recruited. And I can say this now because it's been so many, many, many years that he was actually recruited into our our overseas intelligence service, otherwise known as EMI six, and he was actually recruited in Delhi. At that point soon after I was born soon enough to have had most of the childhood diseases all inside of about six months. We bet we went back to London, and he began his training there at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. And then his adventures began as a intelligence gatherer.

Francisco Mahfuz 4:30

So your father was a spy? Yes. Okay. Okay. Well, that is probably a story for another day. But but you you're not sure of adventures yourself. I mean, how many? How many countries did you go through in the first sort of 15 years of your life?

Ralph Lister 4:51

Oh, goodness, it was so many because not only was I travelling to wherever my parents were located, but I was fairly vigorous in my own desire to travel, either already with my parents travelled most over a great deal of, of Europe by the age of 15. The Adventures began shortly thereafter, 16 I hitchhiked to Rome, and back through France. And I was an exchange student to Germany and my later life. Often it was also later on perhaps in my 20s, my young 20s in Spain. But while at university, I, you know, the Greek islands, Eastern Europe, Turkey, I was caught in the 1980 military coup inside Turkey in the actually in the eastern part of Turkey. And I remember being getting out of our taxi and seeing a truckload of soldiers who immediately herded us into our hotel, and we were under lockdown there for a few days. But that was another wild adventure that alone, I remember being on the Russian border and doing a silly dance insight of the Russian Observation Towers in the distance and giving them the V sign and that is not the V for Victory sign. The other side, I

Francisco Mahfuz 6:16

will be there with you.

Ralph Lister 6:18

And being a very silly, young man full of joy and adventure during university at Durham when I was doing a very high class, and shall we say classical degree in modern history and which I enjoy and still enjoy today, which continues to make me a follower of world news. And I continue to listen to the BBC, BBC World Service on a daily basis. So I really can't say I mean, you know, kindergarten in Vienna, in Austria. My father's next posting was to a country then called Rhodesia. Today, probably. Then we were in South Africa for a little while. Interestingly, my father's birthplace and country of origin, he's a natural, he wasn't actually my father's been doing for 25 years. He was a naturalised South African, and it became British studies. And so we were in South Africa for six months. And then went off to he was posted to Indonesia, which is was an online state then, as they were called. And the Russians were busy loaning the Indonesian government all kinds of aviation equipment, and military hardware, which my father duly went about stealing. And we had many an adventure on the islands surrounding Java. My father was, as you would expect from a man in his line of work was quite bold, let's just say. And we had rented an island for all of I think it was 25 US dollars a year from the Indonesian government. But we stayed largely with a an old German refugee, let's call him a man who had settled on an island and built a beautiful house of coral and cement. And he had two dogs, and it was beautiful. It was like a, I mean, it was truly a paradise. This is the early 17th, which is an awful long time ago, which gives you an idea who else venerable I am. After Indonesia, it was back to England for a bit back to London, which I've always call my, my home. Really, in the UK, though, I love to consider Oxford to be now my home, where my parents moved to, and where they had various houses over the years, and I love Oxford. But then we went to Kenya. And now I'm in my teens and, you know, true to form, camping trips, safaris, expeditions that went spectacularly wrong, almost disastrous, you know, stuck in the mountains with absolutely nothing to eat, but tonnes of water because we were trailing a trailer that contained all the water we needed. But the other car in our, in our group, which we'd become separated from had all the food. It was just classic. So that was all before I was age 17. Have you

Francisco Mahfuz 9:25

have you ever written about this stuff? Or has your father has anyone in your family haven't really well?

Ralph Lister 9:31

It would, I mean, I do have a really good basis of a memoir or two. But I there might be a time when I'm not too busy to if not write a memoir, right kind of some sort of story. So that's that's possibly to come.

Francisco Mahfuz 9:51

So let's talk about some of the stuff that has captured so busy, because I understand it most of the stuff we've been doing for the last few years that the The audio books has have been the biggest focus in the last few years. So this is something I'm always very curious about because I listen to a fair number of audiobooks, and having absolutely no voice talent whatsoever, it always baffles me how none of the reading of it is not anywhere near as easy as a lot of people think it is. But but the voices, so So what I wanted to ask you is, how does? Or how do you particularly prepare for that? I mean, how do you so you get a commission for a book? And then you find out how many characters that are we now what what does that process look like?

Ralph Lister 10:39

Well, the first thing you got to do is read the book and get a good handle on obviously, the storyline. And the characters, the the characters that are in the book will, if the writer will give you all kinds of clues that you are looking for, what kind of personality they are, what kind of characteristics they have, what is their overriding, shall we say, attitude or approach? You know, are they bossy? Are they mischievous? Are they indignant? Are they afraid? Are they are they old? Are they young? Are they even human? I've read a character which was a female ice monster. I'm not sure how you do a male ice monster to be different from a female ice monster.

Francisco Mahfuz 11:33

I think I think a friend of mine has married one of those.

Ralph Lister 11:37

But going back to your question of how do you how do you find a voice for a character and as I said, the the writing will convey a lot. Often times though, not as much as you might like, so you have to be inventive for at least the obligation of an audiobook narrator is to make the book as as interesting, listen, where possible, as it's possible. For your listener, you don't want a boring read, you have to find a, a an authentic voice for those characters, that serves the purpose that serves the script that you have to find a voice that is is fair, is is is is but is alive and is attractive and interesting to hear. While not being sentimental, and yet always being you know, vocalising clearly, even if you put on an accent, or if you engage an emotion in your read, which is often a very necessary part of scenes in books, you can imagine the situation you're, you're in, you're in the room, the the young boy is lying next to his dying mother. He's whimpering. A doctor comes in and aren't approaches. There's a tension as a dynamic, there's a there's a tenderness you'd need to add to that. And you do that, in some ways, exactly as I'm doing. Now, you, you slow down, you take your time, you find the right moments, you give the the voice, the right emphasis, the right volume, perhaps it's very, very soft. And you have to know how to manipulate your microphone. To to, to get that and my skill and experience and training as an actor, larger as a stage actor, and later as a film actor, of course, lends itself very much to this. So it enables me to, as actors do fully empathise with the character that is, in this circumstance in this situation. And of course, it doesn't always have to be tragic, or it can be joyful and explosive for awkward, which is always delicious. You know, it could be a man or a woman because I read all the women of course that appear in the books as much as I read the men and boys and creatures or monsters or fairies that might appear. I read every single character and I adjust my voice very slightly, I lighten it for the women, I will age my voice for the characters. All of this then creates an environment that will keep the listener engaged and interested and at the end of the chapter, when the perhaps they have to pause to get on with their life instead of listening while they're doing their gardening or driving or working out at the gym or whenever and wherever they listen, perhaps falling asleep, falling asleep in bed sometimes they'll pause the the audiobook at the end of the chapter or wherever they choose to. And they have the come away having felt that They were there in that book, in that place in that room with you, and you're acting as the guide to this, it has, it does take quite a bit of skill though. I apologise I say that myself, I have to make little audio files of, of the voices I give. So when they reappear, I can reference them. So I have continuity and of the character work. And that's very important.

I read some very large works. I say large because they're very long, James Ravel's Shogun, and James close Taipan, and that was 53 and 54 hours, finished four hours, respectively. And each of those books would take approximately a month to record, you know, just to save five days a week, six or seven hours in the booth. And there might be literally hundreds, hundreds of characters that that come and go, I don't make even a record anymore of just the one liners, I would have too many. So any character that looks like it might be recurring, as it were, I will quickly my notes. Of course, the audiobook listener will never know this, I'm making it not not while I record it, I have to stop for a brief moment and mark down where and in the recording, their voice appeared. So later, I can quickly find it, and play it back to myself and go, Ah, he sounded like this are racking. He didn't sound like that. Or he wasn't a woman, or whatever it was, or he speaks like this or, or doesn't. What I gave a poor example, just then, because it's very, very important not to parody. Any voice to do a cartoon voice. That's often a mistake, that actors come to audiobooks. And they, they do parodies of voices rather than true voices. And you have to be authentic, because the writer wrote them that way. So you must treat them that way. And there's a real obligation I think of, and this is true of acting, not trust of audiobook narrators, where you serve the character you are, you are lended, you're lent that character for the brief duration you have it. And the actor must honour that. And most do. And even if a character seems ridiculous, then you've got to honour that and make him I said, ridiculous. But you got to make him authentically ridiculous in a way that's believable, not a parody. And again, that's a can be somewhat challenging. I've done a few, a genre called Space Opera, which is a sci fi in space. And you know, there's starship captains from all nations, and there's your Frenchman and your Japanese, and you're Canadian, and as your Texan, and you, and they're all sometimes written in some ways to be, you know, stereotypical members of their communities. But it doesn't serve you to make them then be ridiculous. You can ever do the French accent that just sounds silly. No. Yeah. That's ridiculous. So you don't do that. And you just, you just add a little sound, just to suggest that this man is French, even though we have a problem. We don't make him some stupid, you know, things like that. You. Whereas in cartoons, it's always to the 10. You know, it was that it's volume up to the 11. It's up to 11.

Francisco Mahfuz 18:55

So So with with the voices, I mean, again, maybe maybe this is just where my mind goes. But police tell me that you call your friends or your wife pretending to be someone else.

Ralph Lister 19:11

Sometimes when friends call me, I do pretend that I'm the Chinese laundry. Okay. Chinese takeaway is, it's all wrong. And I

Francisco Mahfuz 19:23

mobiles have ruined that to some extent, haven't they? Your mobile phones, because before it was a landline, you were calling? That's right.

Ralph Lister 19:32

And you could genuinely you know, pretend that they styled and dial through to their local Chinese takeaway. Yes. Your foot, your foot. li ha Cha. Chinese restaurant. Hello.

Francisco Mahfuz 19:51

And they were going, Ralph, I know it's your mate. It's your mobile phone. So.

Ralph Lister 19:57

Okay, yes, sorry. Sorry. Oh, you got something important? Oh, it's a client. Oh.

Francisco Mahfuz 20:03

Something else I wanted to I wanted to talk to you about is that it's fair to say that most of your career in this in the cinema has been as a supporting actor, right?

Ralph Lister 20:17

And in a major movies, yes.

Francisco Mahfuz 20:19

So, so this is, yeah, so as to support the actor, but the leading roles you had were more independent than certainly in there is something that I find fascinating because people, particularly in America, I think, perhaps a little less in the UK, but in America, there is this idea that everybody wants to be the star. So everybody wants to be the main character everybody wants to be? Well, it's the main character of their lives, the idea of being a supporting actor, doesn't hold as much appeal to a lot of people. But having said that, you know, you've had most of your career as a supporting actor, or at least a less well known actor, compared to some of the of the people you've worked with, in, you know, from what I can tell, you seem well resolved, happy, not a raging alcoholic or a wife beater. I'm, I'm, I believe that perhaps, you might have gotten the better end of that Hollywood deal, in the sense that you've had a lot of these incredible experiences that that actors have, by by being around this environment, and by being exposed to this type of thing. But you haven't had, I don't think any of the endless negative things that come with becoming a really, you know, household name. Alright, am I completely off the off the mark here?

Ralph Lister 21:47

Well, one of the advantages of becoming a well known household name is you have quite a lot of digits in the bank, you have, you know, you get continuous and often increasingly well paid work, sometimes fantastically well paid. There's a very small band of of actors who are paid, iniquitous amounts of money, I mean, just monstrous amounts of money. And then there's the 97% of all actors who get paid a working wage as jobbing actors and you know, every job they need, and it's a work for hire basis, it's not always very continuous. I mean, once you gather a reputation as a competent actor, and are available, then you can build continuous work. And increasingly, as your, let's call it fame, but you're more and more well known, you can start charging somewhat more. And it's only when you hit the big time. And I mean, you're you're you break out in a major Hollywood, typically, film, do you really come on any sort of decent wage, proper wage, you work for 234 weeks on a film and you what, you earn quite good money while you're doing that. But then it stops. And you might not have another proper paying job for some months or for the rest of the year, even. It's not as ongoing as people think. Unless you make it, we said unless you have that you're in that two 3% band of all actors that have consistent work, and then you are consistently working. And even those people are always looking over their shoulders, and wondering who's going to pass them by, or if they're going to get that next job, if all the life they're leading for this year, and the last year is going to continue into the next year,

Francisco Mahfuz 23:49

or in or if people are going to make fun of them for being Scientologists.

Ralph Lister 23:57

In the again, you have the those, you know, the Tom Cruise's of the world, who not only are extremely well paid, but have their own production businesses and have a stake in the in the movie and the significant stake and at that point, you're, you know very well, you're very well off. You're extremely wealthy. But that's 19. That's nearly none of the actors out there. I like that. I am far from rich. I mean, after about 10 years now being an audiobook narrator I am considered well established. And I'm, you know, it's taken me a while but I've become quite capable as an operator. So I am looked for, and that's fantastic. That's true of actors to good actors are sought after. People look for them and ask for them. But a lot of the time it's, you know, Ralph, we've got a role. You're going to be one of perhaps 50 actors who's going to audition. Do you want to audition? It's it's very very infrequent that you are not up against quite a crowd of other actors, you know, at least 10 others, I would say at a minimum. Interestingly, when I read for Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice, the director of that picture, really was only interested in interviewing a few actors for his supporting roles. And found I think he only for the role of Dr. Emmett Vale, which was Jesse Eisenberg, sidekick in Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice, he only read five actors. And initially, I assumed it would be American. So I read for him in my American voice. And he said, No, no, no, we, what's your English voice? And so I read for him in that. And that same evening casting called me and said, you've got the pan. So he was a rare director to, to interview a few people. And I think he realises that if a casting director believes there are five actors who are competent for the job, he'll he'll find from five of them, one that he likes more than the others. And I think I also benefited from being the first of the of the five that he that he auditioned that that evening. And I was lucky enough to book it. And that helped, in some ways, but it was, as you said, only a supporting role. And when I went back to LA in 2016, thinking that on the back of Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice, I would suddenly have a the doors would open. It was not even enough to get an agent. I was just considered a day player. Yes, a day player and a major project. But that was all I was. And I was, I wouldn't say heartbroken, but I was very disappointed. And with the audiobooks that kept coming to me, I stepped back from on camera work. And for the years, just the recent years, from 2016 to 2019, before I moved to Barcelona with my family. I didn't even have an agent in LA and I was doing on camera work with directors and producers and other actors who knew me and liked my my skills. And so it wasn't that I wasn't keeping busy. And I was keeping very, very busy being an actor as an audiobook narrator creating characters and recording, you know, every week, back to back books, it was, it was good because my income flowed. And it made me realise, well, why the heck do I want to be, you know, going out to audition against 50 or 150 other actors for a 10 line role when I don't have to drive across LA and back, wait an hour in the audition room, have four minutes in the room auditioning and then not get that part. So that life of struggle, which I had done from 2000 to 2008, when I was first in LA, I set aside because I was now working as a busy audiobook narrator and making a perfectly good income. It struck me as you know, that was then and this is what I have to do now I'm I was I got married, and my little boy came along. And the realities of being a father and a breadwinner, made it an essential requirement that I set aside. This on camera dream, let's call it.

Francisco Mahfuz 28:43

Let me let me just take you back slightly to Dr. Amedeo, which I know who Dr. Emmett video is because I'm a nerd. And I've read comics all my life. And weirdly enough, I had came across him again, when I was writing my book on public speaking. And the reason I came across Dr. Emoto was because I was writing on why Batman is significantly more interesting than Superman. And that's when I came across the you know, I was looking for kryptonite and the history behind kryptonite. And then I came across this very amusing story which seems to be apocryphal, that even Jerry Seinfeld has recently mentioned in one of his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episodes. I don't know if you're familiar with this one that supposedly Kryptonite was invented because the voice actor that did it back in the days and it was to Superman was a radio show. The voice actor was ill and couldn't do Superman for a few episodes. So supposedly invented kryptonite to cover him and that's why he just got someone to sound he Oh, well, he he recovered. That apparently apparently that's a part of just getting you really aren't. Yes, no. No, no issue there. that, but yeah, I it's an interesting one because he's, again, he's clearly not a very well known character, but he's the guy who I essentially found in named kryptonite, which is an essential part of the Superman canon. And if I'm not mistaken, He also invented metaal, which is perhaps a slightly less evolved than the father, the Superman cannon. But my question to you is to get that role, how much are you meant to go into the source material to prepare that character? Do you just look at the script? How does How did that work for you?

Ralph Lister 30:34

You know, I, I didn't, he was a scientist alongside Jesse Eisenberg's character, how true to Emmett Vale, the script was to the the Superman or the Batman cannon. I can't say I being a Hollywood script, it's probably 1000 miles from it. In reality, they don't aim to be accurate, they aim to create entertainment. And that's fair enough. And I didn't do really any research beyond the cursory Google and read a few things. And I did realise that MVL is actually killed by his own creation in a very Greek tragic way. The monster destroys the man who made him and that is true of amabel. He is killed by Metalla. To answer your question again, not really. I mean, it the, the character spoke to me, you knew he was somewhat of a mischief as well, perhaps a bad guy. And I played him like that. And when I was on set, you know, I consulted with the director and said, we know this, are you? Do you think this is the right direction? And Zach goes, yeah, yeah, keep it up. Keep it over. We'll keep doing what you're doing. I've got so much other stuff to do. Bother Me to do the job. And so I had some ideas. And I'd been teaching a while not teaching a leading an acting class, and we were analysing scenes from plays largely and looking for intentions and the character work, I'm always always looking to find how can we make this character more interesting, while yet remaining true to the intent of the writer and the intent of the scene in which, which we're doing. And so I was very used to, and I apply this time, I already work used to trying to find ways of making the character interesting. And it seemed to me, you know, this guy should be slightly devious slightly. What's he going to be doing? You know, do we trust him? Is he? Is he going to be a Batman? You know, he doesn't say I have very few lines in the piece. Did

Francisco Mahfuz 33:07

Jesse Eisenberg mind being typecast as an evil genius? Because he did Mark Zuckerberg and now Lex Luthor.

Ralph Lister 33:14

Yes, I, we had some good chats, but not about that. Most, you know, major stars nears a major star. And he's a very fine actor. He's so sharp, that man, he is super smart boy, super smart man. And I respect his work as an actor very much. We would talk about anything other than the the acting world really, most celebrities, you know, they just don't want to talk about that. They're so bored with it. Most other actors, that's all they want to talk about, you know, and so I talk, I remember talking to some length about various pieces, I going back to this, where I was buying wine online. And, you know, that was much more interesting to him than then talking about. So

Francisco Mahfuz 34:00

just so just one final question about that experience. And this is a very simple one.

Ralph Lister 34:05

Is it fun?

Francisco Mahfuz 34:07

I mean, being part of a major blockbuster, I mean, arguably, this type of thing, perhaps not necessarily the role you had in there. But but being part of that. I think most actors would would, you know, give an arm for that sort of experience, even though if that's the hope of something that comes after but is the actual experience of being part of a blockbuster, even one that eventually didn't do so? Well, at least with the critics. But is that a fun

Ralph Lister 34:31

experience? Yeah. Oh, come on. It's great. You are treated like royalty. It's just insane. It's like you enter a whole nother universe. From the moment you arrive, till the moment you leave. Not the set but the parking lot, literally as it's, I mean, I remember I had a bit of a headache on set. And I just mentioned this to some PA and within like, literally two minutes, a glass of water to Panadol, or whatever they were on a little tray just appeared just like that. I mean, I stepped outside, it was slightly raining, up goes the umbrella, but held by someone else, of course, you know, I can't possibly hold an umbrella. I mean, I've never held a number in my life have I. So you know, all sorts of things like this, and they assure you to your your trailer. And I had a very nice trailer, thank you very much. I mean, I was a significant character for the in on that location. And we all had nice places to rest and hang out while we weren't actually needed. And of course, I had a stand in for when I, when they were just getting the cameras into the right position, and the lighting and all of that it was a standard for Jesse, that was a standard for all of the all of the actors, then they call you, they don't call you they Ralph or Mr. List, and perhaps you wanted on set, and they would stand outside and wait for me, because they didn't want me wandering off for any reason, because their lives depended on it, or their jobs did anyway. And they'd actually you to the set, and then you'd be there and you'll be all like, here we are ready to go. And then you know, at the end of the day, take off your your costume your wardrobe, and be someone who literally take it from you and take it away to be cleaned or pressed or, or at least kept in the same condition as it was for continuity purposes. And then you would, at the end of the day, sign out, they might have brought you a meal in your trailer if you wanted it, or you would have eaten with the rest of the people, which is much more normal and much more like as I should be. And I like like that. But you it's it's a weird bubble. And I remember at the end of each workday, I would drive off on my old Mercedes that I had. And it was like, you just left a dream. It was you just sort of wow. And I remember being really sad when it was over. Because there's Oh, I won't have that until next time. And so in some ways, it's a weird Hollywood bubble. So So what she

Francisco Mahfuz 37:13

was saying is that being part of Batman Superman is significantly better than watching it. I have to get that in there.

Ralph Lister 37:29

Yes, I think so. And

Francisco Mahfuz 37:32

you're wonderful. Don't get me wrong.

Ralph Lister 37:35

I'm not on screen a lot. As you can see, though, I was booked for seven days a week and then two extra days just for that little time I was on set, you'd never know how much time is it takes to to capture these things. And how much money is is being burned per minute on a set, which is why they can't have their actors wandering off because the the costs on set so high with so many people's salaries and rentals and everything is just insane. So the experience is, is it's it's a wonderful, it's a little bit surreal in its way. It's very nice working with established actors who are who can be you know your idols in some way. And that's great. And you're up working in a scene with them which of course then gives you great material for your for your show reel if you need one or need to improve your reel and you know now you're in a scene with Daniel Day Lewis or I wasn't I wish I would be I understand

Francisco Mahfuz 38:40

that. He's the one that got away, right?

Ralph Lister 38:43

Yes, he is. He is. He is my number one. Idol. I don't think I would get all starstruck in front of many actors. Except him. And Cate Blanchett. And you know, you put Tom Cruise in front of me. I'm just like, you're an extremely wealthy successful actor. Your works quite good. But you I admire you in the way I do. Daniel Day Lewis or Cate Blanchett, or one or two others. Anthony Hopkins. I've met Anthony Hopkins on the set of fracture Ashley, and hi, how are you? Ralph? Hi. I'm turning in a slightly Welsh voice that he has. That's gorgeous. I am in awe of of that man as well of that actor. Terrific. Anyway, I'm gushing.

Francisco Mahfuz 39:38

Listen, you know if if you're going to be part of that world, and be cynical about it, then I guess a big a big part of the fun in it is is not there, right? I mean, what what's the point of unless you want to be the big star and have everybody fawning over you at all times. But But the moment you Are you with the biggest actors on the you know, that ever lived for all we know? And if that doesn't get you a tiny bit emotional, then you know, what have you replaced for your heart have you become lutalo now? You got a heart

Ralph Lister 40:19

I look for and enjoy and admire great acting work very much still, I have not become in any way cynical about the the excellence of the acting craft. I am still striving to be a better actor, I think I'm still learning to be a better actor. As I continue to observe the human condition faithfully and incorporate it into my work. On screen and in audiobooks. I do think that being an actor is a lifelong process and a lifelong journey. And you keep absorbing and learning and adjusting and hopefully improving.

Francisco Mahfuz 41:05

That sounds like a perfect note to end on. And I know you and I could trade stories for quite a while. But both both of us have small children that are locked outside our respective rooms right now.

Ralph Lister 41:17

It's a great pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Francisco Mahfuz 41:21

So what's the what's the best place for people to find you,

Ralph Lister 41:24

they can follow me easily on all of the usual places. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, I have a professional Facebook page, as well. I am on LinkedIn. I have my Ralph Acting site. It's a little out of date. But there we are. I also have my Ralph List of audiobook website, which both still up if people can reach me through that, or through Twitter, or don't be shy, I have quite a few fans, I admit. And I respond to pretty much all of them, even if it's not the longest of message, but I acknowledge and appreciate the support and input that people who follow my work or like my work bring to me to my attention and I love it. I mean, who can't who can't not for someone to say they enjoyed something and then they have a you know, a smart question about something that and of course, I want to be engaged with them. I love my fans. And I appreciate them.

Francisco Mahfuz 42:30

I will make sure to put all those links in the in the show notes so that it makes it easy for everyone to get in touch with you. And and I think that's it. That's a wrap folks. Thanks for listening in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time

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