Who is Joseph Zammit in the eyes of Joseph Zammit?
Joseph Zammit is really just a child jumping from one activity to another trying to fill as much time as he can, all the while slowly realising how little time there is to be had in the first place. Also, he has no concept of what a future is, and having just hit the wrong side of 25, he is starting to feel the initial frightful stages of ‘the future’ looming ever so closely towards him.
Can you recall your first time on stage?
If you’re referring to the first time ever, then no, although I’m most definitely sure I was some sort of shepherd in the local school nativity play, as many of us have. I do recall however a play we had done in Year 6. It was something about Jesus coming back to earth during Christmas time and spreading the message on how no one knows the true meaning of Christmas any longer. I had played the part of Jesus and had a couple of songs, and I remember that I had apparently made the local mayor cry… in a good way, to my knowledge.
Professionally, my first time on stage was for my first Masquerade pantomime, which was Jack and the Beanstalk in 2008/09 at the Manoel. I played the role of the Fairy Godfather Don Shinoo. I decided to keep on doing it from then on. Seven years later, I still am!
You’ve recently accomplished a long-awaited milestone in your career with your role as Jamie in The Last Five Years. Could you give us a post-mortem?
Relief. Lots of relief. This production had been hovering over my head for well over a year. Originally, I had plans of putting it up myself, but I then ended up being part of it under Anthony Bezzina’s direction which, in retrospect, turned out to be the better option. Saying this role was an important one for me is quite an understatement. I love and respect this musical, and giving a mediocre performance was not an option. In fact, I ended up putting quite a lot of pressure on myself to do this role properly. Personally, this was also my first time in a two hander, so there was a lot of anxiety involved. The months of rehearsals and training all left their mark so yes, I feel as if a massive weight has been lifted off me at having pulled it off.
You have a Bachelors degree in History. How has this contributed to your career in theatre?
Not much I’m afraid. I entered university in pursuit of knowledge rather than in pursuit of a career. It seemed like a noble enough idea at the time, but I can’t say it made my life easy once I graduated. It did come in handy however for when Malcolm Galea offered me a role in The Complete History of Malta (More or Less) for the first Żigużajg Festival. The script and the research had already been done by Malcolm, but I gave a few suggestions regarding historical facts.
Who are your inspirations?
Thanks to my sister, I grew up listening to and loving Queen. Freddy Mercury has been a big inspiration, and not only because of the music he created, but mostly because of his philosophies, how he looked at life and the arts. These days, my inspirations would be David Tennant for his versatility and talent as an actor, and I could go on for hours about how Tim Minchin is pure genius. As an inspiration for life in general, it’s the combination of my mother, grandmother and sister Maria Eleonora, whom I love very much. She’d kill me, otherwise.
If you could form your fantasy cast for a project, who would be on the list?
Oh, this is a tough one. I’d definitely have David Tennant and Tim Minchin. In an ideal world, I’d also include Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris and Eddie Izzard. There are so many to choose from! Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie would definitely be in there somewhere too.
What would be your dream role?
I’m going to stick to musicals and say the title role of Sweeney Todd. To be fair though, anything written by Sondheim would make the list.
How do you like to chill?
As a Christmas present to myself this year, I decided to buy a PS4 and a couple of good games. For now, my chill time will be dedicated towards that for the next couple of months. In general, books and T.V. series are always an option.
Joseph will once again grace the stage of the MFCC this month in MADC’s Christmas panto, Treasure Island from the 19th December 2015 till the 3rd January 2016.