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Corrie's Todd Grimshaw talks to Cheshire Today's Michelle McKenna about life as a jobbing actor and why he would never rule out a return to the cobbles.
Bruno Langley shot to fame in 2001 as Coronation Street's Todd Grimshaw but we haven't seen much of him on our TV screens since he waved a fond farewell to the Street in 2004.
He has, however, enjoyed relative success in the theatre, although a career on the stage wasn’t exactly planned for the actor who in his own words "didn't go to a proper drama school" but cut his teeth on Corrie.
So what was the transition to the theatre like for someone who learnt his craft in TV? "It is like a double-edged sword," he said. "It is frightening going out and doing it live in front of an audience because there are no second takes but the most entertaining thing on stage for me and the audience is it is a total shared experience."
Bruno is not a big fan of the "fourth wall" approach where actors pretend that the audience is not there. "I think it is wrong because we all know you are on stage and acting and you have got to believe what you are saying but you know the audience is there and you have got to put on a show, people want to be entertained, the bottom line is you have got to give them everything whether it is a tragedy or comedy whatever you are doing, you have got to give it your all and if you do that no-one is going to be disappointed everyone goes homes happy," he said.
Life as a jobbing actor though isn't easy and work can sometimes be scarce but Bruno doesn't regret his decision to leave a relatively stable acting job in search of new experiences.
"It is a choice I had to make at the time because I wanted to go out and do different things and I totally have done that," he said. "There have been periods when I have been in work and out of work, real highs and lows and there have been points where I have thought maybe I should be doing something else or was it right the decision.
"The fact is it is a dream job at Granada. You are paid, not as much as people think, but it is a great job and you have got lots of time to yourself but then on days when I am doing my job well and feeling so alive on stage all the other things don't matter so in that respect I am glad I am a jobbing actor.
"There are highs and lows of everything and you have got to keep going. I am such a better person for leaving and getting out of the whole fish bowl that Corrie is and I have met so many great people so no, I wouldn't go back and change anything."
Landing the role of Giles Ralston in the 60th anniversary tour of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap looks set to further boost Bruno's theatre career.
Although he is slightly nervous about the rather large shoes that he will have to fill as part of the world's longest running stage production. "But it is nothing I haven't done before," he said. "I have been on stage before and done the job before so I shouldn't be too nervous but of course you start a new job and it is like the first day at school, you feel like you have got to prove yourself."
Rehearsals begin on Monday and after just three weeks the cast will set off on a tour of the UK, which will take in Manchester's Opera House.
Bruno admits that touring is not his favourite thing to do. "Wherever you go you have to find the best of what the town or city has to offer and some places I do not like at all but then you go to a really nice city and meet some great other artistic people and do a great show and you think this is why I do it," he said.
He is also looking forward to being back in Manchester where he hopes that some of his former Coronation Street co-stars will pop along to see him on stage.
"Yes I can't wait, I love it. I have not been living in Manchester for a while and I do love the city."
In fact, Bruno loves the city so much that he is moving back in January. So does that mean a return to the cobbles for Todd Grimshaw?
"Never say never," said Bruno. "There is always a chance. My on-screen mum and brother are still there so sometimes they call and I can't do it because I am busy and sometimes I call and they are busy; it is one of those things but if they called and said would you like to come back for a month or two that would be fine."
In the meantime the bright lights of LA beckon and Bruno will be flying out to the States at the beginning of next year.
"I am going to go and meet some people out there and maybe do a few auditions but I am not sure what the future holds," he said.
"I am 30 next year so I feel like especially in the last two or three years I have grown up a lot and in a lot of ways whatever I am doing I am dedicating myself a lot more to it and putting in a lot more study and effort. I think that is to do with having kids because I just want to make my son proud. Whatever I am doing, whether it is music or acting, I am just going to put my all into it and then I won't have any regrets."
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will be on at the Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, from Monday 22 to Saturday 27 October 2012. Tickets are available now. Call 0844 871 3018 or log onto www.atgtickets/manchester