Peaky Blinders actor Matthew Postlethwaite talks about his childhood growing up on the Lake District coast. Interview: Alex Reece
My favourite part of the coast is St Bees in the Lake District, near where I grew up. I’m from Egremont, but I went to school in St Bees, about a seven-minute drive away, and when it was warmer, we used to play rugby and football on the beach. There are pebbles at the start of the beach at St Bees (pictured), then it turns into sand when the tide is out. It’s also got a beautiful coastal headland. And if you walk up St Bees Head and then go over it there’s another secret beach that not many people go to or even know about.
Where I grew up, it was quite detached from any acting industry. My dad’s a diver, so he spends a lot of time in the sea. The late actor Pete Postlethwaite was a relative on my dad’s side – it is quite distant – but definitely, there’s something in the blood.
I’m based between the UK and LA now, but every time I’m back in England I do make a point of going up to the Lake District just to see everyone. My favourite thing to get is Grasmere Gingerbread. I actually used to take Kendal Mint Cake into castings with me.
My film, The White King, shows a dystopian future through the eyes of a boy living in a totalitarian regime. These twins [played by Matthew and his twin brother Jeffrey], they thrive on that. They’re nasty, aggressive and very mean – it was a pleasure to play them, just because it’s so different to who we are!I like to paint as well. I wasn’t expecting anything from it, then I posted a picture on Instagram, and people started to ask where they could get it. In March, an art gallery called The Art Movement in London is taking my work over to New York, which is pretty exciting. Somebody has asked me to paint some Lake District-inspired stuff and I’m definitely going to do that.