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Centre Stage After years of acting, Edward Akrout has finally followed his passion for art. Hannah Lemon tracks the ups and downs of a path that has been difficult to tread WHEN I SPEAK to Edward Akrout, the term ‘tortured artist’ springs to mind. The checklist of the stereotype unveils itself as he reminisces about bygone years. Misunderstood by his peers. Tick. Smoker. Tick. Overwhelmed by inner conflicts. Tick. But as the conversation moves on, my first impressions are waylaid by a far more poetic reality. Ever since he was a child, Akrout was intrigued by painting and sometimes overwhelmed by its presence. He grew up in a family of artists including his mother’s uncle, who made a great impression on the young Akrout. “I learnt everything from him,” Akrout explains. “Unfortunately, he was an alcoholic. A very interesting man – completely crazy. He took me into this imaginary world, a sort of fairy world. It was great as a child.” Tragically, his great-uncle passed away when Akrout was 15, causing a trauma that was to affect him for years to come. “It was the end of my childhood really,” he says. “After his death, I saw his paintings and then I just realised that being a painter was so dangerous because you are alone with your madness; you have nothing to hold you on to reality. You could just dive completely into your madness and that was too scary for me.” An obsession with painters like Vincent Van Gogh and Francis Bacon only accentuated this fear; art became indistinguishable from the “misery of life”. It was then that Akrout chose acting as a career. You might recognise his chiselled good looks and bohemian brown locks from performances in Mr Selfridge, Swinging with the Finkels and the upcoming drama Bitter Harvest, which he stars in alongside Max Irons, Samantha Barks and Emilia Fox. When we speak, he has just returned from the set of a new television series Houdini and Doyle, where he plays a magician conman. But today, Akrout wants to focus on his art that up until now has been a secret. “It was almost like a trauma,” Photography by: Tom Medwell

Profile for Runwild Media Group

Notting Hill & Holland Park Magazine November 2015  

The sister to the Kensington & Chelsea Magazine showcases news concerning local residents and events happening in and around the Royal Borou...

Notting Hill & Holland Park Magazine November 2015  

The sister to the Kensington & Chelsea Magazine showcases news concerning local residents and events happening in and around the Royal Borou...

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