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“I do,” he says earnestly, “even though I know that it’s an old-fashioned position.” When he and Gomez, with whom he fell in love when he repeatedly went to see her in the stage version of Trainspotting —were asked to sell their wedding to a weekly gossip magazine, Davenport was appalled. And yet there are people who will do whatever is necessary to keep a public profile.
But in order to do my job properly it’s important for people not to know too much about me.” It is both a cliché and a lie that most actors do what they do for love of their art (fame being an unfortunate side effect) but Davenport’s assurances ring true. Even as a child, it wasn’t about wanting to be famous. I grew up in Suffolk and Ibiza, surrounded by actors – they were fun and playful and I wanted to be one of them.” Although his parents tried to dissuade him, Davenport refused to be dissuaded.
He’d seen all the rushes and I thought 'I suppose that’s why you’re you and I’m me’.” The producer, the theme and the cast – Anjelica Huston, Katherine Mc Phee, Uma Thurman and Debra Messing – drew Davenport to the project from the start, and he is fiercely defensive of his character. I guess it depends how you feel about workplace relationships,” he laughs, referring to Wills’s womanising.
But it wasn’t until Davenport was reborn as the narcissistic Broadway musical producer Derek Wills in Smash – Spielberg’s brilliant but slow-burn TV drama on Sky Atlantic that has been billed as “Glee for adults” but is more like a modern-day Fame) – that our interest in ''Miles’’ has been rekindled.
When Davenport joined his mother, the actress and theatre director Maria Aitken (sister to Jonathan) and stepfather, the writer Patrick Mc Grath, in Manhattan more than a decade ago, he was heading for the “whatever happened to? What happened was a series of promising television roles in US dramas (the most notable being Swingtown in 2008 and Flash Forward in 2009, neither of which made it past the first season), marriage to his wife of 12 years, Michelle Gomez (the sociopath from Green Wing) and the arrival of a son, Harry, a little over two years ago.
“They were both working a lot but they didn’t want me to be fooled into thinking that it was all roses.
I remember them constantly telling me that, at any given time, 90 per cent of actors aren’t working.” Davenport is one of the fortunate 10 per cent.