Man of the Year 2016: Mark Gatiss
Introducing Mark Gatiss, actor, screenwriter, television producer, comedian, novelist, director and Winq’s 2016 Man of the Year, presented with his award by Winq‘s Editor-in-Chief, Matt Cain, at our 2016 awards luncheon, supported by United Airlines.
Most gay men understand gallows humour. It’s the go-to defence when life is at its bleakest. Only one, we suggest, has elevated it to an art form – our Man of the Year, Mark Gatiss. From the attack on the senses that was The League of Gentlemen and roles in Game of Thrones and Wolf Hall, to the craft of taking on the dual roles of co-writer and co-star of the spectacular Sherlock, his work uses darkness to find light. It’s positively inspirational, if occasionally uncomfortable to watch. Out and proud – or “never in”, as he has it – he would be touched by genius, were genius so minded.
Mark on his first paid writing gig: “The first money I ever earned was from writing horror stories at school, in which all the teachers we hated were violently murdered, and I would charge people to read them. A particularly-hateful PE teacher got speared on a javelin. Many years later, when I wrote my first episode of Poirot, a PE teacher – who was shot in the book – got speared on a javelin in my version!”
Mark on his attraction to the darker side of life: “Morbid curiosity! But I think it’s one of those things that changes as you get older. Without sounding like some fucking evangelical, which I’m not, I find life is so dark at the moment that I slightly shrink away from the things I used to enjoy. That’s not to say I think everything should be like a variety show, but I’m less interested in the more obviously-darker aspects of things.”
Mark on same-sex weddings (and his own!): “I was haunted by the spectre of how gay weddings were regarded growing up. It’s still a thing in the popular press – or not-so-popular press. Like when Cameron and Clegg did their press conference for the coalition they still described it as a ‘gay wedding’; there’s something slightly nasty about that. “I was really wary of pink Rolls-Royces and things like that. But it got to the stage where we were outlining our slightly-austere wedding to a friend and she said, ‘It sounds like you’re apologising for it.’ It really hit home and after that we thought, ‘Fuck it!’ We went up the aisle to the theme of Upstairs, Downstairs, our dog was our ring bearer and we exited to our favourite Eurovision winner.”
Congratulations to Mark Gatiss, our 2016 Man of the Year! Pick up your copy of Winq Winter 2016, out now, to read the full eight-page feature, along with all the other interviews with our Men of the Year.