Tom Leeb Irresistible showman

What do you feel most comfortable doing, comedy, acting or singing?
I’ve often been asked to choose, which is out of the question. This is the first time the question has been asked in this way. What do I feel most comfortable doing? If this was being filmed, it would have to be edited the time I think about it. I love doing all three, I get a feeling of being free. But to answer the question, I’d say behind the camera, directing, is when I feel really in the right place.

How do you manage to combine the three disciplines?
You need to add to your list directing short films. I often say the days are long when you are an early-bird or night-owl. Such professions mean you aren’t sat at a desk from 9 to 5. So I allow myself the time to write, practice and compose. If I’m away filming, I make sure I’ve got my “tools” with me, tablet, guitar, notebook… not forgetting the hours spent on trains that are a good time for writing. As I said, my days are long…

What does it mean to you to be an actor?
That’s almost a metaphysical question. I guess it means allowing yourself to do, think, say what you wouldn’t, couldn’t or daren’t do in real life. It’s about being free, living something different, breaking a routine. It also means adopting from the roles or characters you play certain qualities you yourself would like to have. Some-times the characters are totally the opposite of who we are and we want to borrow something from them. In Women at War, I played a doctor during the first World War. A surgeon who spends his days in the emergen-cy unit, trying to manage the tension while remaining calm. I learned quite a bit from the role.

What is your dream role, the one you haven’t been asked to play yet?
I’m in the process of writing it, rest assured!

You know you’re quite a handsome guy don’t you! Do you not get a bit tired of being asked to be the playboy?
We are what we are. I think that to fight against it would be an error. You have to do what it takes not to get stuck with the stereotype, but first of all you have to remember it’s an opportunity to act and at the same time hope for something different afterwards. I have to admit I haven’t yet been offered a role for which phy-sical attributes were not important. Hang on, yes, the doctor during the war.

Although you’re a full time artist, what other sectors would you like to explore?
Being an artist is an everyday activity. You write at night and even on Sundays. Another field I would like to ex-plore is photography, but again it’s something artistic …

Let’s talk music now! About the love that inspired your album Recol-lection. Are there other themes you would like to explore for a future album?
Absolutely. In my next album I tackle very different themes. The passing of time, youth and carefree days, friendship… and again love. On my first album I think I needed to like release a whole lot of feelings that re-sulted from a love affair that turned sour. Nothing new there for a singer. Drawing inspiration from something that hurts.

Where are you going this summer to chill out?
The Bassin d’Arcachon. I love the dunes and pine forests. You can imagine the pain I felt following last summer’s fires. It’s where I first learned to walk and some of my greatest childhood memories are from there. A summer without visiting the bay is simply out of the question.

What projects do you have for the future?
An album for this year and writing the script for a film.

What would you like to wish readers of LiFE Magazine?
To enjoy every day. And if that means drinks with friends, that’s just fine!