Interviews & Profiles

Cariad Lloyd on opening up about death and the supernatural

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5 Minute Philosopher

5 Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will the actor make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life? 

To accept there isn’t really a meaning, there’s just here and then there’s tomorrow. Do your best between those times.

What is the difference between right and wrong? 

It’s sometimes best to avoid thinking about right and wrong and just think about the consequences of your actions.

Where is your happy place? 

When pudding comes.

Nature or nurture? 

Nature for trees and flowers, nurture for children and houseplants.

Is it more important to be liked or respected? 

I don’t think either are ideal goals, but it’s nice to be liked at first, then when they get to know you, full respect. Like when you first hear Dolly Parton and think, ‘Sure, great tune.’ But eventually you realise, we’re lucky to be alive at the same time as her.

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be? 

Helping the conversation about death to open up. And my incredible slut drop.

Who or what is your greatest love? 

Chocolate. It’s been there through so many things, and has helped me parent. I scoff bars in the kitchen when my daughter’s having a meltdown. Really makes the screaming fly by.

When did you last lie? 

I am not good at lying thanks to being raised in extreme honesty. Being friends with me is truthful, exhilarating and occasionally a bit much.

Does the supernatural exist? 

Yes, but not in a reliable fashion. The dead never pop back when you want them too, but weird things can happen.

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Are you fatalistic? 

I do think things happen when you’re ready to accept them, but you can’t wait for good things to come along. I read a good quote once which basically said you have to at least run to catch the bus.

What is your greatest fear? 

Death of people I love. Losing a parent at a young age makes you unsurprisingly edgy about anyone you care about doing anything dangerous.

Animals or babies? 

Animals for starter, babies for pudding.

What talent do you yearn for? 

To draw. I’m rubbish at it, everyone else in my family can do it and I get incredibly frustrated that my hand won’t do anything other than terrible stick people.

Do you like to be complimented? 

Yes, thanks for asking, I am delightful.

Do you have a high pain threshold? 

Yes, so high they didn’t believe me when an IV drip had ruptured my vein and was expanding into my arm as I was so calm about it. Dangerous power to be this strong.

What book do you recommend most to others? 

The Artist’s Way. It’s a little cheesy, but it changed my life. If you want to be creative, don’t wait for permission to do it. Once I accepted that I wanted to write and perform regardless of what others thought, it became a lot simpler.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn? 

That shouting doesn’t make people listen. Even when you really shout and slam doors. They really don’t like it.

The Artist's Way

What food sums up happiness? 

Chocolate cake with passion fruit curd. Raspberry and chocolate brownies. Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Raspberry pavlova. Pear and chocolate frangipane…

What have you never understood? 

Maths. I still add up on my fingers.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die? 

You don’t need to know as much as you think – you’re still going to die anyway. As long as the important ones know I love them – and they do, because I tell them every time I see them, in case they die before me.

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die? 

I’m scared of the pain I will leave behind. I want everyone to be as OK with my death as possible. I’m sad I won’t get to help them through that bit.

Quinoa or Quavers? 

Neither of these things contain sugar or chocolate or raspberries.

Cariad Lloyd is in Austentatious at the Fortune Theatre, London, until 27 July;

Images: Cariad Lloyd, Pan Books

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