My London: Will Poulter

·3-min read
Will Poulter by Lee Martin for ES Magazine (Will Poulter by Lee Martin for ES Magazine)
Will Poulter by Lee Martin for ES Magazine (Will Poulter by Lee Martin for ES Magazine)

Home is…

I live in east London, I love where I live. I actually live in an old school, which is funny because I didn’t love school, so the fact that I now live in one is a tad ironic.

Where was your first home away from home?

Truth be told, when I first left home I went to Australia when I was 16. I sort of slightly cheated as my mum came with me because that was when I was shooting The Chronicles of Narnia. We lived right by the coast and that was really lovely. The first time I left home without any parents, I lived in a hotel room in Wilmington, North Carolina, so my first experiences of moving out were quite different.

Which shops do you rely on?

I love buying fresh produce from my local market. I’m lucky that in east London there are a number of really good ones; Whitechapel, Broadway, Victoria Park, mostly food based. I’ve definitely bought a few plants from Broadway Market, which I have to admit I haven’t had the best record of taking care of.

Favourite restaurants?

Chishuru, a west African restaurant in Brixton Village — it is unbelievable. Whenever friends come from out of town I’ll definitely take them there. Where do you like to go out? I’m not a big going out person, but if I do I like to go to south London. I really like the street food — a lot of my going out centres on eating. There’s also a really amazing new food arcade that’s recently opened up, just off Tottenham Court Road — it’s called Arcade Food Hall.

If you could buy any building in London, which would it be?

I would buy the Houses of Parliament and fill it with the people who I’d like to run the country.

Do you have any specific memories that make you proud to be a Londoner?

Any time I see the streets of the capital filled with people protesting, I feel a sense of pride. Whether it’s the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter demonstrations or rallies in solidarity with Ukraine. Also seeing Trafalgar Square filled with people celebrating the England women winning the Euros, that was a huge moment of pride for me, too.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

A cab driver who picked me up not long ago said, ‘Nice to see you again’, and I just thought maybe he recognised me, but then at the end of the journey he said, ‘I worked on a film you did 10 years ago in the driving department.’ That was pretty cool.

What’s your secret London spot?

There’s a secret little garden within Covent Garden — behind a church. I’ll sometimes go there and read a book. It’s an intimate green space in such a busy part of London that so few people know is there. It’s a green oasis in the middle of the city.

If you could be Mayor for the day, what would you do?

I would fill every billboard, poster, bus stop and advertising space with Turn2us, the anti-poverty charity I work with, to draw attention to their work. They’ve been tackling poverty for 125 years, but now more than ever as the cost of living rises. It’s about reframing our understanding and developing an empathy for people working as hard as they possibly can but are still reliant on benefits, which often don’t meet the cost of living.

Will Poulter is supporting national poverty charity Turn2us’s How Many More campaign (turn2us.org.uk/howmanymore)