Martin Freeman is a true cultural icon, known for his incredible performances in instantly recognisable projects such as The Office and The Hobbit Trilogy among others. He has collaborated with talented filmmakers such as Edgar Wright while also venturing into popular realms of the cinematic landscape like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Over the course of an eventful career, Freeman has tried to reinvent himself through different kinds of roles – gaining acclaim for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Sherlock series alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and then moving on to more complex roles such as his immaculate performance in Fargo.
During an interview session, Freeman provided a trajectory of his own life and his creative journey through a playlist that had been curated by him. It contained some of the songs that had shaped him in many ways and inspired him in multiple domains, ranging from his career to other aspects of his life as well.
Explaining the effect that ‘Baggy Trousers’ by Madness had on him at a young age, Freeman said: “This was one of the records that, I feel, changed my life. Even though I was eight (and) I didn’t have much of a life to change… It was like something that was mine and without sounding too grand about it, I think it helped set me on a path for the rest of my life.”
Freeman also cited the influence of musicals on his creative sensibilities, singling out the 1961 film West Side Story which recently resurfaced in the public consciousness due to the acclaimed remake by Steven Spielberg. For Freeman, the score by Leonard Bernstein helped him appreciate other musicals in a better way.
He saw the film for the first time when he was 14 and it remained embedded in his mind. He revealed: “I was obsessed with this film and it kind of opened my horizons a little bit to musicals, I guess… I think it’s the best musical ever and I certainly think it’s the best filmed musical by sort of an embarrassingly long way – West Side Story.
The actor also included a classic by the Beatles in his list: “There’s no way you can’t have the Beatles in here, for me. I love a lot of music, but I can’t think of a better band. Out of all the scores and scores of songs I could have chosen, this one still, to me, sounds fresh as a daisy… It (still, to me) slightly sounds like the future.
Check out the list below.
Martin Freeman’s favourite songs:
- ‘Janie Jones’ – The Clash
- ‘Baggy Trousers’ – Madness
- ‘Natty Dread’ – Bob Marley & The Wailers
- ‘Dance At The Gym’ – Leonard Bernstein
- ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – The Beatles
- ‘When I Am Laid In Earth’ – Henry Purcell
- ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ – The Style Council
- ‘Jesus Children Of America’ – Stevie Wonder