In the Wings: A Conversation with Great Expectations Star Josh Carpenter

The star of the Arden Theatre's latest show talks about what it's like to be in a Dickens tale and that time he met the Pope (kind of).

Josh PhillyMag Image (1)

Josh Carpenter in “Great Expectations.” | Photo by Mark Garvin

My name is … Josh Carpenter and I am playing Pip in Great Expectations.

On opening night … I will eat far too many hors d’oeuvres.

My favorite part of Great Expectations is … watching the Mr. Wopsle players perform Hamlet.

To get into character for Great Expectations I … try to remember what it’s like to be a kid.

My favorite Dickens character is … impossible for me to pick right now, but I am in awe of the breadth and generosity of Dickens’ view of humanity.

If I lived in 1850’s London, I would be … dead now.

My first stage kiss … was in eighth grade, and I had very little experience with real kissing, so I’m sure I was extremely awkward.

The first play I was in was … was Bye, Bye, Birdie; I played Albert Peterson.

My dream role is … King Lear, many, many years from now.

The most famous person I’ve ever met … was Pope John Paul II. Though “met” is a bit generous; more accurate would be, “was within a few feet of.”

Josh Carpenter as Pip and Kate Czajkowski as Estella in "Great Expectations." | Photo by Mark Garvin

Josh Carpenter as Pip and Kate Czajkowski as Estella in “Great Expectations.” | Photo by Mark Garvin

The last thing I binge-watched … was the Brideshead Revisited mini-series with Jeremy Irons.

To stay in shape I… walk a lot and do simple body-weight exercises almost every day. I also eat ice cream almost every day. I’m pretty sure that helps.

The last time I dined out in Philadelphia, I ate … pho in Chinatown.

The best show I saw in Philly recently … was A Number by Caryl Churchill, as part of the A Play, A Pie, and A Pint series, and the repertory of As You Like It and Richard II at Quintessence Theatre Group.

The best thing about Philadelphia’s theater scene is … there is a great variety of companies, so there is always something exciting going on.

Great Expectations plays at the Arden Theatre through December 14th. More information and tickets can be found here