Simon Le Bon Tells The Advantage Duran Duran Had At The Beginning Of Their Career


During a recent interview with the Big Issue, Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon looked back on his career both as an actor and musician. According to him, his experience with cameras worked in favor of his band’s early career as MTV was gaining recognition around those times.

Before the entire world identified him as the brilliant frontman and lyricist of Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon’s career started as an actor. When he was six years old, his mother encouraged his artistic talent by entering him in a screen test for a Persil washing powder TV advertisement.

The future rock star was a member of the local church choir from an early age, which foreshadowed his ultimate career choice. However, he also received training as an actor at the same time. During a recent interview. Simon Le Bon looked back on those times, saying that his plan was to be an actor.

Apparently, he went to auditions to get into a drama school and found out that he wasn’t as good as he thought. Looking back, the musician considers that disappointing experience as a big lesson despite eventually studying Drama at the University of Birmingham.

Regarding his acting training, Bon said:

“I was going to be an actor. As well as Pinner County Grammar School, I went to the Studio School, run by these incredible women, Mollie Hudson and Bess Jones. They were serious thespians and I expected to do my exams then go to drama school. I was a huge fan of Laurence Olivier’s style, which was quite an impediment to my acting.

I was playing King Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons and my teacher told me to stop doing this Shakespearean voice rip-off of Olivier! I went to auditions and found out I wasn’t as good as I thought. That was a big learning experience.”

Simon Le Bon worked as a theatre porter, appeared in a few television commercials and theatre productions in the past, and he considers those times as the foundation of his career with Duran Duran. Although he didn’t know that he would end up being a rock star at a young age, Bon thinks having experience with cameras helped his band.

At the beginning of their career, having a member who was good with cameras was their advantage since MTV’s explosion was around the same time the band was formed. Therefore, the band was quicker to adapt to releasing music videos and appearing on television.

He revealed the advantage of his acting career by saying:

“The 16-year-old me didn’t know he was going to be a rock star. But I can see the building bricks for Duran Duran in my younger self. The acting thing was crucial because we came on the scene at the same time as video and the explosion of MTV. Duran Duran had an advantage in that I knew how to do stuff on camera that would work.”

There’s no doubt that adapting to changes in the music industry has always been beneficial for a band which is why Simon Le Bon stressed the importance of his past with television. All in all, it’s undeniable that his acting career helped Duran Duran in their early days to build a successful appearance on videos and MTV.