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How does stage acting compare to film and TV acting?
For me it’s all about the craft of acting. It’s playing a role. Be it a film or a play, it’s the depiction of that character that’s important. The process on how I get to a place where the audience forget me and can only see the character. The process is different between film, television and theatre but the work itself is the same. I research my character, I learn lines, I find him in several ways, I make choices, find the truth within those choices and portray him as best I can, either from take to take or from performance to performance. With film, I generally have less time to research and explore so your choices are made quicker, whereas in theatre I can explore and discover during the rehearsal period.
What made you go for the role of Jack?
It sounds weird but I think it chose me. I had been looking for a theatre piece, something challenging, that I could play in London and had been willing it. I’m a boxing fan and was looking for something that was also physical and this came along.
Are you excited about the challenge of being ‘live’ on stage?
I love stage work. There’s nothing like that feeling of performing in front of a live audience. It’s been more than 5 years since my last play so I’ve really been looking forward to this.
You are clearly very fit, what was your fitness routine to get in shape for the role of Jack and will you continue your regime once the play is over?
When I started, I was weight training 6 times a week, boxing 3 times a week and eating four meals a day. During rehearsal, boxing went down to twice a week and weight training ceased as we were just too busy with long days. Now the show is running, I’m back to weight training twice a week and boxing once. The show is very physical so it’s keeping me very fit.
How was your experience of shooting Fortitude which is currently showing on Sky Atlantic?
I absolutely loved filming Fortitude. It is one of my top three filming experiences so far. The cast were adorable, the crew were great. It was an absolute dream job. We spent three weeks in Iceland shooting exteriors followed by two weeks in a studio in Hayes. So basically three there, and two here in rotation for six months. We had a ball.
How would you describe your character Frank Sutter?
Frank is a very complex individual. He’s a good guy underneath it all but someone who makes mistakes under pressure. He struggles with being in Fortitude as he wants to be back on tour in the army. He’s intense and is very much a man’s man, damaged and is constantly trying to fix it by sometimes making bad choices.
How did you get involved in this project?
I had my first two auditions and waited two months to find out I’d got the role. My first audition went well and was over pretty quickly. My second, I almost didn’t go to but was told by the casting director, Julie Harkin, to come at all costs and when she says something like that, I listen, so I turned up. I owe her big time.
It was such a huge cast, did you manage to spend time with everyone during the filming?
Yes, we all spent a lot of time together on location out in Iceland. It’s strange because I thought I’d have a nightmare with that many personalities to interact with, but honestly we all got on like a house in a raging blaze of fire. We still keep in touch.
Did you get to interact with that gorgeous polar bear?
Any directing plans?
Yes, absolutely. I have directed and am due to start another short film project later in the year. I’m looking into producing. I started a production company some years ago and have produced a few shorts.
What else have you got coming up this year?
A.D. Starts on Easter Sunday on NBC, in the U.S. Monsters: Dark Continent will be on general release in cinemas from May 1st, and The Keeping Room is due out in cinemas in September. Apart from that, I’m reading scripts, auditioning and looking for my next project.
What is the role you are most proud of?
That’s a difficult one as I’m very proud of most of them. In some way I guess it would have to be Leon from Top Boy, as it was the one that got me noticed, not only by the public but by the industry, as people still reference it today.
Why do you love London so much?
London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. I can walk down the street and hear four or five different nationalities communicating along the way. London has an energy like no other city I’ve visited or spent time in. People are very friendly although I often hear the opposite, but then I look at the people saying that and sometimes think it’s part of the energy their giving off. I’m constantly talking to strangers or having people strike up conversations with me.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Oh. That’s easy. Read the previous answer…
Interview & photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Styling by Ling Zhu
Grooming by Tamash Sharkan
Photographer’s assistant: Rahideh
- TAKEN FROM NUIT MAGAZINE