Interview by Taryll Baker
Firstly, fantastic work on Liam. I really enjoyed it. I’d like to know, was there something that interested you when choosing to work on this film?
Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it. Being a parent myself I was really interested in a story that showed a parent struggling to understand their child, but I think the film was so multi faceted in its themes, it was a story about a strenuous parent/child relationship but it was also a story about a child struggling with their identity, and I feel it touched on toxic masculinity and how its present in society at a really young age. I really enjoy taking on parts in films that not only challenge the actors but also the audience.
More and more filmmakers are tackling LGBTQ+ topics, do you have any favourite films that utilise this, or if not, any you would like to check out?
I think Dallas Buyers Club was a fantastic film. Matthew McConaughey was so good, and it was so interesting to watch his journey as a homophobic man, contracting this horrible disease and then how society at the time treated people because of it, and because of their sexuality. I think it showed us just how ridiculous prejudices are in the face of survival.
Were there any personal challenges you were faced with when working on Liam?
I think a lot of actors have challenges when trying to find a character, and then subsequently letting go of that character. In regards to my character of Trevor in Liam, I struggled with the parenting aspect of the story, people assume that their children are just going to be mini versions of themselves, but that’s not always the case. My daughter is still very young so (hopefully) hasn’t had to deal with any identity and existential crisis that some young people deal with growing up.
I think I saw a lot of myself in Trevor, in the sense that I don’t take an ignorant approach to something I don’t understand, especially when it comes to people I love.
Looking at your filmography, you have been involved in several shorts, TV series and even appeared in a One Direction music video. Is there anything you have to adapt to when woking on these different types of production?
I think the main thing is the pace in which the productions move. Something like EastEnders moves at such a fast pace, they have so much to film in such a short amount of time you don’t have the luxury of getting loads and loads of takes to get it perfect. Whereas working on a short film, you can work on it more, try different things with different takes. The One Direction music video however was quite a lot of pressure, as I only had one take to get it right — they didn’t have time to reset Zayn after I threw food and drink all over him. Luckily, we got it right!
What was it like working with the director, Lisa Müller? Did you have any conversations about your character with notes, or did she allow you to explore Trevor alone?
She was so great, so professional, nothing fazed her. Whenever there was a problem on set, as there is on every film set, she took it in her stride and never let it affect the task at hand. And she was so open to hear my thoughts and interpretations of how a scene would go based on the prep I had done for Trevor, and subsequently we changed a few scenes to better suit the character arc. I honestly would have liked to have made the film longer, to explore the characters more, maybe give the story more depth.
Is there anything in particular you’ve learned prior to Liam that you applied to your work ethic as an actor?
Prep work for me is the most important part of giving a real performance, creating a rich backstory for a character, giving the character objectives and obstacles gives more meaning to the lines.
I try to do as much prep and line learning before I get on set so I can let it all go and truly be present, which then lets me react more naturally to the other actors and things happening in the scene.
What’s next for you? Any projects you can tell us about?
I’ve just been signed by a management company based in LA who are keen to get me over there for some opportunities, which as an actor is very exciting as Hollywood is pretty much every film actors goal! In terms of projects I have a few lined up which I’m excited about, one in particular is a WW2 film which I think will be amazing but can’t say too much about it, and I’m always casting for really great projects so you never know when the phone might ring. I think that’s what I love most about it, is that at any moment you could get a job that changes everything!
That sounds very exciting! Lastly, are there any dream projects you’d love to work on with a writer, director or actor?
Ah man, like most actors I have a list too long to mention. I would love to work on a superhero project, Marvel or DC to be fair. I’ve grown up with both universes’ characters so would love the chance to be a part of one of those worlds. Directors, I would have to say Taika Waititi. I don’t think I’ve seen any of his projects that I haven’t loved. And actors, there is a long long list, but one actor I really would like to work with is James McAvoy. He is such a talented actor but also comes across as a really down to earth, funny guy to be around so would love to work with him.