What inspired you to take the acting journey?
When I was growing up, and having a tough time at school with friends and studies; my Ma sent me to the theatre group, Chicken Shed. The youth group I joined at that theatre is still an emotional inspiration for me because it made me realize that I was different but so what? Everyone else is too and that’s Ok. The casting team there gave me the role of Azdak in Bertolt Brecht’s play called ‘The Chalk Circle’. There has been nothing else I have wanted to do than perform since then.
A film that you co-wrote, produced and starred in, ‘Beyond Plain Sight’ was nominated for Best British Short Film at Raindance. Can you tell us a bit about the film and also what inspired the poster?
'Beyond Plain Sight' was a joy to work on because I was working within a circle of professionals who were also friends in the industry. The idea for the film came about when I was sitting with Joseph Adesunloye, the director of the film; initially, we were being nostalgic about how long we had known each other until he told me something I didn’t know about him that I thought I knew. As the night went on, we started discussing generally about what people only think they know about each other and how others play up to those assumptions on a day to day basis and before morning came, we had already outlined the basic idea of the narrative we wanted to bring to the screen. The poster for the film plays up to the idea that Ryan, the main character of the film, removes his true feelings and expressions from plain sight within the community he is in so that he can live out his dark secrets without being found out.
As an actor you have had some amazing roles, and more recently in the hit TV show ‘A.D – The Bible Continues’. Can you explain your role?
On a stage, that has been created by such producers as Mark and Roma Downey is amazing. Being on ‘AD’ after having produced and starred on ‘Beyond Plain Sight’ was rewarding in that I understood more about the jobs of the crew and the producers, and the process they go through mentally. It was a relief that I didn’t have to worry about ‘how many people I have to feed and how many sachets of coffee are left?’ The challenge was that I had to ask myself to be ready for a bigger stage with bigger equipment and bigger lights and bigger everything! My role in 'A.D' was as James the Disciple who was the brother of John, played by Babou Ceesay. Together, they were known as ‘Brothers of Thunder’ because of their calm personalities that were contradicted by tempers that frightened everyone. Researching the role educated me so much more about the Bible and the journey of James who is now a Saint. The challenge for me in this role was to discover exactly how to balance the calm with the explosions of anger without it seeming empty or even exaggerated.
When you are not acting, what do you enjoy to do?
I don’t think I could ever act too much, but away from working or thinking about it, I love running. I have run all over the place, and have even run in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. I have listed a few cities around the world in which I’d love to run marathons, like Berlin in Germany, the Boston Marathon and the marathon in Athens. I have only run the London Marathon and the marathon in Cape Town so far. I think it’s a genius way of keeping fit, whilst seeing the world at the same time. And because I sweat so much, and lose weight doing it, it’s also a way of being able to eat whatever I like, so long as they are vegetables; I stopped eating meat a while ago!
As I run, I support Children’s Villages SOS. It’s a wonderful charity that has centers all around the world to help orphans SOSChildrensVillages. So that’s running, another thing I enjoy very much is working with my hands; building furniture or making things; I find it therapeutic to do that.
What can we expect to see you doing over the next few months?
Over the next few months, I will be appearing in a couple of topical independent films and also projects that I have taken the time to write and produce myself. Apart from that, I am like most actors in not knowing exactly what and when and how until I walk into an audition room, go home and get a call!
A special thank you to Denver Isaac for making this interview possible To learn more about Denver Isaac, follow him on Twitter - @denverisaac