Anyone who is the proud owner of a copy of the latest issue of Hunger magazine, our Mighty Blighty issue, will have already seen actor Colin Morgan doubling up as a very worthy model in our Hackett fashion special, along with a host of his peers. But as promised, there’s more where that came from and each day this week we’ll be posting an interview with one of the actors, starting with Colin, giving in to his many insatiable Twitter followers.
Starting out at the tender age of five in a stage production in his native Northern Ireland, Colin seemed destined to for bigger things, and, following a host of further stints on the stage, snagged the lead role in the BBC’s Merlin in 2008. With further film roles on the horizon we catch up with Colin to find out why British film is so strong, but equally what can be done to overcome the ills of the industry.
OUR LATEST ISSUE CELEBRATES BRITISH TALENT, WHAT MAKES BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION SO EXCITING RIGHT NOW?
British TV and film is really at such an exciting and vibrant place right now and, for me, it always comes down to the quality of the writing first and foremost, and we have some of the best writers in the world right here who are making their mark in significant and inspiring ways. As actors, we’re so lucky to get to read these works, even if we don’t ultimately get to work on them, we’re getting the chance to read exceptional work by exceptional British and Irish writers. We’re also lucky enough to have some of the very best directors here too, whose passion brings these stories to life, we’re currently seeing some of the best drama on out TVs and cinema screens than we’ve ever seen before and it shows what a passion there is from writers, directors, producers, actors et al to tell these stories and, equally, what a passion there is from the British people to have these stories told to them. It’s always growing and it’s always demanding and as long as the passion grows along with these demands then the quality of British and Irish drama is just going to get better and better and I’m so excited for that future.
YOU FEATURED IN OUR HACKETT SPECIAL, TALK US THROUGH THE LOOK YOU’RE WEARING?
During the photo shoot we were very lucky to be dressed in suits designed by Hackett. The suits chosen very much evoked a Rat Pack era, a time when there’s almost a feel of “the clothes maketh the man.” The focus on the suit, the cut of it, the individuality of it speaks volumes about its’ wearer, it’s about making a statement but in a casual way because as much as the image is important so is comfort (physically and mentally). And that’s how these clothes make you feel – stamping your individuality on the observer but being “cool” about it. You never saw Sinatra being self-conscious about his image, at least on the surface, and the suits in the shoot definitely gave us that nostalgic confidence.
YOU’VE STARRED IN NUMEROUS THEATRE PRODUCTIONS AS WELL AS TV. HOW DOES THE EXPERIENCE ON STAGE DIFFER TO FILMING TELEVISION? AND DO YOU PREFER ONE OR THE OTHER?
Telling stories and portraying characters is my passion and my drive and I’m so lucky to have the variety of working both on screen and on stage to bring these worlds to life. They are two very different mediums that require different skills for their execution but the process and the approach to both, for me, are exactly the same. It’s about creating the connection with your character as deeply and as truthfully as possible and working closely with inspiring directors and the whole creative team and not letting the ball drop, anything that is close to your heart is worthy of your time and commitment. I love the process and detail of the theatrical rehearsal process and the unexpected journey your embark on. Equally, I love the detail that can be achieved with the intimacy of the camera as it eavesdrops on the drama. There are just so many talented people working in theatre, film and TV today and I want to work with so many of them, I find that my passion gets stronger the more projects I work on and whether that’s on stage or on screen I always bring away such amazing memories and hopefully we leave memories behind for our audience too.
YOU’VE SO FAR STARRED IN MOSTLY TV PRODUCTIONS, ANY PLANS TO DO MORE FILM? AND WHAT DRAWS YOU TO A CHARACTER?
I’ve done two very different theatrical roles back to back recently, The Tempest at The Globe Theatre and currently coming towards the end of a West End run of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to some screen work next and shooting on a film in March. What draws me to a character is always something I find quite impossible to communicate, the character has to do something to you, impose some form of transformation on you that you must adhere to and honour and feeling a duty to that character to tell their story. When I feel that “need” to play a character then I fight for it, sometimes I lose that fight but I’ll always fight for what I believe in, it has to feel vital and I’ve been so fortunate so far to have been given the opportunities I’ve been given.
YOU’RE BEST KNOWN FOR YOUR ROLE IN MERLIN – WHAT’S SO APPEALING ABOUT THE FANTASY GENRE?
The fantasy genre’s key element for it’s wide appeal is all down to escapism, if we can visit a world so different and so disconnected from our own world then we can disconnect ourselves for that episode-length of time and not have to feel what we feel or deal with what we have to deal with and the world is crying out for escapism all the time. Reality is important too of course, we can’t lose touch, but those moments of escape can special and sometimes necessary.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
If I could change anything about the entertainment industry it would be the ‘celebrity culture.’ Something has been lost somewhere along the way with the craft of story-telling and I agree with Paul Newman when he said something along the lines of “people don’t shoot movies now, they shoot schedules, they shoot budgets.” There are of course exceptions but when the creativity is overshadowed by ‘the business’ I often feeling disappointed by that. We have some amazing film makers who are keeping the spirit of the craft alive and that’s a hub of excitement I want to be in.
WHO’S YOUR BIGGEST CRITIC?
Biggest critic? It’s usually yourself isn’t it? Well, criticism is healthy as long as it doesn’t become obsessive or domineering, it’s all too serious too be taken seriously. If my biggest critic exists outside my own head then I’m not sure I ever want to meet them.
Sources: 1 2