Your new movie The Great
Charade - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
is on the surface a story of an obsessed fan living out
his fantasy and kidnapping the object of his obsession. That story is
wrapped around an exploration of the cult of celebrity and the Hollywood
hierarchy that can feed such obsessions.
Being an actor yourself,
how close to home did the plot of The
Great Charade actually hit?
part of the film that I found most relatable and hard-hitting personally
was the character of Dixie. Without giving too much away, Dixie is a
character who was strongly affected by a moment of rejection, an
experience that any actor is perhaps more used to than theyíd like to
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how
much Marcus Davis-Orrom can we find in Lyle?
came from a number of places, Rodeo and Dan Strange [Rodeo and
Daniel Strange interview - click here], our directors, wanted the
film to be steeped in Hollywood lore, and to that end they gave me a list
of iconic movie villains to take subtle elements from to create Lyle.
Thereís a bit of Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill in there, a bit of
Patrick Bateman, Norman
Bates, and a little of A Clockwork Orangeís
Alex, and with enough of myself to distinguish him from all those classic
How did you
get involved with the project in the first place?
had just finished working on a play with Francesca Louise White [Francesca
Louise White interview - click here], who plays
the role of Amara in the film. She mentioned that a film she was involved
in was having trouble filling a villain role, and put me in touch with
Rodeo and Dan. I sent them a self-tape, and they decided to take a chance
on me, for which Iím extremely grateful!
can you tell us about your directors Rodeo and Daniel Strange [Rodeo and
Daniel Strange interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?
have nothing but praise for Rodeo and Dan, they make an exceptional double
act, tempering and complementing each otherís skills. They ran a tight
ship on set, while still encouraging us all to have fun and experiment,
and provided a constant stream of imagination for us as actors to bounce
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
above, we had a great time on set. Given that we were working with
incredibly dark and disturbing subject matter, we had to find the humour
in what we were doing. We all clicked very well as a cast and crew, and
were able and encouraged to joke around and enjoy ourselves. While still
getting the work done of course!
future projects you'd like to share?
recently wrapped shooting on the horror short No Strings, with
Shooting Lodge Productions, in which I was playing yet another villain!
The film will be doing the festival circuit in the near future, so keep an
eye out for it! I am also playing the role of Mercutio in Leaning House
Theatreís play Mercutio & Tybalt based on characters from
Romeo & Juliet.
Thatís being performed at the Oxford Playhouseís Burton Taylor Studio
on October 1st and 2nd.
What got you into
acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
knew from my teenage years that I wanted to make a career as an actor,
having taken part in a number of school plays and local amateur
productions. I have not attended drama school, I have rather received my
training on the job, seeking out varied approaches and skilled
collaborators to work with and learn from. As actors, we never stop
learning, and I am to this day always seeking out new perspectives and
developing new skills as much as I can.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
Great Charade, I had not worked in film a huge amount. I had almost
exclusively worked as a theatre actor. The
Great Charade was in fact my
first feature film. I had worked on a couple of student films, but had
built my career mainly around Shakespeare, performing in a number of
Shakespearean theatre productions in Oxford, where I am based.
How would you describe yourself
as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
would like to think of myself as a flexible actor, I enjoy new experiences
and rising to new challenges. I like to work in a broad spectrum of
fields, and to get as varied an experience of the industry as I can. I
always begin creating my characters by asking ĎWhy?í Why is the
character in the situation in which the script finds them, why do they
behave the way they do, what has happened in their past to make them the
character they are. The more fleshed out their backstory becomes in my
head, the more rounded they become to me as a character and the better I
can understand them and bring them to life.
Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
McKellen is always the first to spring to my mind when I think of actors
who inspire me. Having been lucky enough to see him on stage on a couple
of occasions, Iím not sure Iíve ever seen another actor who so fully
embodies a role as McKellen does, in my opinion at least!
hard to choose! There are so many movies I love. I do find myself always
coming back to Shakespeare in Love Ė perfectly cast, written by one of
my favourite playwrights (Tom Stoppard), and always leaves me a bit weepy,
in a good way!
... and of course, films you really deplore?
donít love disparaging the work of other creators, but I could never get
on board with Avatar. A very pretty film, but a little unoriginal and on
the nose for my tastes!
website, Facebook, whatever else?
- Iíd much appreciate a follow!
for the interview!