Your new movie Lost in
Sleep - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
short, the film follows a man who finds himself trapped in a nightmarish
landscape being hunted by an unknown entity. The film follows my character
(ĎThe Dreamerí) through these transitions to different locations in
this dreamlike state, in which we see his psychological state break down
as he is mercilessly pursued by an unseen presence that he is desperate to
little is known or explained about the character to the audience through
the filmís entirety. He is a disturbed individual whose sanity is on
the brink of collapse as he desperately attempts to navigate this dark,
dreamlike world he is trapped in. The character demonstrates numerous
behaviours seen from those that suffer sleep paralysis. Hints of these
behaviours are shown through the characterís lack of dialogue, frantic
eye movement, heavy irrational breathing, profuse sweating and reaction to
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how
much William Marshall can we find in him?
Since the role relied heavily of facial expression and physicality to
communicate the character's emotions and thoughts to the audience, I
primarily had to utilise and isolate tension in my muscles to convey the
required emotional state and body language required. Usually I break down
the script into segments and outline a specific super objective that my
character wishes to achieve by the filmís end. In these segments, the
character is set a number of smaller objectives to be completed in order
to remain on track to achieving their ultimate goal. For instance, the
super objective I outlined for my character was to escape the dream state
unharmed. Once the objectives are set and Iíve outlined the emotional
journey the character faces, it makes it easier to put these methods
into practice on set and achieve the desired performance on camera.
found that I brought a lot of my own natural curiosity into the role. The
character faces an unknown force in an unknown world, so it feels only
right to explore that instinct of curiosity by showing that the character
wants to understand the peril he is in. By doing this, through the use of
Jamie Walkerís superb camerawork, Maria Lee Metheringhamís [Maria
Lee Metheringham interview - click here] creative vision and my performance,
we are able to create something that provokes the same curiosity in the
audience watching. This is coupled together with the concept of unseen
horror and fractured storytelling, which really help the filmís
narrative progress and allows a strong emotional connection between the
character and audience.
in Sleep, you have no dialogue and with every scene it's at best
doubtful how "real" it is - so in which way has this influenced
With the lack of spoken dialogue I of course had to rely on facial
expression, physicality and body language to convey my performance of the
character. The difficulty in that was finding the right levels of emotion
and how heightened my movements and expressions were on camera. I wanted
to remain as naturalistic as possible, but given the nature of the film
there was some leeway on how exaggerated the character could be in this
dreamlike world. Thankfully Mariaís style of direction was very
reassuring, as she clearly communicated what she wanted scene by scene and
provided feedback if it was required between takes. At the same time,
Maria allowed for me to experiment and try different things between
varying takes and it allowed me to be relaxed with my levels of
How did you get involved with the
project in the first place, and to what extent could you identify with the
film's approach to horror?
I got involved on the project simply by finding the CineNorth Studios
Facebook page and liking it. I then found their latest casting call for an
actor based around Sheffield, so I followed the link to their
and realised it was Mariaís production company. I sent email expressing
my interest in the casting and future projects, not long after I had an
email back asking if I was interested. I looked at the trailers for the
previous films Maria had recently directed and confirmed my interest
and before long I had the script and shooting schedule.
on set of Lost
with Maria Lee Metheringham, Jamie Walker and
for the approach to the horror genre, this was something completely new to
me in terms of performance. So after reading the script and picking
Mariaís brain on the filmís themes I was eager to get started on
production. It provided a very unique experience and a challenge that
really tested me as a character actor.
Do talk about Lost
in Sleep's director Maria Lee Metheringham [Maria
Lee Metheringham interview - click here], and what was your
Before working with Maria as a director on Lost in
Sleep, I first met her
a couple years prior on the set of
Mychoís feature film Mask of
Thorn, directed by MJ Dixon. We worked together closely during that
shoot and I got to see how committed she is to her performances. Maria is
a very talented woman both in frontof and behind the camera, she is
approachable, relaxed and full of energy, while at the same time she is
professional, well mannered and just a general joy to work with.
a director, she outlines her expectations and desires required of your
performance and that of her crew. She fills you with confidence and it is
clear when you work with her that she has a vast wealth of industry
experience. Collaborating with her was a chance to learn from her and from
Jamie on a completely different style of project that I hadnít worked on
before. Everyone brought a great enthusiasm and energy to the set, we all
fed off that energy and it allowed us all to be relaxed and well focused
A few words about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
As I said previously, the whole atmosphere on set was relaxed and buzzing
with enthusiasm. To be honest I think we were all just happy to be out
shooting a project, given that most of time people were
to their homes for long periods of time. It was a really enjoyable
experience, we all got to know about each otherís past experiences,
recollect on previous projects and talk about on future aspirations. To
have filmed in such a picturesque location (Wyming Brook Nature Reserve,
Sheffield), alongside working with an minimal cast and crew just allowed a
real camaraderie to blossom. I certainly hope to work with Maria and Jamie
again on future endeavours, they were an absolute pleasure to work with on
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
on set of The Haunted Couple
with Lucy Marshall, Jon-Paul Gates, Jonty
There are a few, but I certainly wouldnít complain if more came along.
Iíll give you a short run down of some of the most exciting projects.
Case Files (2021): Directed by Damien Kage and produced by Tricell
This is a TV series produced in Nottingham, that follows multiple
characterís storylines after a deadly virus is released causing a
devastating epidemic throughout the city. You follow the survivors and the
Elite Group Investigation agents as they aim to escape the city and find
the source of the viral syndicate. I play the role of Agent Alex Scott,
who proceeds to save his partner and works with other agents to contain
the epidemic, whilst searching for a sinister entity that is on a rampage
across the city. The production is nearing the final stages of post
production and should be aiming for a late 2021 release.
The Haunted Couple (2020) and Nest of Vampires (2021): Directed by Chris
Sanders and produced by Black Coppice Films. My two main projects this
year and what a joy it was to work with Chris and his team. Nest of Vampires
Kit Valentine on his journey to save his daughter from a sinister criminal
syndicate controlled by vampires. Think Taken crossed with From Dusk till
Dawn. The film is going to be amazing and has number of high profile
attached to it. I urge everyone to do their research into this film
because itís going places and Chrisí hard work and ambition will be
the key to that success.
The Haunted Couple follows a husband and wife attending therapy sessions after they are
involved in a horrific accident. But, as the session continues the husband
begins to drift into the world of the supernatural. I am certainly excited
about this one, as this was perhaps one of the most challenging roles I
have ever had to portray. All will become clear as to why when the film is
released. I worked with an immensely talented team of professionals both
in the cast and crew.
had the pleasure to work with Jon-Paul Gates in both films, he is a
delight, a comical character and just great fun to be around. Other
talents, such as Lucy Marshall and Amelie Leroy, were superb. I cannot tell
you how amazing their performances were and itíll be a pleasure to work
with them again in the future. Nest of Vampires is aiming for a March 1st
2021 release, there is still no confirmed release date for The Haunted
Couple as of yet.
Slasher House 3 (2021) and Wrath of Thorn (2022): Directed
by MJ Dixon [MJ Dixon interview -
click here], produced by Anna Dixon of Mycho
Entertainment. I couldnít
leave out my two favourite people to work with could I? Thatís right
everyoneÖIím back for my sixth and seventh outings in the Mycho Horror
Universe! Iím always thrilled when they ask me to return for new
projects and I can never say no to them. I cannot say much about these
upcoming productions, for what information is available, I would urge
people to check on the Mycho website, social media pages and the filmsí
IMDb pages. All I can say is I canít wait to work with the Mycho
and a whole host of familiar faces once again. These filmís are going to
be special, not to mention what they have in the pipeline!
me, I feel really privileged to be part of two of the Slasher House films,
let alone being involved in every instalment of the Thorn-trilogy. I feel
a special connection with those films, as for me thatís where my
friendship with MJ, Anna and my connection to the Mychoverse
Since out last interview [click
here], quite a bit of water has flown down the river - so what can
you tell us about your journey as an actor since, and some career
Itís mad to think our last interview was six years ago, certainly a lot
has happened since then. Since that time, I graduated from Vision West
Nottinghamshire College and Derby University with my Bachelors Degree in
Applied Studies (Theatre). I continued to be cast in roles on a number of
short films, feature films and made-for-television series, along with a
number of theatrical productions being performed in the counties of
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. One of my biggest highlights was appearing
on the History and Yesterday channels on the production of
War Above The Trenches, where I appeared as one of the main cast.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
taking a year out of acting to focus on work and spending time with
family, I feel my career is making a bit of a resurgence and that Iím
starting to make good head way in becoming a more established industry
professional. My hope is that the world and the arts will begin to recover
once we begin to overcome the current epidemic and that more opportunities
will be coming my way. Iím looking forward to seeing what the future
holds for me.
Your website, social media, whatever else?
Spotlight pin: 5093-0162-0856
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
a quick mention of that I am working on a number of productions with
Yorkshire-based production companies Runestone Pictures and DiCast
Productions. Details on these projects can be found on their relevant
social media pages. These projects include Macbeth (2020), So
Haunted (2021), Vampyre (2021) and Locals (2022). These productions are
headed by Diana Brooks and her amazing teams, I am very excited to get
back working on these projects.
for the interview!
you for interviewing me again Michael, itís a pleasure as always!