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[Interview] – Josh Burdett – Actor

 

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Posted July 10, 2017 by

 
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Josh Burdett is a British actor known for his roles in films such as The Final Haunting and the new ABC/Lionsgate television series Guilt. He also stars alongside Douglas Booth in upcoming feature Loving Vincent. Originally from Somerset, he became bilingual after studying French at Royal Holloway, University of London and worked in the yachting industry before starting his acting career, training at the Stella Adler Studio and with Ivana Chubbuck. In addition to film and TV, Josh has also been the face of a worldwide Porsche campaign and appeared in the music video for Moby’s “Lie Down in Darkness”. Josh is English but employs an array of accents, including American and the Scottish accent he used for his role as Zouave in Loving Vincent.

Interview:

Josh, can you tell about your acting beginnings and what were you doing before you decided to be an actor?

I started acting at school and realized at about the age of 14 that this is what I wanted to do. I would audition for every play, eventually being to enjoy some really good and quite diverse roles such as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bill Sykes in Oliver! It’s sometimes frustrating in hindsight because I should have gone to drama school after I left school but ended up on the more “conventional” path. I ended up doing a degree in French, a Masters degree in business and then working in the yachting industry before finally saying to myself, “what the hell am I doing? I still want to be an actor!” It was all good life experience though and who knows, maybe if I started out properly aged 18 I would have messed it all up somehow. I am just glad I finally accepted that this was what I needed to do.

As an actor is important to have a lot of other skills and talents, which are reflected in the particular roles as well. What is your specific skill that makes you stand out?

I don’t know if I have a particular skill that makes me stand out. I think it’s good to have a variety of skills that allow you to be versatile. This goes for acting skills and techniques, but also for other things that might help you no matter what you’re faced with. It’s good to be able to turn your hand to anything like different accents, languages, and physical skills like stage combat. I recently worked on a video game called Falling Sky and it was the first time I had worked in a motion capture studio. It was a new skill to add to the list, and I learned a lot. I just think you need to be open to whatever comes your way and to be ready to learn something new all the time.

You have an important role in the feature film Loving Vincent. Can you tell as about your role and why do you think the film has such a good reviews?

I am really excited about Loving Vincent and proud to be a part of this amazing film. It is having so much success right now and rightfully so. The Directors Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela have created something so new and exciting. The film is the story of Vincent Van Gogh which is fascinating in itself, however, what makes this film so different is that is a groundbreaking way in which an army of incredibly skilled artists painted over every frame of the entire film to create a style of a moving painting. It, therefore, becomes an animated film in the style of Van Gogh and it’s going to look unbelievable. I play a character called Zouave, a mainly drunken soldier who is either starting fights or getting a ticking off from his commanding officer!

In the film, you are playing alongside Douglas Booth and other known names. How does it feel to act with these talented actors?

It was such a great experience to be acting alongside Douglas Booth and to be part of the cast of this film. As an actor, you just want to be involved in the best productions, so there is a real excitement associated with that. It’s what I dreamt of doing when I was a kid, so to be able to do it for real is a thrill. Douglas and I had a fight scene so not long after we met we were already rehearsing with a fight coordinator and grabbing each other by the throat! He’s a lovely guy and I’m excited to see him as Armand Roulin in the film.

Acting in the first fully painted biographical animated film is something new and different. How did you prepare for the filming? Was it different than usual?

In terms of preparation it wasn’t that different. So much of the changes and magic have happened in the post-production phase, so it’s going to be so interesting to see the finished version. It was quite technical as we had to be very precise with some of our movements. At one point I had to adopt the pose as accurately as possible of Van Gogh’s portrait of Zouave so at the end of the scene had to ensure I fell into the exact position. Other than that it was just a question of working with the green screen set to ensure the blocking was as accurate as possible. In terms of character, I made Zouave into a gruff soldier and used a Scottish accent.

What are your biggest projects to date and what can we expect from you in the near future? Any new movies, TV series?

Loving Vincent is the thing I am most excited about right now, but there are some more exciting projects in the pipeline. I just had a recurring role in the Lionsgate series GUILT, and am playing the lead in a play adapted from the book Pretty Broken Punks by Martin Belk. It’s early days as we are just in the very early rehearsal phase, but one to look out for! I also just finished work on the computer game Falling Sky doing the MoCap and voice for the lead character. Looking forward to seeing what else is around the corner!

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