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An Interview with Lawrence Watling, Star of Casting Directors

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2017

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Your new webseries Casting Directors - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

Casting Directors is a mockumentary webseries, based around the life of actors and casting directors during auditions. My character (Billy Spencer) is a casting assistant who has no social awareness whatsoever.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Lawrence Watling can we find in Billy Spencer, actually?

 

Billy is defiantly a spare part in the casting room, he is working with two very passionate people (Cindy and Simba) who are trying to get the best out of the project and then you have Billy, who is three steps behind everyone else and has trouble trying to keep up - not in a lazy way; he’s just completely away with the fairies. I would like to say I’m not as gormless as Billy, but I must admit I do sometimes drift off onto another planet… wait… what were we talking about?

 

I'm taking a wild guess here that as an actor, you might have attended the occasional casting yourself, right? So did any of those remind you of the goings-on in Casting Directors, and some of your personal worst casting experiences?

 

Correct! I’ve not only attended them but I’ve also ran them as the role of director/casting director and the different types of actors that you see trying to ‘impress’ the casting director is unbelievable. I’ve seen actors do warm ups right in front of the director and tell them all their training and experience and how they would be so right for the role, or prepare something extra or those who just try and stare out the competition in the waiting room and those that just do no preparation whatsoever, it really shows! This is why I think the series Casting Directors works so well because it’s a very truthful account of what some actors really are like.

 

How did you get involved with Casting Directors in the first place?

 

I met Anthony Vander [Anthony Vander interview - click here] through a series of Casting Director workshops. He contacted me out of the blue on New Year’s Day of all days asking me if I wanted to send him a self tape for the role of Billy. Regardless of my headache from the previous night I sent him a video straight back and thankfully I was offered the part!

 

To what extent can you relate to Casting Directors' brand of humour?

 

I love mockumentaries, many have said to me that this series has a feel of The Office about it, it’s a much more subtle/dry comedy rather than mad slapstick humour. Not to mention I get a lot of ‘You look like Gareth from The Office.’

 

What can you tell us about your director (and co-star) Anthony Vander [Anthony Vander interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Anthony is the man! Really nice and laid back but so motivational and professional at the same time. Ever since I've met Anthony I really do admire what he’s done and is still doing and I was really honored when he asked me to audition for this project. Anthony was never precious over his material and gave me the chance to explore my character as I’m sure many other actors on this project would agree.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

In one word ‘Fun’. It was such a great atmosphere with some really nice and professional people and I think as a collective we came up with something pretty special. if I was asked back for series two I would snap at the chance!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Well mainly my background is in theatre, I currently am doing a Fawlty Towers Tribute Show as well as doing a season with the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival this summer. Filming-wise I’ve been working on a few short films and music videos, I’ll be working on a new feature film Scales, which will also feature Anthony Vander. I will also be appearing in videos for the Dogs Trust, which teaches people how to be around strange dogs.

 

What got you into acting to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

I was such a shy boy and would barely talk to anyone. My parents sent me to a local youth theatre to try and help me with my confidence issues. I was cast as a tramp in a production of There will Always be an England. I was the comic role and when I heard that laughter on stage for the first time, I was hooked! I’ve not looked back since.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Casting Directors?

 

Well like I say, I’ve not done a huge amount of film work as I come from a mainly theatre background, I did two years as ‘Shaggy’ from Scooby Doo as well many other plays both classical and contemporary. I am as of late doing my filming, working on corporate shoots, short films and music videos, I’m always up for doing more!

 

How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

My main background is comedy, I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh, whether that’s dry humour or slapstick. As an actor I always try and pick out key words in the dialogue for my character and create a profile of relationships with the other characters. Any chance I get to add a big facial expression (when it comes to comedy) I always will!

 

Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?

 

I love comic actors/physical comedians, some of my top being Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Jim Carey, David Mitchell, Robin Williams, David Jason, Morcambe and Wise.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I love many films! Comedy is usually my favorite but if we are looking at classic films I would have to say The Lord of the Rings and Gladiator.

 

And of course, films you really deplore?

 

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I’m not really a fan of any chick flick… sorry chick flick lovers!

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

http://www.spotlight.com/9654-8947-2771

https://www.facebook.com/lawrencewatlingactor/

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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