First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who don't
already know you?
My nameís Liam Edwards,
and Iím an actor from South Normanton, Derbyshire.
What got you into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about
your training as an actor?
I donít really know how I
got into acting, I was always into film and theatre, but I was dead-set on
joining the police upon leaving school, but literally in the last month or so,
I just decided ďIím joining a drama course insteadĒ. I went to West
Nottinghamshire College and earned my HND before moving on to Sheffield Hallam
University, where I earned my Performing Arts degree. Most of my training was
theatre oriented, but I learned a wide range of techniques for character
development, a lot of method and naturalistic acting, but also a lot of improv
and physical theatre techniques too. I also learned some musical theatre and
dance, though I havenít often used them.
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your
techinques to bring your characters to life?
played a wide range of characters, so Iíve had to be versatile, although
a lot of my roles have been some real unsavoury characters. It depends on
what the schedule is before filming, I sometimes go over the script and
make notes on what I perceive to be important character points, sometimes
I keep little diaries - as the character. Iíve even dressed like a
character and gone out as them, spoken like them, behaved like them.
Example, I once had a vampire character (best way to describe him) called
Aegeus for a film called The Culled - I went out as him, I never let
people see my face under my hood, if someone spoke to me, Iíd whisper
back, I sat on the back seat of a bus, in the middle, watching the other
passengers under my hood, it was 6pm on a February evening, getting dark,
then the lights went out at the back so I was in shadow, for me it was
like gold, because nobody came within two rows of me.
Most of all, when I get a script, I like to put it on its feet, so once
everyoneís out of the house, Iíll take over the living room and start
acting it out, just to get used to doing the scenes - first of all, Iíll
gain an understanding of the characterís motivations from that. I
donít like to just sit and read lines, they never sink in that way for
me. In my early theatre roles, I found that Iíd pick it up a lot faster
by getting up and doing it. When I was in Uni, my teachers (who were actors themselves, and/or ran theatre companies) would comment that I
could deliver any dialogue in such a naturalistic way that one wouldnít
know I was part of a scripted scene, practise makes perfect.
As far as I
know, you started your career in theatre, right? So what can you tell us
about your stagework?
This was back in college, I
discovered the local community theatre. They were putting on an original
comedy piece called A Site for Sore Eyes written by a local writer,
Kevin Fegan, and directed by Louise Wildish. The show was written to raise
awareness about the old Mansfield General Hospital, and itís derelict
state. I played one of the pesky former residents of the hospital, a
poltergeist, ďPolĒ for short, who cunningly manipulates the local
residents into action, to get the hospital knocked down. That was with
Mansfield Palace Theatre, I went on to do The Crucible and Brechtís
Caucasian Chalk Circle with them. Iíve played Macduff in Shakespeareís
Macbeth Twice, first version based on the idea of a modern gangster
Macbeth, the second time was the classic play in costume, with swords, so
Iíve shot him and chopped his head off respectively.
My most recent stage production was Family Circles by Alan
Ayckbourn, directed by Rob Goll at the Nottingham Arts Theatre. I played
the hypochondriac David, permanently stressed out and fretting, it was so
much fun to play and we all had a great laugh. Iíve met friends for life
every time Iíve been involved with a stage production.
Eventually, you also drifted into
film and TV - now how did that happen, and can you still remember your
first time in front of a film/TV camera?
I left Uni, I was like ďOk, gotta find work, put my name out thereĒ I
eventually met OTT Productions, a company in Nottingham looking for actors
for Dawn and the Dead, their zombie apocalypse comedy. I played
Nigel, a young soldier, part of a four man squad, who were just the most
inept group of soldiers on the planet, so I quickly discovered that
anything went with this role and I could have fun. But I tried to push the
boat out all the same. Most of Nigelís dialogue was as the puppy dog of
the group, all fun and games, Sarge hates his guts and makes him
responsible for the little girl they find. But then at the end, Nigel dies
to save her, I sold that scene so well that OTT have had me back for about
8 more films, each one with a more challenging role than the last. Itís
been awesome, so I must have done something right.
stage vs acting in front of a camera - now how do the two compare, and
which do you prefer, actually?
just now venturing back to stage work after about two and a half years, in
that time I think Iíve done about six films and countless other small
roles. On stage, obviously you have to project your voice a lot
more, everything has to be bigger and that much louder. Back in Uni, the
teacher would go right to the back of an auditorium and say, ďhit this
back wall with your voice!Ē To the camera, you can be more subtle, I
enjoy being subtle, I enjoy saying something with a look, an expression,
when youíre on stage, obviously, the audience canít see every facial
tick, expressions have to be that much more visible, so Itís more body
language. On camera, you can explore a more subtle range while still
putting across tonnes of emotions. Itís taken time to master, Iíve
stood in front of the mirror with scene directions before, trying to work
out what expressions convey the most, obviously the eyes are a big part of
that. I enjoy the process of putting on a stage show, though I tend to
only go for comedies, I do so much dark stuff that I need that comic
release every now and then, to be able to laugh at what Iím doing.
Having had so many awesome times on both stage, and in films, I really
canít say which I prefer more.
Do talk about some of the
films you were in for a bit, and what made these experiences special?
Iíve done a lot of films for OTT in Nottingham, most recently, Iíve
done Waiting for the Rain, At the End of all Roads, My Garden Forever and
Legacy. Some of them arenít out yet, but they're gonna be awesome when
they're ready. In At the End of all Roads I played Drew, a real nutter, I shaved my head
and grew a beard, Drew and his mates were on a revenge mission. At one
point, during a scene, a woman started shouting at us to leave the guy
alone, then two plain clothes policemen came to check on the guy I was
supposed to be beating, you know youíre doing it right when that
happens. In Legacy, I played a Cop, DC Ward. The film's not out yet so I
canít give too many details away, but Ward is sleazy and corrupt as they
come, but a real Badass at the same time, also smart and manipulative.
Even catching a hard beating and having guns pointed at his face donít
faze him. Yeah, Iím looking forward to that one.
It was a pleasure to be part of Molly Crows, I was in the flashback scenes
as a Puritan, one of the accusers of poor Molly Leigh. I was also part of
a spooky hanging scene in the woods. I loved hanging out with Ray [Ray
Wilkes interview - click here], Tony,
Layla, Phil and all the others. I keep running into witchcraft as a
subject matter in my career, Iíve loved it every time. It was also so
intriguing to work on because we cannot forget, Molly was a real person,
delving into the dark past is always exiting.
Iíll also be appearing in a Webseries soon, itís called Waterside, directed by Allan Rafferty. First
episode is done now and
itíll be ready soon. In this, I play ďMercyĒ he had a traumatic
early life and as a result, is now a psychotic madman out for revenge,
delivering ďMercyĒ to anyone he perceives to be weak. Iíve also done
a short called Dragons, which will be really funny when it comes
out, and most recently I played a ďDaddy PigĒ in Three Little
Pigs, it was filmed like a stage show, and we were in masks, so it was
a perfect blend of the stage and film experiences.
future projects (in whatever medium) you want to talk about?
just started rehearsing for Granny Must Die with a local theatre company, Iíll be playing The Devil in this one and itís a comedy, so
Iím really excited about that, thatíll be showing in January. Iíll
also be appearing at Twin Lakes as a butcher in the Scare Fest Pie
Factory, thatís gonna be awesome and I canít wait for that, thatís
for Halloween. Iím on the shortlist for a couple more so fingers crossed
on that front.
dream roles (however improbable)?
really like to play motion capture CGI role at some point, either for a
film or a game, thatíd be awesome, as Iím a big gamer. If they ever
make a film based on the Space Wolf series of books, Iím your man
for Ragner Blackmane, picked the omnibus up once for a flight and got
hooked. Heís just someone I really identify with, just in the way his
mind works. Really though, any badass character in a sci-fi/action will do
me, thatís my favourite genre.
Actors (or indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
Daniel Day-Lewis, for
someone that follows method, the dedication the man puts into every role
is astounding, thatís where the bar is set. Of course Iím also a fan
of Liam Neeson, the man trained Batman and Obi-Wan after all.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
a big fan of the Riddick movies, also Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
Dredd, Hot Fuzz,
The Guard, Centurion, Dog Soldiers, District 9, the list
goes on and on.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Name any romcom.
Facebook, whatever else?
Starnow Page: http://www.starnow.co.uk/liamedwards2
And my Xbox Live gamertag is Jagrider, if anyoneís on there, feel free to look me up.
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Iím working on my own stories at the moment, and when they're done, Iíll
be sure to let you have a look. All Iíll say right now is that oneís
an action-sci-fi that Iím refining and Iíve got a few ideas for a
straight up horror which are still in the notes stage. Soon as they're done,
Iíll be sure to send you a synopsis.