Pretty much everyone seems to be impressed by your startling performance
in the short Worm these days. So, what can you tell us about the
movie and your character in it?
for the compliment but, unlike poems or novels or even screenplays, a
movie is created by the efforts of many - most of those people are
invisible on-screen but their creative contributions are essential to
every aspect of the finished film. So kudos to the legions of the unseen
creatives who brought this film to the screen. Here's a summary of the
movie and all the people involved that created something I'm very
grateful to be a part of:
Fatal Pictures presents Worm
day in the mind of Geoffrey Dodd, a
seemingly kind, gentle and sane High
School teacher. As we follow Geoffrey
through the course of a typical school
day we gain an eerie insight into the
darkest corners of his soul and beyond. Beneath
the carefully constructed veneer of
Geoffrey Dodd lies something wretched,
insidious and foul rotting him from the
Written and directed by Richard Powell [Richard
Powell interview - click here], produced
by Zach Green [Zach
Green interview - click here], starring: Robert Nolan, Kimberley
Curran, Christina McLain.
Geoffrey Dodd is a
pretty dark character. Do you see anything of yourself in him, and what do
you draw upon to bring such a character to life?
I see everything of myself in him as I approach the role by first knowing
that I am a human being, one of 7 billion on this planet and so I have
access to every quality, potential and possibility of any human being -
and that is infinite. So my craft is to become Geoffrey Dodd by
exploring my inner and outer worlds and finding the reality of myself in
the circumstances of his life. They say human nature is unchanging - but
I don't believe that. I believe that all things change, including human
nature but our evolutionary history shows these changes tend to occur
slowly in times of safety and rapidly at survival crisis points. The
same could be said for individual humans and the points of crisis in
their lives. Worm is a drama about a crisis nearing boiling point in
Geoffrey Dodd's interior world. So I become myself in the circumstances
of his world and that world then becomes my reality and then I do not
play Geoffrey Dodd - I am him. Scary eh? Better be sure you know you're
acting when you do that! One point I'd like to stress is it seems most
people don't believe they're capable of doing the most horrific (or
brilliant!) actions of some humans that co-exist with us on this
troubled planet. I believe that I am. And that we all are. The
difference between me and them is they do these things in
"real" life and I act those things on the screen - but the
impulses and motives of those actions are the same and come from the
mysterious and problematic depths of our common humanity. Putting it on
the screen allows it to come safely into group consciousness where our
observing minds can explore and examine safely what usually is only seen
in the horrific (or wondrous) results of actions created by these
impulses in our common external reality by individuals who act on them.
you initially become involved with the project?
was referred to producer Zach
a very fine actress (to whom I am forever grateful!) Kimberley
plays Patricia (my fellow teacher) in Worm. I was then contacted by
Zach, auditioned and won the role.
words about Worm's production company Fatal Pictures'
masterminds Richard Powell [Richard
Powell interview - click here] and Zach Green [Zach
Green interview - click here]?
Green is the most dynamic and unstoppable force-of-nature producer I
know. Fatal Pictures is unusual in my experience in its absolute
commitment to preparation and quality of production. Zach's endless
energy got the film off the ground, collected a sublime quality cast and
crew. Zach got me my first reviews (and many more of Worm) and his
promotion of the film is second to none.
a wonderful writer. Every film fails or ascends on the basis of
its script - and the Worm
script was superb! Richard also directed
and I consider him to be a very fine actor's director - this is a
special term of affection in the acting world reserved for
directors who understand the interior process of the actor's
preparation. Richard is a madman for preparation - and it shows in
his scripts, on-set presence and direction. I find I work best in
performance when I reach a level of trust with my director and can
hand-over most of the self-observation every actor does to the
director. With Richard I have complete trust in his judgement of
the nuances of my performance and rely completely on his
fine-tuning of my performance to the moments of the story. This
gives me the freedom to involve myself completely in the
performance. This is a rare freedom in the acting world.
Robert Noland and Richard Powell on the set of Familiar
You are also playing the lead in Worm's semi-sequel Familiar, playing Worm's
Geoffrey Dodd's brother. What can you tell us about that project yet?
Familiar is a separate project from Fatal Pictures. Thematically it has some
relation to Worm but stands on its own. Familiar is the story of a
series of tragic events in which a middle-aged man grows to suspect the
negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own. Co-starring Astrida
my wife and Cathryn Hostick as my daughter - both wonderful actors. We
have just finished principal photography on the film. Lensed by the
incomparable MJD (Michael
with sound by the impeccable Adam
amazing special effects by Ryan
Henriques and Steven
Butcher Shop - http://www.thebutchershop.ca).
Production Designer is Serge Tsukanov. Another stellar script by Richard
Powell produced by the indefatigable Zach Green. It was an intense
experience. I believe the film explores new frightening territory, not
only in the human mind, but in the relationships within a family and
with a horrifying realization that -- but I've said too much. You'll
have to wait for the release of the film!
Worm's Geoffrey Dodd and his brother in Familiar, which is
the scarier person?
films are complete in themselves. As far as the characters go they are
both a combination of character and circumstance. In Familiar we go
deeper into the sources of the negative impulses that creep into the
interior life of the character - you'll have to judge for yourself (by
the depth your nails embedded into the wooden handles of your chair!)
when you see Familiar. Coming soon!
Speaking of scary persons, I've read
somewhere that you have played Adolf
Hitler in no less than three different films. Is that true, and
how do you approach such a character?
True. Two of these were dramatic depictions. One was a comic turn in
Steve's Mind: Hitler's Apology, written
and directed by Steve
You can see it here: http://youtu.be/kN-MwBptYRo.
I see Hitler as a man like me who had certain beliefs that I myself do
not share - but belief is a human characteristic. Why we have such
beliefs is somewhat mysterious. Some of them are unquestioned teachings
from our culture, family and friends. Others come up from below, the
mysterious depths. Sometimes they arise and clash on a cultural and
international level. The resulting conflicts and wars are in some sense
a war of belief systems. So I immerse myself in the period and the
person and explore why they may have held and acted on these beliefs.
This research can result in a comedic or dramatic performance depending
on the script. Of the dramas, one film was about distracted soldiers
waiting to assassinate Hitler as he enters a bunker. The other was the
final moments of Hitler's life
involving his romance with his personal secretary (played by Kelly-Marie
which has some historical basis.
Let's go all the
way back to the beginning of your acting career: How did you start out as
an actor, and what can you tell us about your first experiences on a film
began my life as an actor at the tail end of an Honours Degree in English
and Drama from the University of Toronto. My first role was in a play at
University playing a Duck swimming around in the pool of of Alice's tears
I also played the King of Hearts in that play. He is the meek husband of
the Queen of Hearts who is very short-tempered and runs around yelling
"Off with his head!" whenever she gets upset at someone (which
is a lot!). My first film role was in a short film as a husband whose
house was invaded in 19th century Quebec (The
Strange Story of Jaques Laplante).
I'd like you to talk about a few movies from your
filmography I have picked merely based on the strength of their titles:
Universal Hanging Together of All Things?
very interesting short film about karma. Evil is done in the world and
those who commit it believe they are immune from the consequences but
circumstances conspire against them and justice is done in bizarre ways.
I played a homicide investigator looking into the strange death of a
very rich man in his front garden by a severed frozen foot falling from
the wheels of an airplane. Incidentally, Ryan
the current critically-acclaimed hit feature Son of the Sunshine)
acted in this film as well.
Shocks Anyone Anymore?
are so immune to the horrors of the modern world. A Chinese restaurant
hides a gambling den that bets on customer food orders - until they are
exposed. I played one of the gamblers betting on the next specialty dish.
A lot of losers and a couple of winners!
Kill Your Television?
film by Hank
up alone on a hospital bed in the middle of a vast plowed field.
The only other object is a television set sitting unplugged. He wanders
over. It turns it on when he hits it and he surfs the channels. On one
station I play a soap-opera doctor romantically involved with my nurse
during surgery. Then the scene changes and we are operating in the field
over the body of our hero. The film is about imagination, the dominance of
cultural programming and finding meaning in a shallow world.
film by Linda
A wealthy man's wife leaves him and takes his house leaving him homeless.
Sleeping in the park he encounters a yoga group that meets there, joins
them, then sees a young troubled woman outside the group. He brings her in
and a romance ensues. I play the ill-tempered bum in the park with my rags
tending my pathetic fire and seeing the group as an intrusion on my
Chop Chop You're Dead?
fine trailer from Brian
loves those old Japanese Horror drive-in flicks). A
young woman is murdered and left for dead, but returns from the grave to
exact vengeance on her killers. I play one of her victims and have my
*ahem* severed with an ax! Stars Mary
Kate Haché -
who is also a wonderful singer by the way!).
wonderful comedy by Bruce
myself and Paul
argument between two has-been actors over a restaurant bill gets out of
A Date with Fear?
thriller feature directed by Asit
Kranz and Amar
play the mysterious (and possibly dangerous) stranger who turns up
unexpectedly when a young couple is on a blind date. What
if everything we plan is challenged by the surprises of destiny? Do you
like surprises? It had its premiere screening at the Bloor Cinema
Devil Walks Among You?
M. Andrews [Ryan M.Andrews
interview - click here] and
starring myself, Katie
Uhlmann and Sandra
DaCosta [Sandra DaCosta
interview - click here]. In this
modern world few believe in the existence of the devil but what if they
are wrong? As
a restaurant closes for the night, a stranger approaches, a man with a
dark mission. What will it take for you to believe?
A new film from the talented Cody
Campanale starring Katie
myself. Acting sounds glamorous and fun but the dark side emerges in
this film about a drama school with a
placement competition at a prestigious school. A little bit of love and
a lot more of Richard III infuses this tight drama. I play the acting
other films you'd like to talk about, any future projects?
just wrapped on three projects.Stander by
Max Kosc is a carefully-crafted film about a effete artist hospitalized
after a shocking public display goes very wrong. In the hospital he
meets Stander (played by me), a man of the no-nonsense gritty streets
where violent solutions are preferred. The two get involved in a plan
that also involves the poet's girlfriend, a strange road trip, a lake,
money and an old score. Coming out soon!
second is a financing trailer called Lamb
written by Matt Spencer and directed by Alex Young starring Matt
Spencer, Hunter Hollick and Astrida
Auza with Steve
Dalcin as DOP - and I must mention the wonderful catering by Cutie
Pie Cupcakes & Co (Melanie Abdilla). I play a mysterious late-night
talk DJ who involves a young man in the moral dilemma of his life. 'Hunter
is a man on a wire, teetering between being a family man and an addict.
Each day bleeds into the next, a slipper slope of poor judgement and a
lack of self awareness. Like every man, he prides himself in being a
provider but has nothing left to give let alone pay his local
booky. Enter a mysterious man with a curious proposal.'
third project is the feature film Jane Doe
(see the trailer here:
I play a brain surgeon in a scene with nurse Vivica
A. Fox (Kill Bill)
London who plays the lead in this story about a young heroin addict
and prostitute who has amnesia after
being the victim of a violent crime and sets out on a journey of
Also it looks promising that I will be doing an action-adventure feature
in the summer (hush-hush for now!).
through your filmography, one can't but notice you have appeared
predominately in short films. Do you have any explanation for that?
I do. I went to University and studied English Literature (BA). I took a
couple of courses in drama and got hooked in performance. But I did not
go to a four-year drama school so my approach was to learn on the job.
Short films are wonderful learning experiences. You can have the lead,
act in stories from young minds that are outrageous, imaginative and
sometimes brilliant - and hone your acting skills in a great variety of
roles. Students and indie film-makers lack experience mostly but not
talent. We're all trying to advance and improve. My experience with
these films is priceless in the breadth and depth of roles I've been
offered and working on these films has brought me to this present moment
with a skill-set honed in the ditches and high-places. I have no sense
of entitlement because of this. I'm earning my place by working on the
job - and doing my best in each one. I encourage any actor to seek out
these films, do their best on each role and challenge your own limits.
This is how you grow as an actor.
are living in Toronto, Canada. What can you tell us about the local movie
scene, and how easy/difficult is it to find good roles in Toronto?
is vibrant, alive and diverse. Finding roles is a numbers game. Hard to
get a role? Hey, sitting by the phone or waiting for your agent to call
gets you little. You don't deserve anything. You have to work for it. So
get off your ass and out the door. Audition for anything you can
possibly fit out there. Press yourself to your limits (they're just in
your imagination anyway - let them go) and beyond. Good roles are
everywhere. But you have to earn them. Give your best and one day repeat
business will call your phone. That's show biz baby!
stage production of Rebel Without a Cause
Robert Nolan on the far right
having appeared in numerous movies and on television, you have also performed on
stage. How does performing on stage differ from performing in front of a
camera, and which do you actually prefer?
stage and screen are worlds for the actor to play in. The techniques
differ. My stage experience is not vast (I want more!) but the stage is
unforgiving to an actor's weaknesses. You don't get multiple takes -
just one at-bat - so you better have your lines and timing down! You
also have to be aware of your audience so you do some unnatural things,
like talking very loudly to someone you are whispering to and making
sure your body and expressions are seen by the audience - sometimes
hundreds of feet away. In film, the camera loves honesty. That's what
you must be on film. You can be subtle or grossly extreme but if that
comes from a place of truth the camera will love you - but it will also
expose every nuance of falseness and show your flawed performance
(flawed by ego). The camera is your true and demanding lover and will
accept nothing less than the depth of your truth. So the more you delve
truthfully into yourself, the more the camera will love your
would like to mention my "almost-got-it" audition with Woody
Harrelson for A Bullet For Adolf. I
got called in for the audition, the call-back and the final callback
but no cigar! Great experience meeting him though and I ended up with
tickets to see the upcoming show so that ain't bad!
indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Humphrey Bogart, Matt Damon, Charlie
Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Robbin Williams, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe,
Harrison Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, Alec Guiness, Tommy Lee Jones, Tony Curtis, Sidney Poiter, Claude Rains,
Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Edward G. Robinson, Montgomery
Clift, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Wilder, Steve
McQueen, Eddie Murphy, Ian McKellen, James Cagney, Robert Downy Jr.,
Peter O'Toole, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Denzel Washington, Morgan
Freeman, Kevin Spacey.
Meryl Streep, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Jodie Foster, Katherine
Hepburn, Charlize Theron, Grace Kelly, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Fonda,
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Diane Keaton, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn,
Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
The Bridge On The River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, In the Heat of the
Night, Unforgiven, War of the Worlds (original),
When Harry Met Sally,
The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Chinatown, City
Lights, Raging Bull, Sunset Boulevard, 2001: A Space
Odyssey, The Maltese
Falcon, It's a Wonderful Life, Singin' in the Rain,
Annie Hall, The Wizard of
Dr. Strangeglove, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Apocalypse
Now, Network, Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs, Modern
Times, West Side Story, The Red Violin, Rebel Without a
... and of course, films you have really
let's just forget those! Every film is a noble experiment. Hopefully all
learned something from the experience.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
* Website - http://robert-nolan.blogspot.com/
* IMDB - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0634349/
* Twitter - https://twitter.com/robertnolan
* Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/robert.nolan3
* Facebook Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54605981248
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
being an actor is a wonderful opportunity. Treat it seriously. Work hard
at your craft. Network. Get your ass out there. No-one owes you nothin'
baby. Go out and earn your place.
Oh, and thanks for the interview!
for the interview?