We must simply learn from history

Around thirty years ago, as a young teenager, I watched a TV show called “Shogun” with Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, and Yoko Shimada in the main roles, but if memory serves me correctly it was filled with Japanese actors, and as a result felt immensely real and visceral to someone who had no idea about the country’s history and society. To cut to the chase, ever since that time I have been longing to go to Japan myself and finally after all that time I am sitting in Kyoto as I write this.

I promise I’ll write about my time here at some point, probably when I’ve left and let things digest, but I feel compelled at this point to share some pictures I took of the memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’ve decided to not share any graphic pictures or details, but I would urge anyone who reads this to do a little research into the history of those two nuclear strikes, and the consequences they had on the civilian population. I fear the world has perhaps forgotten over time, and attitudes to these weapons are drifting towards acceptance.

Slowest blogger ever

Sorry… to those of you that like to hear about my latest jobs and get a peak behind the scenes. Right near the top of my list of resolutions is to be better at posting.

It’s been a busy second half of the year, and just wonderful at that. The first production I’ve not yet mentioned was a delightful German/UK co-production shot in Wales and the great city of Liverpool. It’s a classic whodunit, called “In the Valley of the Fox”, and based on the novel of the same title by best selling author Charlotte Link. Yours truly did his best to accurately portray a police officer, DS Jenkins. Luckily, some real women and men ‘in blue’ were on hand to offer advice and guidance. Heroes, as so often also in real life…

Goals...

I'm thrilled to have joined this venerable union that does much to protect its members. Actors and other practitioners are often expected to work for free, or are vulnerable to other pressures; thanks to SAG/AFTRA, and EQUITY in the UK, much is being done to look out for those who often have the least say. While there is still much work to be done, strength in numbers makes this more achievable.

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Kurt Schwitters - "degenerate artist"

I recently had the immense privilege and pleasure of portraying the German artist Kurt Schwitters for a pilot film ("Brothers of Italy") based on real life events surrounding WW2 internment camps. As ever with historical characters I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to portray them as accurately as I can. In truth, more often than not, the characters I've played have been some of the most despicable, but a sense of duty to the subject matter means not shying away from the darkest aspects of their personas. All the more wonderful it was to this time play such an influential gentle artist and touch upon his tumultuous life. More to follow, but in the meantime here's a very blurry, quickly taken 'backstage' photo of me and one of the man himself.

Congratulations, Diane Kruger & In The Fade

Absolutely thrilled at the success Diane Kruger, and her latest film "In The Fade" (directed by Fatih Akin) are having. In addition to Diane's much deserved win for Best Actress at Cannes, In The Fade won Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes. A movie of great importance in these trying times, with a lead performance of tremendous depth, it's a shame it wasn't picked up for the Oscars.

I'm inspired by Diane's bravery to return to working in German, in Germany, after many years of living and working abroad, and I look back with fondness on a brief spell of working with her on The Infiltrator.

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Homage to Robert David MacDonald

Yesterday I had the absolute privilege, and complete pleasure, to come together with some fellow actors and creators who have worked at the Citizens Theatre over the years, to perform David's adaptation of WILLIAM TELL in a rehearsed reading. Such a wonderfully generous person and practitioner, I like to think he would have been tickled by the performance.

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Time for some comedy!

I'm not generally one to complain about my job, especially given the wonderfully diverse opportunities I've had, but I always think I'd love to play more comedic parts. Especially of the very dry variety. Well it turns out that I'll soon be able to do just that in an hilarious project by a frankly ridiculously talented group of people! More to follow... :)