Actor Eugene Horan is one talented actor and all round awesome guy –especially with his love and drive to raise awareness to such serious issues as animal poaching. We recently sat down with this talented guy and here is what he had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
My full name is Eugene Charlie Bret Horan. (The first and second names after both of my grandfathers and the third name after the wrestler Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart). I was born and raised in the village of Claregalway, Co. Galway in the beautiful west of Ireland. My parents Maria and Owen and siblings Cora and Shane. Both my father and sister were Irish international show jumpers (Equestrians). I also have an Incredibly supportive Polish girlfriend Basia.
What inspired you to get into this industry?
I guess it has emerged from my artist nature. I’ve always displayed a creative and artistic streak. When I was a kid, I used to constantly record myself doing impressions of sports stars and movie stars. I also used to draw, paint, design logos and soccer jerseys just for fun. I excelled at art in school and was an official sportswear designer for a cycling club by the age of 16. When I finished school I hand painted china wear and painted murals for a living. I also did a little theatre throughout school but it was only after I finished that I really got to know what I wanted to do with my life. I enjoyed expressing myself in all sorts of artistic ways.
I went along to six auditions with absolutely no experience worth mentioning and landed every single part. I then auditioned, along with 3,000 others for a team of Irish actors to travel to L.A in 2005 and compete in a worldwide talent convention. I was one of only eleven actors selected in my category. In L.A, I won two 3rd place awards from the thousands of hopefuls and I came home knowing 100%, “This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I’m destined to do with my life!” It just felt natural to me. I loved every minute and I was hooked!
What kind of training have you had, if any?
My first taste of professional training was with the wonderful Clair Sinnett in L.A. Clair has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and has a lifetime of experience under her belt. Her guidance and support has been hugely influential in my career. Her words still live with me every day.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
I would have to say sharing a stage with the legendary Al Pacino.
What has been your favourite role so far?
I would have to say my favorite role has been as Brother Toger in ‘The Fairy Flag’ (a 2016 release). Playing a man of the cloth was so far removed from anything I have ever played before or since. It was a genuinely deep and spiritual experience to quite literally ‘become’ the character. I do not believe in switching a character on and off like a light switch. I just cannot do it, nor do I want to. I want to live and breathe like that character. Call it method acting if you wish but I don’t go around talking like the character in my day to day life but inside, I’m certainly overcome by that character. I think like them, I react like them, I feel like them.
Every actor has their own personal process and each and every type is the right type if it works for each individual. I threw myself in so deep that my mind and soul genuinely went places I’ve never been. It’s perfectly normal to experience butterflies or nerves on the first day of a shoot, no matter how experienced you may be but this role was very different. I’ve never arrived on set in such a calm and relaxed manner. My director David Izatt would testify that there was nothing unusual about finding me alone with my thoughts in the castle church for hours on end in between scenes and I loved it! Peace and tranquillity. I think ‘zen’ is the perfect word to sum up my state of mind during the entire shoot. I also lived with Franciscan monks to help me with my character and to learn Latin for the role.
What projects do you have coming up?
At the moment I am busy with voiceover work but I have been approached about three very interesting projects for 2016. Talks are progressing quite well on two feature films but until things are signed, sealed and delivered, I will remain tight lipped on them. However, I can tell you, I have also agreed to co-present a feature length documentary called ‘Poachers’. Along with my co-presenter Chris Capaldi and Zoghogg studios, we aim to travel across Africa and Asia and delve deep into the truly despicable world of animal poaching. Animal cruelty is a subject I have very strong feelings about, so it is crucially important that we raise the much needed awareness.
Who would you most like to work with?
Growing up, my three greatest inspirations in film have always been Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese. I feel truly blessed that within the space of 18 months, I met with Bob, shared a stage with Al and played a soldier on a movie produced by Marty. My dream role would be to collaborate with all three gentlemen on a major motion picture.
What are your plans for the future?
Each role I take on needs to be bigger than the last. It’s a patient business but I have a very clear vision and I will never rest until I get where I aspire to be. I also write a lot and will look to expanding into producing and directing movies.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
1. BELIEVE! Anything is possible IF you want it bad enough.
2. HARD WORK and a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE! If it means enough to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse!
3. NEVER GIVE UP! You’ll never know just how close you may have been!
Life is full of setbacks and I’ve had lots in this game but never be discouraged!
Use all negative situations to your advantage. Learn from them, grow stronger, bounce back with even more determination than ever before!
Each day, do at least ONE thing to take you a step closer to your dream. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! ANYTHING is possible. Dream it, believe it and achieve it! and remember… Don’t ‘act’,’re-act’!
It’s so much more than just learning lines. You need to FEEL what you are saying. Having the perfect understanding of the scene, the setting and history of your character (which is entirely your own imagination) makes learning your lines the most natural thing in the world. They simply just fall into place. That’s also a sign of a great script writer. Before I arrive on set I have the entire history of my character developed. Where has he come from, what are his character traits, habits, body language. None of it is accidental. I create a life for that character and make him my own. There’s a lot of stuff that can go unnoticed to an audience but the tiniest details can make the difference between a good performance and a great performance and in the words of Robert De Niro -we must always be true to our character.