We recently sat down with popular UK actor Adrian Annis about his influences growing up in the acting world, his upcoming projects and his advice to aspiring actors.
Hi Adrian, first of all, when did you first decide to get into performing?
You may know me from the last two Harry Potter films where I played a Deatheater. I actually got into performing (in the acting sense) a little later in life, after I went on impulse to some drama classes. By the second lesson, I was hooked and within 18 months I’d given up my regular job and became a full time actor.
Who would you say influenced and inspired you growing up?
My inspirations are not your regular choices like De Niro, Pacino, Brando etc. Although I do look up to those guys. Nicholas Cage is a big inspiration to me as he has such charisma and character that you become so drawn to him. He’s not the most attractive guy but he just has that “can’t take your eyes off him” type of quality. Also, Gary Oldman for being the ultimate chameleon, Vincent Cassell for his intensity, Kevin Bacon for his work rate and so many others
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I’ve mainly taken classes and after some initial lessons, I had the choice of applying for drama school or just diving in head first. I chose the former and was lucky enough to get cast. Yes, I made a load of mistakes but I learned quickly as the pressure was on. It may not be the way for a number of people but it worked for me. A year or so back I did apply to both RADA and LAMDA in the UK to attend their summer courses. I was very pleased to get accepted in both but after a good look at my career and chatting to my agent and colleagues, I decided to decline them both. I’m not a theatre actor. although I respect that side of the craft, I’ve always loved film and TV work. I felt I’d just be attending so I could wear that badge of “drama school trained” on my sleeve.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
I have been lucky to have played a number of great life changing roles. The exposure and financial aspects of being in the Harry Potter series, The process and arc of playing such diverse characters as Karl in ‘The Car’, Sht William Philpot in “Fur Meinen Vater’ and Willie in “Art of Darkness’. However the role I loved playing the most was in a small short called Aldo. It was an ensemble piece and a very personal film for the director. We did a very emotional scene with no dialogue, just silence and tension. It could not have lasted more than a minute. When “cut” had finally been announced, the director came up to all three of us that were in the scene crying tears of pure emotion. It was as if he had just remembered the actual event the scene was taken from. That really moved all of us.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
My biggest achievement is obviously being successful in my career and loving what I do. So many people fall to the wayside in this industry because they come into it with a blinkered vision of what it really is. Those people are quickly exposed as it can be very brutal. The people who are truly in it for the right reasons, are the ones you see of and hear of time and time again. So my biggest achievement is finding a career that I truly love and I’m passionate about and most importantly, that I’m still here and working.
What project/projects are you currently working on?
I’m slated to be in four films that are due to start production within the next 6 months. One is a period drama (The Secret of Botticelli) that is shooting in Florence with it’s sequel (Botticelli Murders) being filming right after. Also, a Prison drama and Sci-fi thriller. Both only have working titles at present. So, a busy time ahead and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
If there was someone in particular you would like to have the chance to work alongside, past or present, who would it be?
Well all of the actors I mentioned previously, for sure. Director wise, apart from the big boys, Coppola, Scorcese, Tarantino, Fincher and Nolan. Also, the up and coming directors such as Duncan Moon, Jean Marc Valle, to name just a few.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to work with the guys above!!!! To continue working with great people on great productions, with amazing scripts. Then, to concentrate on more US productions. It’s the hub of the industry.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
My main piece of advice is to work, work and WORK!! Nothing beats experience. However, most importantly, enjoy every step of your journey!