Monday, January 20, 2014

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1     How did you first get into acting; did you always want to be an actor?

            A:  To be an actor was never something I expected.  At school maths, English,science etc was never really something that hugely interested me.  Drama was because it was more of a practical subject rather than theory - drama at school was a subject that only my drama teacher recognised me for - the first subject in which I showed interest and dedication.  Because of this my drama teacher came to be my mentor.  Maybe my teachers thought it was him that was making me show interest - but no, it was acting itself.  My teacher soon came to realise it wasn’t my intelligence that made me have a lack of interest in other subjects - it was just that I didn’t enjoy them. My teachers used to tell me that if I worked harder I could have produced better grades.  This didn’t phase me in the slightest; I mean why put my time into a subject in which I had no interest? I didn’t wish to follow a subject or career I knew I wouldn’t enjoy. The school play was coming up - the only thing in school I was actually looking forward to!  Who was going to be in the cast? My drama teacher clearly knew it was a subject I love and in which I excelled.  What I didn’t realise was that my drama teacher couldn’t have a naughty pupil representing the school in his play, not only for his sake, but for the pupils who had 'As' in most subjects and wanted to be in the cast as much as I did.  The play was ‘Blood Brothers’ in which I was the narrator.  Not much of a character as such but one the audience soon came to find comical as I was seen to be wearing a blazer three times too big for me!!  Bearing in mind the narrator was an extremely serious character the contrast was just too overwhelming and quite frankly - humiliating.  My drama teacher had many contacts in the industry and told the class how there were going to be auditions held for ‘Waterloo Road’ in the very room we were sitting in. Well, we were raging with excitement.  Personally I never watched the show but my friends certainly did and I knew how popular it was.  After several auditions it came down to the final two - myself and another boy.  Came the night before I was going to find out and I will never forget the feeling I held in my stomach - not ever having had an interest in any one particular subject but now suddenly never wanting something so much.  Before I went to bed that night I had a discussion with my mum.  It almost felt like someone had told me and I was passing on the message.  She must have thought I was mad but I told her I was going to get the part; she responded with a shrug of the shoulders and laughed saying who knows?  The day had finally come, my mum sat by the phone whilst I went along to my boring school subjects trying to find a way of entertaining myself - most of the time being the class clown.  It was lunch time and I was queuing for dinner when suddenly a loud announcement was made on the tanoy. ‘Can Reece Douglas please report to the pastoral office’.  I had never felt adrenaline like I did in that very moment. As I quickly made my way to the pastoral office my mind was doing overtime - have I got the part?  Maybe something has happened at home. I laughed to myself when I realised it could be my head of year finding out about me throwing an apple across the dinner hall the previous day. I entered the office and my head of year passed me the phone, It was my mother. Not one word could be understood from what was being said except a loud scream of excitement, I knew i got the part. Most importantly from that very moment onwards I knew I wanted to be an actor.

2     As a young actor what are your aspirations for the future?

           A:      I guess the answer to this question is one that many actors my age would say. As an actor we all have that one performer we aspire to; in my case Will Smith. My perfect idea of the future would to be working on a sequel of films in Hollywood. I guess that’s a very stereotypical answer  - what actor wouldn’t?. A more realistic answer would be to work full time on a UK series, if it were to film abroad then it would be a bonus.

3    'Waterloo Road' has been a huge success - how have you found the popularity?

         A:      Starting 'Waterloo Road' when I was 13 years old it was a huge stepping stone - not only for me but my family also.  All the attention coming at once was extremely overwhelming - I can see why people become full of themselves. My mum was my chaperone on set - always making it her duty to keep me grounded and rein me in when I was pulling above my weight - all credit to her. Being recognised is just another part of the job which I think many people don’t know how to handle. Learning to always smile and be polite when in fact you're having the worst day of your life. Never forgetting that so many people would love to be in the position I am in.

4      How have things changed for you since leaving 'Waterloo Road'?

        A:      I started to find out who my true friends were - not just friend-zoning me because I am on TV but actually liked me for who I am. I started to see the world in a different way. I don’t tend to socialise as much as I used to - I invest a lot of time into my clothing line and also acting websites trying to find my next role.

5   How do you measure your success?

      A:   I see acting as a career rather than a path I follow to be famous. Many people would measure success by how recognised you are and that’s why I despise reality TV. I could land a part in the biggest reality TV show there is; a camera following me around all day while I gossip about people is not successful. Playing a distinct character in a hit TV series is. That’s how I measure the difference between fame and success.

6      What would you say to any young actors that wanted to follow in your footsteps and become successful?

       A:      Firstly I would say never follow in anyone’s footsteps. Take tips from what has made that person successful and use them wisely. A well known actor is someone that is good at playing a particular role, That’s why it's so easy to become stereotyped. If you're wanting to be an actor think of the characters your most suited to playing and revise. 

         7       Whether you have been bullied or not, do you feel that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat the problem?
                  A:      From being in school and seeing incidents of bullying my school took bullying very seriously and did everything in their power to make sure it did not happen. I think it’s very difficult for the government to fight bullying unless reoccurring abuse happens to same person making them aware of the situation and take action. I cannot comment on other countries as I have no knowledge how they operate.

13.   8       Do I have an agent or represent yourself?
I                A:     I am represented by a London based agency called ‘Bloomfields Management’. 

14.   9       Who and what is your inspiration?

                 A:     Will Smith is most definitely my inspiration - I love his work and the roles he plays.

1      10    Are any of your family members or relations in ‘showbiz’?
No            A:    Nope - just myself!.


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