I recently got the chance to talk to Kris Dillon Jr about his role in new film, ‘The Haunting Of Harry Payne’. Here, Kris talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Kris. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Haunting Of Harry Payne’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Ex-London gangster Harry Payne retires to East Anglia, driven mad when he was forced to kill his best friend, who was a psychopathic gang boss. Straight away he is drawn into a murder mystery in which a local police detective targets him as the killer. Unknown to anyone, Harry has psychic abilities he has always managed to suppress with alcohol. Now he must confront the supernatural and his own personal demons to save his wife and free the souls of the ghosts that haunt him.
Tell us about the character you play in the film…
My character is a local bobby who is not very heroic, just an ordinary guy doing his job and who unfortunately isn’t in the film for very long. We get called to a raid and your mind is mind left wondering where he has gone. The next time you see my character is as a ghost who comes back to haunt Harry.
How did you get involved with the project in the first place?
My friend Peter Barfield actually got me the part in the movie. I was just sitting at home one night and I got the phone call asking if I wanted to play a police officer in the film, it was quiet short notice and they was getting a bit worried about who they could find for the part. So obviously I was more than happy to play the part.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
I guess the film is unique because it different to any of the horror movies that you see nowadays, as this movie has actually got a storyline. It’s not just gore and people ripping each other apart or haunted houses, it has a very good storyline and enjoyable as it has got the whole gangsters and ghosts thing going on.
The film stars Tony Scannell, Daniel Bardwell, Peter Barfield, Andie Beaven and Oli Brown – with Martyn Pick onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
It was a very enjoyable experience to be working on set as I had a few of my friends with me – Peter, (who’s a very good friend of mine as I said earlier) got me the part in the movie and I speak to him often and see him at his “Shooters In The Pub” meetings once a month when I can make it. I actually didn’t get to see Daniel Bardwell on set but I did get to meet him at a screening of another film we are in together - ‘In Love With Alma Cogan’ and he is a really fun guy to be around. I was quiet nervous meeting Tony Scannell and Graham Cole because growing up with your Mum watching ‘The Bill’ you’re seeing these guys all the time that have been in-game for years and then one day I’m filming with them so it was great fun working with them.
Martyn Pick as a director was great, he knows exactly what he wants and is a really nice guy, so straight away you feel at ease. I was the only guy who drove to location on the last day of my scenes and I offered to take Tony and John Mangan (writer) back to the house where everyone was staying. After we rapped up for the day and I set off driving with John and Tony my sat-nav fell off the windscreen and broke, so we had no idea where we was and got totally lost. After driving round for about an hour we recognised a lane we past at the beginning of the day and eventually found the house. So that was my supposed good deed for the day.
Let’s talk a bit about you Kris. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I started acting when I was in primary school and absolutely loved every production we did. I always wanted to play the lead but somehow I always got the supporting role. When I got to secondary school I didn’t really carry on with my acting as none of my friends was really involved with it, so I guess I carried on suit. I still loved going to the movies and always use to pretend I was someone off TV. This in particular always sticks in my mind, me and my brother used to stand in front of the mirror and pretend we was a kids show hosts and growing up I always loved ‘Braveheart’ and around the age of about 9 or 10 I used to pretend I was William Wallace and prance around the garden all dressed up in my kilt and sword. At 19 I got spotted by a model agency and I after doing that for a year I wanted to get back into acting so I found an acting agency in London I liked the sound of and auditioned to get in. Once I did I started getting jobs through got busier and busier,so I decided to give up my day job as a hairstylist and pursue my acting career again, and I haven’t really looked back to be honest.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
I think my only advice would be, if you love doing it then keep at it and don’t get distracted by things, but on the other hand don’t let it rule your life because its such a mentally stressful job to have. If you want to do this as a career then don’t get despondent when things don’t go right, just keep at them and give 110%. If you’re not giving your all, you really shouldn’t be doing it.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
My Dad was in a band years ago and they had a Number 1 in 1968 called ‘Baby Come Back’. The band was called The Equals so I’ve always been brought up listening to records from that era. Currently I have got all of my favourite Queen songs on my I-Pod like ‘Hammer To Fall’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and pretty much all of their songs along with ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and ‘Communication Breakdown’ by Led Zeppelin. As well as my favourite bands from now like Panic At The Disco and Kings Of Leon.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
If I could have dinner with three people dead or alive, they would have to be my two grandparents, Thomas and Enver and my favourite actor Heath Ledger. I never met my granddad Tom but I’ve heard great stories about him from my Dad so I would love to meet him for the first time and I would love to show my granddad Enver what I am doing now and say goodbye to him properly. Heath Ledger is my all time favourite actor, I absolutely idolise his work and think he is just so cool so I would pick his brain about pretty much everything.
What is your favourite word?
My favourite word would have to be “sweet”. Everything is sweet, I am always using it, I probably get on people’s nerves using it as much as I do. I heard it on an episode of ‘American Dad’ (my guilty pleasure). It’s either that word or the F word, haha.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
2012 has already started pretty good as my first job this year was a featured role in a big commercial and things have just gone up and up from there really. I had one day on the new Bond movie ’Skyfall’. I’m in a scene with Daniel Craig so that was awesome getting to act along side and meet him, I have got the lead in a really funny short film ‘Escape’ and I appear in Episode 1 of ‘Cardinal Burns’ – the new sitcom on E4 where I’m playing the role of Hugo. Also, I’ve been on a long theatre tour so that has been pretty full on and taking up all of February. My latest news is that I have just been signed to a big acting agency called K Talent Artist Management where bigger opportunities await. So fingers crossed things carry on the way they are.
Thanks for the interview!