I recently got the chance to talk to Richard Goss about his role in ‘In The Dark Half’. Here, Richard talks about how he got involved in the project and what made him want to get into acting in the first place…
Hey Richard. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘In The Dark Half’.
No problem Matt, thank you for interviewing me. This is my first interview as an actor!
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s a pretty intriguing ghost thriller story about a young boy who dies in his neighbours care. The father is overwhelmed with grief and the neighbour begins to feel a presence following her. The rest I will leave for everyone to watch!
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I was involved in the funeral scene at the crematorium, playing one of the mourners. This was basically a walk on part but I viewed it as much more. It was the first time I’d ever been in front of a camera so I saw this as a huge opportunity for me to learn how film sets work, to network with as many people there as possible and to absorb as much as I could.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I’d decided to become an actor around a week before. My friend, a professional photographer, had just taken my head shots for me and this was one of the first castings I ever applied for. I was in a hotel room in London when I had a phone call asking if I would like to be involved.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
It maybe due to the direction or the fact it’s an independent British film with a lower budget, but it doesn’t feel like the usual horror films that are being churned out nowadays. Honestly I’ve stopped watching most of them. Same scare tactics all the time. A really loud NOISE with a split second flash of something in the reflection in the mirror/window is not scary. It is headache inducing. I much prefer older horror films which steadily build the tension throughout the film, they make your skin crawl and get into your head.
The film stars Simon Armstrong, Jessica Barden, your good self, Georgia Henshaw and Tim Lewis – with Alistair Siddons onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I was only on set for one day of filming, and didn’t get to meet them properly, except for a very brief “hello” and “good morning”, but it was a fantastic opportunity for me to see how films are made, how the actors prepare for each scene. He probably didn’t know, but I watched Tony from a distance getting ready for his emotional scene where he worked himself up to tears. I observed all of his mannerisms, the way he moved, breathed, etc. Sounds rather stalker-ish now that I think about it! But yeah, it was fascinating.
Also there was a close up shot of myself and another actor outside the funeral home and we had to be talking very quietly to one another, murmuring, as it was quite a serious shot, and he kept whispering Billy Connolly jokes trying to crack me up. Nearly got me a few times but I managed to stay serious.
Let’s talk a bit about you Richard. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I’d rather not go into the specific details as it was an extremely frustrating, depressing time in my life, dominated by negative people, and I had to make a big decision about what to do with my future. I remember I was on my bed, wondering what the hell to do, then I looked up at my DVD collection (around 400 at the time) and it just struck me…I love watching films! I love watching actors! Why not go into acting? At the time it was a big gamble as I’d never acted before or had anything to do with drama, but I knew it would be exciting and the idea grew more and more. I read the Stanislavski books, as well as Lee Strasberg, etc and it just rolled from there. Looking back at it now, the bad things happening at the time were life’s way of pushing me in this direction. At least that’s what I like to think.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Listen, learn and network. Be polite and courteous. Work your ass off. And learn to love 18p packets of noodles.
You’ve been in a number of films and TV series – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
Although I didn’t get a chance to talk to them, I was a swordsman on ‘Wrath Of The Titans’ and got to stand next to Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington in several scenes. This was just mind-blowing for me, to watch actors like that at work up close. Again, I studied their movements, and learnt as much as I could. I got to meet and work with some great stunt performers for that film which I thoroughly enjoyed and am grateful for, I was taught a lot. I was taught sword fighting by stuntman Ray Nicholas and we performed a fight scene with a CGI creature called the Makhai. Made some good friends from that film set.
I did two short films with a director called Tom McLean, he has the maddest, strangest ideas but they turn out great. Always fun to work with him.
My first feature film with dialogue is the upcoming ‘Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection’. That was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The cast and crew were fantastic. Director James Plumb and producer Andrew Jones are so easy to work with, just makes for a really fun set. I got that role from an audition I heard about via a friend on ‘Wrath’.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Ah I have quite an eclectic taste in music. Right now there is ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ soundtrack, I’m obsessed with that one, I listen to it pretty much daily. Alice in Chains, Ennio Morricone, Pantera, Eminem, John Powell, Testament, a lot of latin/Spanish rap, dance music, metal, classical, etc. Different songs help get me in different moods. I can’t stand Rihanna or Drake or any of that stuff though.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Cool question, never really thought about this before. I’d say:
- Stanislavski – so much to learn about his system.
- Napoleon Hill – read his book Think and Grow Rich multiple times, very inspirational.
- Tom Hardy/Christian Bale/Robert De Niro/Al Pacino/Michael Caine – I can’t pick just one from any of those, so I had to name them all. I’ll let you pick whichever one!
On your off-days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
I’m a workaholic; I never take a day off, except Christmas Day. I constantly have to be doing something, pushing myself forward mentally, physically and career wise. I’m obsessed with progress. When I’m not acting or auditioning, I train in a military combat system called Krav Maga. I train a lot with hand to hand combat, knives, firearms, baseball bats, etc. It’s a great self-defence system, workout and very handy for fight scenes in films. I also do stunts training and have started going rock climbing.
I read a lot of books, watch a lot of films and I enjoy playing video games every now and then, ‘Arkham City’, ‘Assassin’s Creed’, ‘Fallout’ and ‘Red Dead Redemption’ are really fun. I love going to the beach and catching up with my close friends.
I also just discovered DC Comics website where you can buy and read them digitally!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I start filming soon on a short called ‘The Paintbrush’. I’m also performing some fight scenes in a new sci-fi series. I have three features due for release this year; ‘Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection’, ‘I Am Cursed’ and ‘Silent Night, Bloody Night’. Aside from that I’m moving to London permanently, more Krav/stunt training, a lot of auditions and fingers crossed, more filming!
Thanks for the interview!