I recently got the chance to talk to Adrian Holmes about his new film, ‘Red Riding Hood’ – where he stars alongside Amanda Seyfried, Billy Burke and Gary Oldman. In this exclusive interview, Adrian talks about his character in the film, his acting career and also gives us a sneak peek into a new “Battlestar Galactica” he’s been working on….
CREDIT: KAROLINA TUREK
Hey Adrian! Obviously we’re here to talk to you about your role in ‘Red Riding Hood’, out in UK cinemas on the 15th April 2011. In your opinion, how does this updated version differentiate from the original source text?
Well this version is darker and has an element of mystery to it. With the wolf being a werewolf, it leaves everyone in the village (with brown eyes) a suspect. There’s also a love triangle between Valerie, Peter and Henry – keeping it a little sexy as well.
What makes the film stand-out from other fantasy / horror films released this year?
It’s got Gary Oldman in it. Hahaha! Need I say more? It’s visually stunning… The cinematography is amazing! It also stars the great and beautiful Julie Christie as Grandmother too.
Tell us a bit about your character in the film.
The character I play is the Captain. He is the right hand man to our leader Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), and the anchor of the army. We have been called upon by Father August to rid the village of a werewolf that’s been terrorizing it for hundreds of years every full moon. I named my character ‘Ikechi’ which is a Nigerian name meaning “God’s strength”.
Billy Burke and Gary Oldman both play important roles in the film – what was it like working on-set with them?
Billy was cool… a very professional man of few words. Lol! He was right at home having worked already with Catherine on “Twilight”. Gary Oldman is my man though! Seeing that our characters were so close in the film we really bonded off camera. I’ve been a huge Gary Oldman fan since Dracula, so for me that was the best part of making this movie. Watching him work every day was so surreal and a great acting class for me as well. He has a great sense of humor too and had me in stitches everyday. I’m so proud and honoured to now say he’s a friend.
Catherine Hardwicke, most known for directing the original ‘Twilight’ – is the director behind ‘Red Riding Hood’. What was it like working with her?
Catherine is a very unique woman and I knew I was going to work with her when we first met at the audition. She’s like a kid in a candy store. Lol! She is so sweet and has an infectious energy that speaks volumes. She was an architect and a production designer first so she has a keen eye for detail and an extreme passion for her work. She gave us a lot of room to play about with our characters, creating a collaborative environment which was also very nice. We got along very well and I would work with her again any day. Again a lot of friendships were made on this film and Catherine was definitely one of them.
Let’s talk about you Adrian – what made you want to become an actor?
I wanted to be an actor when I was quite young actually. I watched a lot of TV as a kid and would sit so close to the box that my Mum would say if I got any closer I’d be in it. I think I took that literally and so I got even closer. Lol! They looked like they were having so much fun. More fun than I was and so I would play a lot of make believe in the back yard with my friends. Eventually I got into drama at school and did my first play at age 11. I played the Lion in the Wizard of Oz and got a lot of compliments on my performance. I felt very free and liberated on stage and found it to be quite therapeutic as I was slightly shy as a kid. It was an excuse for me to have a voice and to really express myself. You can get away with things on stage and in the movies that you can’t necessarily get away with in real life.
What has influenced you as an actor?
Acting to me is the best job in the world because you get to reinvent yourself with every role. People go to school to be in one profession where as actors go to school to be in all professions. Lol! Doctors, lawyers, politicians, police officers, you name it! We can be whatever or whoever we choose to be. It’s a very powerful medium that can inspire and give hope to those in need. I love watching great actors on-screen who are so committed and show vulnerability. It inspires me and gives me goose bumps! I love to inspire and be inspired and appreciate those who live up to their potential as human beings. I don’t act for selfish reasons. It’s not about me at all… there is such a greater power involved and I truly respect that. I feel that if you want to really have success and longevity in this business you have to grasp that concept.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
Well I would ask them why they want to be an actor first. You have to have a strong passion for it, like anything in life that you want to succeed at. There is a lot of rejection involved so you have to be used to that and know it’s nothing personal although it can feel that way at times. That said I would say stay focused and really believe in yourself and your abilities. Study! Be confident and walk by faith not by sight. God has a plan for us all and we’re going to get what we are supposed to have when we’re supposed to have it. Run your own race. My favorite quote is “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Looking at your IMDB listing, you’ve got both guest-star and re-occurring roles in TV shows such as ‘The Outer Limits’, ‘Tru Calling’, ‘V’, ‘Stargate SG-1’ and ‘Smallville’ – do you specifically go for the sci-fi / fantasy roles, or have they just cropped up naturally?
Yeah they’ve just cropped up naturally. I live in Vancouver which seems to me to be the sci-fi capital of the world. Lol! I enjoy sci-fi though. You get to really use your imagination and live and experience what was once a fantasy. I was a huge ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Superman’ fan growing up and so getting to work on ‘Smallville’ was very exciting for me. Not to mention I had powers like Clark and got to fly so that was pretty cool! I also recently shot a pilot called “Battlestar Galactica, Blood and Chrome” playing a viper pilot which was also very exciting for me. Flying in space shooting down enemy aircraft! I felt like the black Luke Skywalker. Lol!
Out of all of the above, which TV series was the best one to work on and why?
Oh it would have to be ‘Smallvile’ for sure. As I said I was a huge ‘Superman’ fan so… Basqat was a great character to play. He was similar to my character in ‘Red Riding Hood’ as he was the right hand man to General Zod. The strong silent type. Lol!
As you’ve said, you’ve recently finished the pilot for a new TV series – ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome’. What is the general premise behind it?
Well this series takes place during the first Cylon war when Adama ( Luke Pasqualino) is a young man in his early twenties just starting out on Galactica. He’s a cocky pilot that feels he has to prove himself to be respected. I had a lot of fun working on this project. The cast was just incredible and I really hope it sees the light of day.
Were you a fan of the original / reboot before you signed on?
Absolutely! I watched the original as a young lad and had a lot of friends in the reboot of the original as well. It was so well done!
Skins’ Luke Pasqualino is playing William Adama – what has he been like to work with? Has he brought a new side to Adama which viewers haven’t seen before?
He was the reason I had so much fun on the show. We instantly clicked Luke and I. It must have been that British connection. Lol! He is a very talented actor and I must say I was very impressed by his professionalism and level of focus. Not to mention his American accent. He nailed it! He brought a fresh new edge and flavour to Adama.
You play Lt. Decklan Elias – how does he fit into the BG universe?
Elias is a Viper Pilot on the Osiris ship which is a smaller version of Galactica. What happens after that I am not at liberty to say, sorry! It’s all very hush-hush at the moment.
If people haven’t seen the original or rebooted ‘Battlestar Galactica’ before – will they need to backtrack in order to understand ‘Blood And Chrome’?
No, I don’t think so as it has its own story and precedes Galactica. It would almost be better, I think, to not watch the original until after ‘Blood and Chrome’ if you can, but it’s totally up to the individual.
How would you encourage a devoted Battlestar fan to watch the series? Do you fear that they will nitpicky the series because of continuity problems, etc?
Watch it in order, if you can. There may be continuity problems sure, but I have no idea. You can’t please everyone unfortunately so I’m sure there’ll be the occasional nit-pickers here and there.
I’m guessing you will be turning up at conventions soon….
I’m looking forward to it actually. A lot of my friends do them and tell me their stories about the fans and just how passionate they are. They are a unique breed of fans indeed and very loyal which is what you need in this crazy business.
What else is coming up for you in 2011?
I have a movie coming out with Adrian Brody called “Wrecked” that should be out sometime in the spring. I also did a film with the beautiful Halle Berry called “Frankie and Alice” that was in limited theaters and soon to be on DVD. I’m currently auditioning and trying to be apart of a another great project that not only challenges but inspires. May we always be inspired!
Thanks for the interview!