I recently got the chance to talk to Jon-Paul Gates about his role in ‘Got To Run’. Here, Jon-Paul talks about the film, how he got into acting and what his favourite UK landmark is…
Hey Jon-Paul. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Got To Run’ will be coming out in selected cinemas on 14th June 2011. What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s about a 30-year-old woman, Sarah McGuire who is searching for something better in life. She is frustrated by having a useless boyfriend and a Draconian boss (played by me). On her work travels, she is given a list of iconic UK places to visit. At one of these places, she falls in love with the man of her dreams….
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film…
I play Jack Pratt, a very frugal, sexist northern businessman, who owns a woman’s lingerie business called ‘Pratt’s Provocateurs’. He has several girls working for him including Sarah McGuire, whom he pays minimum wage to and sends them all over the country selling his wares. His excuse is that he’s got a demanding trophy wife but really he’s just tight with his money!
From the outset, what was it about the film that made you want to become part of it?
I was in the USA shooting a film when Robbie Moffat, the director, asked me if I’d like to do some comedy. Normally I get cast as the antagonist, so to do something light-hearted, I jumped at the chance. Also I’ve worked with the director before and I enjoyed the experience.
From the trailer, it looks like the film is shot in a variety of different UK locations – what is your favourite UK city, town or landmark and why?
Probably London – it’s so cosmopolitan and has a vivacious vibe!
Let’s talk a bit about you Jon-Paul – what made you want to get into acting in the first place?
As a kid, all I wanted to do was become a professional footballer. Unfortunately, an injury stopped me and my ambitions. I had an agent at the time and I was very hyperactive and entertaining off the field and they suggested I get into acting. I did some youth theatre, some radio presenting and got my first break with the BBC’s ‘Eldorardo’.
What advice would you give to UK actors trying to get into the industry?
If you want to get into film, it’s not necessary to go to drama school. In film, it’s all about the soul and what the eyes say! Networking and being persistent is the key! Don’t rely on your agent to get you work!
What does a Jon-Paul Gates day usually consist of?
Being on IMDB constantly sourcing work and being in regular contact with my USA representation. Going to the gym and expending that unwanted energy!
You’ve been in a number of films and indie projects – how important do you think the indie industry is nowadays?
Absolutely vital. The advent of digital technology means there’s more films out there which has somewhat diluted the quality of products. But nonetheless I would not a have a career without the indie industry!!!!
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
Got a martial arts film to do in Thailand in August and then a film in Utah, USA in September.
Thanks for the interview!