I recently got the chance to talk to Grahame Fox about his role in horror film ‘Stormhouse’. Here, Grahame talks about how he got involved in the project, what he would do if he encountered an entity and about how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Grahame. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Stormhouse’ has just finished its theatrical release in selected UK cinemas and is still being shown in festivals now. How would you sum up the general plotline of the film?
The Army have captured a ghost and have some uses for it. However it doesn’t quite go to plan. You’ll have to see it!
I’ve seen the trailer for the film – very ‘Paranormal Activity’ esque, coupled together with Friar Jacques being sung creepy, clapping, and nana nana…..what made you want to become part of this project?
It was meeting Dan, Dean and Jason that made me want to become part of the project, plus I liked the script. The project was ambitious and they had total confidence that it was achievable. I was originally asked to look at the role of Lester, but for some reason it didn’t sit well with me. After re-reading the script again I thought I could do something with Groves so I went and met them again, and a short while later I was cast.
How would you say this film differs from other horror films released this year?
I haven’t seen any other horrors as of yet, though I’ll try to catch a few later this year when we screen at FrightFest in August.
With ‘Stormhouse’ being a horror film, did anything strange happen on-set?
It was a pretty eerie set to work on for sure, and at night there was total silence apart from wind making things creak, which in itself was a little unusual! But during the day we were working at such a rate I didn’t notice anything.
Is it true that the cast and crew lived on location and were kept to a military regime? What do you remember about that period before, during and after shooting?
Yes, it’s true. It had to be strict as we had very little time to get the film in the can. We all lived on the base. It was a little odd going to bed in the building that we were filming in. The first night there was great for getting into the spirit of the shoot.
What would you personally do if you encountered a supernatural entity – run away or talk to it?
I have. In my mother’s house in Cardiff. I wasn’t entirely sure what I saw as I didn’t want to believe I’d seen a ghost in my Mum’s house, especially as she was walking in the direction of my bedroom! I went into my sisters bedroom where the ghost had come from and woke my sister to tell her. She probably didn’t really need to know right then and to be honest I freaked her out a bit! She didn’t believe me, until a few years down the line when she saw it too.
Let’s talk a bit about you Grahame – what made you want to become an actor in the first place?
I’ve always wanted to be an actor, I first acted at the age of six playing ‘Buttons’ in the school play and just loved it. I have a cast photo at home and I look like the happiest kid alive. Then I got involved in the local theatre groups, and did drama all the way through school. My Nan was also a great influence. She used to act and was a painter. One day, when I was very young, she was looking after me and showed me a portrait she had done and asked me who it was. I had no idea. She said “Richard Burton”… “Who…?” I asked. Then when I found out I began studying him. When I was leaving school I wanted to go straight into drama school, but my parents were having none of it and suggested I got a proper job so I became a graphic artist. Then years later I was asked if I wanted to audition for the same company I had been with as a kid and ended up playing a few small roles in a production at the Sherman Arena in Cardiff. This brought back lots of memories and rekindled my enthusiasm and over the next few years I must have been in over 15 productions at the Sherman with various different companies. I set up my own theatre company to get my equity card and started to get offers of work in London.
What advice would you give to UK actors wanting to get into the industry?
It’s a fiercely competitive and saturated profession but if its your dream, give it all you’ve got and stick with it. Be prepared for rejection and have a back up skill to fill in the gaps. It can be a really tough business. There are a lot of drama schools pumping out thousands of ‘actors’ every year. I have worked with a lot of very good actors that in the end gave it up because of the lack of stability.
Who has been your favourite actor / actress to work alongside and why?
That’s a difficult question to answer because I’ve worked with some brilliant people. Grant Masters who plays Major Lester was brilliant to work with, a generous actor. Clive Owen and I had to kill some time once while waiting for the scene to be set up and he said “Know any jokes?”. We ended up telling joke after joke after joke. By the time it came to shoot the scene where I knock at his front door to take him down to the station we couldn’t look at each other and ended up laughing. Great bloke.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I’m currently rehearsing a theatre production of ‘The Tempest’ directed by the brilliant Trevor Nunn. It’s got a terrific cast including Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Lyndhurst. It promises to be quite a show!
Thanks for the interview!