I recently got the chance to talk to Johnny Shingleton about his role in ‘Reuniting The Rubens’. Here, Johnny talks about what it was like working with Timothy Spall and Honor Blackman and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Johnny. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Reuniting The Rubens‘.
No worries dude. It’s my pleasure…
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Reuniting the Rubins’ is a comedy that stars Timothy Spall as a wealthy Jewish widower tricked by his aged mother, a Holocaust survivor (Honor Blackman), from taking a retirement cruise to unite his four feuding children for a final Passover Seder before she dies. The quartet are a grizzly lot – a cut-throat capitalist, a female eco-warrior, a Buddhist monk and a neurotically obsessive orthodox rabbi.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
My character ‘The Protestor’ leads a demonstration outside the families’ hotel. As one of the families’ cars comes to a halt, I burst through the crowd and security, through the barriers and, before the guy (James Callis) can get out, I smear my dirty hands over his window and scream abuse at him. He gets out of the car and reacts by looking at the dirty smear, then at myself, tells me to have a wash, walks off and I scream at him while trying to grab him. For me, it was an awesome day. I love playing the bad guys!
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I got the part through my agent. They contacted and asked me if I was available to cast for ‘The Protestor’ role, I said yes, auditioned for the part and they told me about a week later I got it.
How would you say this film is different and unique to most comedies?
This is slightly different from other comedies as this is a ‘Sedar’ themed movie, which depicts how a Jewish family is brought back together in the most awkward way possible, but which needs to be successful for the families’ sake. One-by-one, each member has their excuses as to why they should disobey their ‘messenger’. This is why the movie is interesting to see how the Father and grandchild collates them all together.
The film stars Rhona Mitra, Timothy Spall, James Callis, Honor Blackman and Blake Harrison – with Yoav Factor onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The cast and crew were an absolute delight to meet and work with. When I met Timothy Spall, Honour Blackman and James Callis, they were all very welcoming and friendly. I’m glad I met Blake Harrison now as he starred in the summer blockbuster ‘The Inbetweeners’ and I love the TV series and the movie. The director, Yoav Factor, was very good to work with. He lets you freely work with the character in your own way, which is nice. He would always tell you what he wants. Rhona Mitra is very nice too!
Let’s talk a bit about you Johnny. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
My acting career started back in 2001. I was a really shy child growing up, and I think acting has helped me ‘bring me out of my shell’, so they say. I thought I would give acting a go, and from back then, my career had built up nice and steadily. I joined a few amateur dramatic schools, took part in a couple of plays, and then an agent approached me, who saw one of the plays, and asked me to join them. Since then, I have had steady contacts in the industry, and some great work with it.
You’ve been in a number of different British TV series – but which one has been your favourite to be a part of?
To be honest, I haven’t got a particular favourite British TV series that I have worked on. Luckily for me, they have all been really good fun to work on in their own ways. ‘Dream Team’ (the football soap that was shown on ‘Sky One’ from 1997 to 2007), was the longest running series that I worked on continuously. Another good programme I worked on was ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ on BBC2, where I was in the ID line up, and both panels have to identify who the real singer or band member is.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
I am into any type of music. I like most music from the 1970’s through to today’s era. On my I-Pod, I have a wide range. To name a few, I have: (my favourite song of 2009) ‘Empire State Of Mind’ by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys, ‘Under The Bridge’ by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan, and ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’ by Guns n Roses.
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
A very good question as it was hard to choose, but the three people I would invite to dinner would be (and I’d treat them eating out):
Johnny Depp (Actor) – for me, he is the most inspirational and best character actor at the moment. He gets the best out of every character he plays. I’d love to know more about him.
Bill Bailey (Comedian/Actor/Musician) – he is a very talented man, and I can imagine that he could and would entertain everyone, no matter who they were, around the table. He is very versatile, and I am sure he would have a lot of stories about his life too.
There are a LOT of people I could think of, but can’t decide I’m afraid…..
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
Again, a very good question as there is different ways of answering it. If it is from a ‘lifestyle necessity’ point-of-view, then my three essential things I could not live without would be:
- Hot women,
- My I-Phone
- Good food and alcohol.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I hope to have loads of work and become a millionaire in 2012! Haha. Seriously though, I haven’t anything planned as yet, but I have just joined another acting and modelling agent, so I will see what happens in the near future. I am also looking into getting a work visa to work in television and movies in Los Angeles and New York. Watch this space! And… hopefully to top it all off…world domination! 😀
Thanks for the interview!