Kenneth Collard – (Albatross – 2011).

I recently got the chance to talk to Kenneth Collard about his role in ‘Albatross’. Here, Ken talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and what is coming up for him in 2012…

Hey Ken. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Albatross’.

What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?

‘Albatross’ is a funny and moving coming-of-age story starring Sebastian Koch (‘The Lives of Others’, ‘Black Book’), Felicity Jones (‘Cemetery Junction’), Julia Ormond (‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’) and newcomer Jessica Brown-Findlay, a leading light in Screen International’s prestigious UK Stars Of Tomorrow list. ‘My Summer Of Love’ meets ‘An Education’, the film tells the story of a family whose world is turned upside down when the beautiful and rebellious Emelia explodes into their lives.

Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…

Actually it’s a very small role, I play one of the hotel guests, where the film is set.

How did you get involved in the project in the first place?

I’d met Shaheen Baig, the casting director, on ‘Brighton Rock’, and she sent me the script and called me in to meet the director Niall MacCormick and the producer Adrian Sturges.

How would you say this film is different and unique?

I loved the script when I first read it, and I felt it had a touch of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and the character of Emelia was so engaging. The script was beautifully written and very observant. When we had our read through with all the cast it was beautiful to see the script come to life and put faces to the characters.

The film stars Sebastian Koch, Julia Ormond, Felicity Jones, Peter Vaughan and Jessica Brown Findlay – with Niall MacCormick onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?

Niall is an amazing director and was a joy to meet and work with. ‘The Lives Of Others’ is one of my favourite films, so it was a great honour to work with Sebastian and Felicity Jones I worked with a little later on the film ‘Cheerful Weather For The Wedding’, a brilliant actress. All the cast are incredibly strong in the film. We filmed on location in the Isle of Man, in a beautiful house overlooking the sea.

Let’s talk a bit about you Ken. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?

Actually it was something I really enjoyed at school and decided at 16 that it would be quite a nice job to do. It was never a burning ambition, just seemed like a good idea. The careers advisor advised me not to, and my Dad encouraged me to get a trade, first in the Army, which never worked out and then with GEC Avionics. So I dropped out of my A-Levels and spent the next 4 years doing an apprenticeship in Engineering, and when I left I went to drama school in Birmingham for 3 years.

You’ve been in a number of different film and TV projects – who has been your favourite actor/actress to work with so far and which project has been your favourite to be a part of?

Difficult to say. They vary so much and have all been a great learning experience in their own unique way. My first film job was the ‘Young Indiana Jones Chronicles’ for Lucas Film, and I was working with Anthony Daniels, who took me under his wing, I will always be grateful for that, and have always tried to do the same for any young actor starting out. So enjoyed working on ‘House Of Rooms’ recently and ‘Skins’ and also ‘The Borgias’ and ‘Fresh Meat’. ‘Morris 2274’ for Channel 5 playing the series regular Mr Busby, directed by Dan Peacock – and also ‘Cavegirl’, also with Dan directing, for the BBC, were both completely mad but gave me such a great grounding in working in front of the camera. Eternally grateful to Mr Peacock for taking a chance with me and learnt so much from him.

If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

They would be Nichiren Daishonin (13th century Buddhist Human Revolutionary), Daisaku Ikeda (21st century Buddhist Human Revolutionary) and Josei Toda (20th century Buddhist Human Revolutionary), you’re probably seeing a trend here, and if I could have one other maybe Amy Winehouse a 20th century music revolutionary.

Nichiren Daishonin, Daisaku Ikeda and Josei Toda because they have taught me what it is to be a human being and an artist and Amy Winehouse to let her know everything is going to be alright.

What is currently on your I-Pod right now?

Amy Winehouse, Adele and a whole mixture of other stuff from classical to, well not so classical.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

Japan in winter, in the north on the island of Hokkiado, sitting in the hot springs when its -20C and Germany as I spent my early years going back and forth there over summer and Christmas.

What’s coming up for you in 2012?

I start soon on ‘Anna Karenina’, directed by Joe Wright, playing Prince Tvosrkoy and also a new sketch show for E4. Other stuff coming out this year and next year is ‘Albert Nobbs’ with Glenn Close, ‘Foster’ with Toni Collette and some episodes of ‘Skins’ series 6, ‘Dirk Gently’ and ‘House Of Rooms’ for Channel 4. Tons of stuff.

Thanks for the interview!

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