2013 Graduate Anthony Darvall is busy lighting up stage and screen.
The role of Heathcliff from the classic story Wuthering Heights has been played by legendary actors (including Laurence Olivier, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hardy and Ian McShane) throughout the years, and 2013 AFTT Stage and Screen Acting grad Anthony Darvall tackled the notoriously difficult role for the Genesian Theatre shortly after completing his studies.
Seemingly unfazed by the amazing actors who played the legendary role before him, Anthony says “I was a little intimidated [by the other actors who have played the role] but I relished the challenge, and it made me up my game even more,”
“I think roles that have been played by so many famous and wonderful actors are the best roles – because there is a history and expectation to the part” Anthony says.
Not content with being a Leading Man on stage, Anthony also shot an exciting new web-series Nameless: Blood in Chains (currently in production for a second season) by director Michael Samer.
Anthony describes Nameless as a “sprawling epic series, written and shot like a feature film, released in episode format”. Set in a modern-day city, centring on five assassins connected by one Nameless assassin hell-bent on bringing an apocalyptic street war to the criminal class of the city, Anthony plays Wedge – a young, brash assassin-in-training under the mentorship of Ben.
“I think it is every boy’s secret dream to play a character like Wedge. He’s a wise-ass. Michael gave me free reign – it’s really funny what you can think up on the spot after a couple of cans of red bull!” Anthony says.
Season 2 is in the early stages of pre-production and Anthony is busy preparing: “I’m in training. At the moment it involves a lot of eating and lots of gym time but soon there will be martial arts, knife training and Parkour”. The first season is due to be launched online very soon – stay tuned for the Nameless: Blood and Chains release here.
In the meantime, Anthony has just been cast in The Chosen
by Chaim Potok for Director Moira Blumenthal. He’ll be working alongside acting legend Maeliosa Stafford. All this just 7 months out of drama school!
Read the full interview with Anthony
Your biggest challenge as an actor since leaving AFTT?
Finally coming face-to-face with the reality of the industry and how hard it is. You hear about it a lot in drama school but you sort of mentally deny it because you don’t want to face it. But when you do find something awesome to work on it becomes so awesome because of that wait.
Your highest career point so far?
I would have to pick 3 and they would be playing Hamlet at AFTT. Playing Heathcliff. Seeing the first rushes for Nameless: Blood and Chains.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently training for Nameless: Blood and Chains Part 2 at the moment that involves a lot of eating and lots of gym time but soon there will be martial arts, knife training and Parkour to throw in the mix. I have also just been cast in a play called The Chosen by Chaim Potok.
Tell us about Wuthering Heights?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of the most popular stories written in English History. It is a brutal love story set in the 1800’s on the Yorkshire Moors in England. It tells the tale of a doomed romance between a woman Cathy and her foster brother Heathcliff.
Had you read the book before you were cast in the play?
I read it as prep for my audition and I had seen numerous movie productions. What interested me about reading the book is that many of the filmed production were romanticized to a large degree and painted a more sympathetic picture of Heathcliff and Cathy - something I vowed not to aim for in my own performance.
Tell us about Nameless: Blood and Chains? What is it?
It is a sprawling epic series written like a feature, shot like a feature, released in episode format.
What is it about?
Set in a modern day city it centers around five assassins as they find themselves together in a bar in the middle of the night and discover they are all connected by this one Nameless assassin who is hell-bent upon bringing an apocalyptic street war to the criminal class of the city.
What was your audition experience?
I was actually recommended by someone I met once over a year ago and had never spoken to him since (the power of networking!) and he said that the director was having trouble casting one of the leads in this new series he was writing and directing and recommended me to him. I went to his house and we read from the script for about half an hour going over different scenes and reworking them and then he cast me. It was a fantastic feeling to get that immediate gratification and the director made it feel more like a workshop than an audition which was fantastic as it removed any nerves I had and I could just play and try new things.
What was it like on set?
Being on set was fantastic. Michael Samer is one of the best directors I have ever worked with and a true collaborator. He gets what he needs first shot wise and then allows you to play with the scenes. It is a fantastic and freeing feeling when you hear the director say “That was great now try one any way you want”. We all had a lot of fun and gave some kickass performances; I’ve made some of my best friends from that shoot.
Where/when can we see it?
The clock is ticking until the first episode will be released. As of the moment it just needs sound mixing and music and then it will be released online. The best way to keep up to date is to like the Nameless: Blood and Chains Facebook page. There are stills, trailers, information about the story and casting notices. We have about 100 roles to cast for part 2!
Tell us about your character?
Wedge is a young brash assassin in training under the mentorship of Ben. He grew up as an orphan on the streets and suffered as all kids in that situation suffered and as such developed a mentality of attack first so that you don’t get hurt which often finds him running off at the mouth and getting into trouble because of it. However underneath the bravado lies a scared young man who doesn’t want to be afraid anymore. This is where we find him at the beginning of the series. I promise you will find out about his history in Part 2 plus a lot of awesome action sequences!
Best advice you’ve been given?
Relax and listen! Oh and anything Jill Brown (AFTT Voice tutor) has ever said. Ever!
What are your best memories of studying at AFTT?
The whole 3 years were the best of my life but honestly I would have to say playing Hamlet and watching my classmates create their characters for Cosi.
Advice to other young actors?
Don’t underestimate the power of networking it is the key in our industry. Get out and meet people. Go on Facebook and find acting groups do anything and everything to expand your contact list. Also always help others because people remember that and then think of you when they have a role to cast or a position to fill. What goes around comes around. This is how I have been getting roles like Nameless and don’t wait to start after Drama school.
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