Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Question and Answer Session with UK Actor, Neil Jackson

Neil Jackson... What can I say...? Its a pleasure to have you on the couch. Feel free to introduce yourself to everyone.

I’m and actor and writer from Luton, now living in Los Angeles…

I hear tell you were an amateur boxing champ before becoming an actor... How did the career change come about?

I was living in Cardiff, where I went to University, and studying for my Masters in Coaching Science. I was boxing and working on the door in various clubs in the city and I wasn’t happy. I had acted as a kid in school plays and a little National Youth Theatre, and that was the only thing in my life, career wise, that I had loved. So I completed by Masters and moved to London to pursue that dream.

Do you still dabble in the world of full contact sport.

I still train in boxing, but now only for fitness and cathartic release. I love the sport but don’t have the desire or the ability or the youth to ever think about competing again.

In a very short period of time you've climbed up the acting ladder, working both here and in the USA on projects including film and TV... Do you find differences between working on either side of the pond and which do you prefer?

The big difference is craft services. US shows have the most lavish catering. A sandwich truck with ever kind of filling and bread available all day. Every snack and drink imaginable from cappuccinos to every soda and type of doughnut. On the set of the BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs we had a tea urn.

And what about film and TV, are the two disciplines very different from an actors point of view and do you find it easy to switch between the two.

TV is fast. You have to be prepared and ready and on your game. Film often allows for a slower pace with more rehearsal time, though that often means more waiting around time too. Acting is as much concentration as anything else. You need to know what’s going on and be 100% ready when they call action. Nothing worse than standing on set with 100 people watching you and you’re not prepared.

I have to admit that I was a fan of Flash Forward and I can't believe they didn't green light a season two, especially with your character just coming into a world of his own... Any news/rumours on whether fan pressure will bring it back to our screens.

Unfortunately that show is dead. There is no chance of it coming back now after so long. And it’s a shame. There were such great plans for season two with Hellinger becoming a bigger character as we learn more about his plans and motives for causing these blackouts.

That's a shame for many of the fans... But what about Upstairs Downstairs? My wife, for one, wants to see more Harry Spargo.

The show starts shooting the full series in September. I hope Harry comes back. The BBC contacted last week so we’re officially ‘in talks’.

Mrs Charles will be happy to hear that and our fingers will be crossed for you.

Curve ball time... What question would you like to be asked more than any other and what would your answer be?

Do you ever wish that Jessica Beal and Anne Hathaway would stop stalking you? No!

You've covered a good cross section of genres with your work but what would the dream role be... What would be the one type of script you'd love to be handed and asked if you'd be the lead?

A role that mixed action with drama with humour. A Sherlock Holmes type character would be a dream…

Any news on Blood Soldiers? This is one I'm hoping rolls along quickly as I'd love to see the finished product.

I haven’t heard any news for a little while. The short is done, though I haven’t seen it, and I know the guys are talking meetings.

You've also tried your hand at writing. Is this a path you'd like to venture down further, possibly try directing at some point?

I will always write. Writing got me into acting. It’s a passion. I love story telling. One day that will lead to directing. But not just yet.

Curve ball No 2 (This question has just been thrown at me by Mrs Charles)... What kind of person would you be in an emergency... Would she want you on her life boat?

I’m good in a crisis. Calm. Though stressed people tend to stress me out. Might have to push anyone panicking out of that boat!

Do you actually sit down and watch the films and TV you've starred in or are you bored with them by that point?

I’m my biggest critic. I always watch as I think you can only improve by seeing what you’ve done and assessing what worked and what didn’t. I always wish I’d done more or better.

And finally, what can we expect from you in the future? Anything you want to shout out about?

My future is wide open right now. I’ll let you know when I settle on my next project.

Thanks Neil...