June 29, 2016

Q&A Interview with British young Actor Guy Potter

Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.

Today I want you to meet Guy Potter, a young British actor and Film production company owner from London. Despite his young age Guy is without a doubt an inspirational personality with a mature attitude towards Life and his work in the film industrie. Also not many actors in his age have names of Hollywood Stars like Tom Cruise or Robert Downey Jr. on their Vita.

"Experiencing people like Tom Cruise &
Christoph Waltz do their thing left a
huge impression on me." Guy Potter

Guy the reason why I asked you for a “Q&A interview” is because I feel that you are an old soul trapped in a young body. :-) I read one of your recent interviews and I could easily pick a dozen of inspiring quotes. Quotes that not only inspire artistic people, but everyone about your admirable attitude towards Life and work in general. I quote one example: “Have absolute faith in your ability and set no limits” is one of my favourite. So how come that you are such a wise soul? Any explanations? :-)
Well… I’m not too sure, maybe they caught me on a good day…! I think it’s probably something to do with clarity of purpose. With something like acting its essential you get how there and experience as much as possible, you also meet a lot of people who all have different reasons for being  in the acting world and different motivations, - that sense of mixed purpose is great, but it also gets balanced out by a lot of extra noise. You sometimes encounter people doubting themselves and setting limits, and by its nature that will restrict what they achieve. Too many plan b’s or c’s, “what if this fails” or “what if that doesn’t work out” and suddenly you’re not focused on the plan A, and then it’ll never work out. The more I hear of that kind of thing, the more it makes you assess your core values and really focus.

Nicely said! :-) Guy there are not many young actors in your age, who can actually say that they recently worked on Film productions with Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Robert Downey Jr. So how did you feel, when you knew you would be on the film set like Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation? Was it as great and exciting as it sounds?

It absolutely is, if not even more so, as sometimes you wont know what the film is until you’re there, they use working title’s which can be confusing but that’s why they exist. For instance Avengers was called ‘AfterParty’ and then when you’re in wardrobe and you see an Iron Man costume it’s a bit of a shock! It’s a ‘try and be cool about it’ moment from then on out. I’ve done a lot of productions that aren’t nearly as big, but when you’re on a major studio film you cant help but be over awed by what’s going on around you, everything’s on a scale you cant imagine.

You were in these movies as an actor, unfortunately, uncredited (for now), but what was the best lesson for you acting and production-wise and why? Which one of these stars did you actually saw in action or get to talk to?

Well as it is for everyone else too, some of the scenes I’ve worked on get cut out, I did a week on Maleficent that never saw the light of day, but if the scene does get used and I’m left out, I’m almost in a constant battle with IMDb about it.

I’d say Tarzan was the biggest lesson. That was the first time I saw how a big production works. Me and a couple others got drafted in during the summer of 2014 and we had many weeks of boot camp for a fight scene, we had history lessons, military drill’s, firearm workshops, an audience with a guy who’d actually lived in the jungle with gorilla’s… you name it.  That was the beginning of me being interested in how a film is made right from it’s beginning. Sadly the scene got changed before filming and they went with something else instead… a shame, but thing’s change right up until the last minute you get used to it. I won't rely on anything till it physically comes out and I’m in it now!

That geared me up for Rogue Nation quite well though, I was a stand-in for Jeremy Renner and that evolved into working on the motorbike chase scene, doing pick-ups & re-shoots at Warner Bros Studios near London. I’d watched those movies since I was a kid and that was a great few months. If you have the opportunity to get involved with a big production, it’s worth it at any level. You come across some of the biggest names in the industry and get to see them do their job first hand: how they interpret the scenes you’ve seen that day and how they perform it - that’s a better master-class than money can buy. Experiencing people like Tom Cruise & Christoph Waltz do their thing left a huge impression on me.

I write a monthly #Lilywood review where I list my personal #MUSTC and #WOT (Waste of Time) Movies. What are your TOP three #MUSTC movies and why? And which three are your #WOT movies and why?
I agree a lot with what you’ve said on there. I think a summer or two ago, there were at least four major studio films out and every single one of their ending sequences involved a city getting invaded/destroyed at the end. I mean, it’s the same plot! Just repackaged in a different film… sometimes you need a dose of reality.
Top three #MUSTC, well I always enjoy looking back on a successful actor’s career and studying their path to see what choices they made, you can find some gems doing that. I’d go for ‘A River Runs Through It’ directed by Robert Redford starring a Young Brad Pitt, great little film about life in Montana. I really like The Last Samurai, which is a blend of a big production with the feel of a smaller one, but it’s just such a great narrative. More recently I saw ‘Whiplash’ and was just mesmerized, the last ten minutes are something else.

In term of the Waste Of Time’rs, well I’m really going off the whole superhero thing, (despite having worked on one!) in Isolation they can be great but just the whole churning out the same re-worked formula put’s me off, but I suppose that’s hard to avoid with the whole ‘Marvel Universe’.
I cant name specific’s but sometimes I like watching movies that are not so good to just learn how not to do something. When you watch a good movie you get lost in the narrative after a while, but with a bad one you can really analyze what’s not working.

You started acting at a young age in school. After training in stage you transitioned to film where you feel more at home. You have visited several Academy courses in Los Angeles and London, including the extensive Stunt & Firearms training at Warner Bros studios you mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, you have done short films, commercials and played roles in television. What was the best experience during your educational years? And what was the worst and most challenging one and why? Also as an actor do you prefer to play a good and nice character or a bad and nasty person?

Well, my appendix rupturing whilst doing a run of ‘My Fair Lady’ in the theatre wasn’t great! I thought I was just sick and could power through it, the Director suggested she could go out and read off the script but I was having none of it. I went out and did three nights in a daze, I got through it but collapsed the day after and was in hospital for two weeks. Best experience, well I really enjoyed a summer at The American Academy of Dramatic art in LA – the quality of alumni is almost intimidating.

On par with that it has to be stunt related training, I love that – the choreography, the combat, the research and training, sword and firearm, motorbike’s and driving it all just adds a great dynamic to a performance, its an art form in itself. As an actor doing characters, someone with depth I really enjoy getting into character and doing the research and fleshing them out, the more of that the better really. I’ve got to be able to relate to them too, anything superficial and I’m gone. Ryan Gosling’s character’s he’s played and his body of work to where he got today is really something, it’s to be admired.

You recently worked with the Queen of England. Well not the real one, but a young actress, who is playing Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world's most famous monarchy  in the TV Series “The Crown. How did it feel like to be part of a historical production like this where the story it based on your countries history?
Yes, I suppose I did! Claire Foy is playing Queen Elizabeth, she went to a friend of mine’s drama school and they’re very proud of her there. I didn’t have a scene with her unfortunately but I did watch them filming in the next room. It uses real locations and travels all over the country, my scenes were done on The Mall just down from Buckingham Palace, so it’s as real as you’ll get. I’m singing in that one too actually, it’s a huge production put on by Netflix and the trailer looks great, I think it will go down really well, especially as Downton Abbey is no more… quite a good time to be a Brit!

I can’t believe that I’m saying this. But you have actually founded an independent production company “High Sierra Films“ in London because you want to be more involved in the filmmaking process. As if that’s not admiring enough for a young man in your age, you are actually working right now on your first independent film. What can you tell us about your first project? Will you be in front or behind the camera or both?
That’s very true I have yes, I founded High Sierra Films because as an actor you’re just a small cog in a big machine and I think it’s essential to understand how the machine works. You’d be surprised how many of the big actors have their own production companies; sometimes I see their logo’s turn up before a totally unrelated production to their normal body of work and it's interesting to see what they get up to.
We helped with a film festival in Los Angeles last year but right now we’re doing a short called “Whatever the Weather” in conjunction with a production company called French 75. I’m behind the camera this time, we’ve got a chap called Schaffer McLean in front and it’s looking great so far, a feature is in the works but for now we’re focused on this.

I can’t help it, but I feel that the quality of movies has changed drastically in the last decades. Animation and Special effect wise the movies are on top, but story-wise the more time goes by the less I found inspiring and touching stories. The film industry is either re-producing old blockbusters or producing uninspiring action and crime films for fast, easy money. What will your production company produce? What will be the legacy of “High Sierra Films“?

Our goal right from the start was ‘to produce inspiring movies and media’. You have to have a good narrative and story, once you’ve got that it’s about making it enticing to an audience whilst finding your angle on the storytelling. Finding a team to work with that can nurture a project through the stages is the priority, and it has to be collaborative. It’s funny, no matter what level of filmmaking you witness, they all have the fundamentals in common, just on bigger levels - even on Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation thing’s were sometimes improvised… that really threw me! We’re at a point now where we’ve got a few projects in motion, all at different stages, but I suppose our legacy would be to make a difference and to bring something to light that hasn’t been seen before. I’d really like to tie-in a future project with environment and wildlife protection, that’s a pretty big passion of mine.

I don’t know if you have seen my “Entertain & Educate post” about my Film project plans. But as you see I’m trying to make a short film and a featured Film happen. So what advice do you have for me and other Authors, who want to bring their stories on screen? How should we approach production companies and make them a part of our journey?
Well, I would start first by getting involved with the local film community in some way, whether that be at a film school or film festival level - they have huge connections in the film world as they act like a hub for people trying to collaborate. Ideally, you need a team of like-minded people involved, a director, a producer etc - people who can share the same vision and get on board. Have a good narrative, find your angle and target audience - make it enticing.

Get all your ducks in a row and package it well, and then comes a point where you have to leave creativity behind and go into business mode… many people hand that over to someone else at that point as that becomes hard with your own project. People in high up production companies need to be shown that it will be a success, and the more you can do that the better… but once a few people are on board and it picks up momentum… who knows who may come across it and there’s no telling where it could end up.

Guy if I was an Angel and would ask you right now and right here, what is your biggest professional or personal dream, desire, goal, or wish. What would you answer?

Interesting one! Well, professionally it would be to have the ability to chose a project, I’d like to be in a place where there were more options, though I’m sure everybody would... aside from that it would be good if people were a bit more inclusive with each other, there’s a lot of division at the moment and not much progress comes from that. I went to a Coldplay concert recently and they’ve made a choice to put in as much energy and feeling in as possible, and you get a show that’s full of ambition, colour, high energy, and trying to get people to unite in something and have a great time. The positivity emitting from everyone after that was amazing, it was on a different level… we could do with some of that in everything we do.

What a beautiful and selfless answer Guy. And I say it again: You are an old soul.:-) So last but not least, ever since Im working on the last book of my trilogy “Definition of Love”, I ask all my inspirational interview partners these two questions. What is your definition of Love in three words? What is your definition of Love in one sentence?  I can’t wait to hear the answer to these two questions from a wise soul like yours. :-)
“You… complete… me.” how about that, or is that too cheesy?! I couldn’t not say it… that’s a great scene in Jerry Maguire.
I think it’s hard to define, the very reason you can't explain it is what makes it so great for people, you can't force it or genuinely try and make it up, it doesn’t happen often and when it does, it takes you completely by surprise… something with that much of influence on someone is a powerful thing.
Guy, it was really a pleasure to do this interview with you. I have no doubt that you will make your way and I look forward to seeing you in Action in front as well as behind the camera. I wish you the best of success as an actor and as a film producer.

If you want to find out more about Guy Potter follow him on:
Twitter: @guypotter_
Instagram: guypotter

If you know any inspiring personality like Guy Potter, who should be discovered and promoted on my BLOG, please contact me and I will decide whether I will do a “Question and Answer Interview” and promote their work or not! Many thanks in advance and God bless. Lily

Pictures: Thanks @ Guy Potter

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