In the first of our Featured Artist series, we sit down and talk to actor Frank Gregg.
First off Frank, tell us a little about yourself.
I did amateur drama, and went to the Gaiety School of Acting. After that I worked in a cinema for some time to learn about that part of the movie industry, and then I landed an agent. I was by then a professional actor, and worked from there. Soon I became a member of Irish Equity, around the same time I landed the lead role in a horror film. I landed the role of “Garda James Finlan” on Fair City also around then. Now I ‘m creeping out of the Irish film industry to the international scene.
How did you get interested in acting, and where did you get your start?
Well, I was interested in acting my whole life, and it was all I ever dreamed about. I guess my father was sick of me always talking about it, so when I was a teenager, he organised it for me to become part of the “Walkinstown Drama Group” where I landed my first starring role.
You’ve some experience in both theatre and television, how does acting differ in both mediums?
Theatre is a very beautiful, passionate art, you are there with the audience, and the whole theatre is an environment of magic and wonder. Television is quite different in that you don’t have the audience, and there’s a different type of crew; it’s really a different world, with the advantage of not being limited by a stage and having the extra magic of being able to shoot anywhere from a street corner to an entire city.
What’s your best quality as an actor?
Well, I really don’t like talking about myself in a way which describes something I admire about myself, but if I was pushed for an answer, it would be that I never act, I just am!
Name three actors/actresses who inspire your work.
How do you work at improving your acting skills?
I work at improving my acting skills by being true to myself. You know, acting and being an artist really is something that you are deep down inside, a certain number of people will try and push you down and laugh at your dreams, and the only way they can win is for you to betray yourself. Acting really is very easy, and a dream to do. The difficulty is staying away from and handling people who will try to destroy your dreams. So, the more I do this, the better an actor I become, as then the talent shines.
Yes. The role came about when the company saw me on the internet, and thought I looked like Dillinger. They thought I was perfect for the role, and after some phone calls and the exchange of details, current photographs etc., I landed the role. The experience was a dream, not only to play somebody who I was quite familiar with – in an era I had much affinity for, but it was a dream to work for the award winning company that shot it. Dillinger was quite a vicious criminal, so I wanted to get this across. It was one of the first times I played a real-life person.
How do you feel about watching yourself on screen?
Not too good. It really depends what project you are in. Depending on the budget of the production, and the skill of the crew, they can make you look like a star or a nobody.
You’ve also tried your hand at directing. (A short called ‘Restless Souls’) How did it feel to be behind the camera, and is it something you’d be interested in continuing?
Yes. It’s a completely different experience. Excuse the expression, but as an actor; you are a puppet, but as a director,you’re the puppeteer. Yes, the dream is after I am at the top of my career as an actor, I would want to spread out and create as a director and film maker.
Are you acting in any current projects, and what are your goals for this year?
Yes, I am preparing for a lead role in a feature film that looks like it will be a trilogy or more. The first starts shooting in England this March. In March, there are also some Hollywood people coming over which will be the second time I have met with them. It’s an exciting project, but confidential so I cannot tell you about it I’m afraid.
My goals for this year for starters are – to do three movies, an Irish production, an Irish-English production and an American production. Us artists all just need to keep our eye on the mountain and we will get there.
A big thanks to Frank for for taking time out to do this interview! And if you’d like to become our next Featured Artist just click here.
Some of Frank Gregg’s work can be seen below:
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