Actor Interview #7 – Paul Marlon

Back in February 2011 I attended the Bootleg Film Festival in London and saw the feature film SSDD by filmmaker Greg Hall. It was the best film of the festival and in the centre of it was an outstanding performance from an actor called Paul Marlon (further down the page I have included a scene from SSDD where Paul gives a monologue about Conan the Barbarian, watch it, it’s brilliant). I then got to know Greg and when he sent me his latest short film Bruised this year I saw once again a knock out performance from the actor Paul Marlon.  I discovered that Paul was also writing collaboratively with Greg and producing as well and that they were both planning a feature film together.

In May, Write Shoot Cut screened Bruised and Paul and Greg came up from London for the screening. It was fantastic to meet them and Paul was a humble, passionate, lovely guy who spoke enthusiastically about the craft of acting and the lengths that he goes to for a character (the full Q&A from this event is at the end of the page). I have nothing but respect for them both and what they are trying to achieve with their careers.

Paul is currently crowd funding for said feature film and I encourage you to read this interview then go to their site and pre-order a copy of the DVD for the new feature thus getting your hands on a cracking piece of independent British film and helping it get made.

Paul isn’t just passionate, he’s talented and works hard too. Watch the short film Bruised and be blown away by Paul’s performance, both physical and touching. He reminds me of Robert DeNiro or Paddy Considine (and I’m not saying that lightly). I’m delighted to host this interview and I wish Paul all the best with his career, he’s someone who deserves to do well. 

Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on?

My name is Paul Marlon I am a professional actor based in Kent just outside London. I have been working hard in the industry for many years in theatre, T.V and film as well as writing and producing my own work.

At the moment I am working on co-writing Broke But Making Films forth feature film Communion in which I am also playing the main role of Father Clemence.

Who/what inspired you to embark on a career in Filmmaking?

I am never sure who or what inspired me to act. I was definitely a child who loved T.V and film. I grew up with my Mum playing funny characters to us as kids and my Dad showing me classic films like The Italian Job and Play Misty For Me. The truth was though as a kid all I wanted to do was make people laugh and loved everything comedy from Laurel and Hardy to Blazing Saddles.

Have you had to make any sacrifices and how have you coped with that?

To do anything you love comes at a cost. For me sacrifices happen every day. Whether it’s being away from home regularly, missing birthdays, weddings, or just being able to have time off. The hard truth is that I have to work every hour god sends doing things I hate just to spend five minutes doing the thing I love…..Acting.

What is your ultimate goal/what drives you?

My drives come from my child like energy and incessant worry of failure. I also am a hopeless hyperactive and so have to always be busy. Though often I moan I am too busy or am being moaned ‘at’ for being too busy I would rather that than idol.

How do you define success?

My ultimate goal is probably linked to the way I define success. Oscar Wilde said, “If you find a job you love, you will never work again” if you get to live by this then you’ve won and well done. Paying the bills and leaving the house every day with a smile on your face has to be the dream for me.

How do you feel about collaboration?

Collaboration is the key to all things creative in my eyes, especially in the film business. I am nothing as an actor without someone to film me, someone to record my voice, then someone to watch me. When writing or creating a piece with others it has its moments when ideas clash, but often if you ride that storm together you can find something even better from the wreckage.

Do you have a niche or genre that you specialise in?

Do I have a niche or genre that I specialise in? Err well the mad thing about me is that my background is in comedy. I do stand up and was a Butlins Red Coat entertainer back in the day. As an actor though I often play the tough guy, the sleaze bag or the thug. To the people who know me I would like to think that’s not how they see me but in all my characters I try very hard to bring a sense of realism and a heart no matter who or what they are perceived as.

What was the title of your first film (Your first first film, not the one you are happy to call your first film) and can you tell us a bit about it?

The first film I was in was a feature film called Burnt written and directed by a very good filmmaker friend of mine David Hillman. It was about nine different people all living in a squat, which was a haunted, burnt out theatre/cinema. It had its troubles and has its holes but a big shout out to David because as far as a no money, pre-digital first feature film goes, it was bloody good.

Favourite Actor?

Robert de Nero, Al Pachino, at the minute I’m enjoying Michael Fassbender and of cause the legend that is Michael Caine and the one and only Gene Wilder.

All-time top 5 movies (as of this date, we all know it changes daily)?

  1. Blazing Saddles
  2. Unbreakable
  3. Goodfellas
  4. Inception
  5. 44 inch chest

What is the best short film you’ve seen?

Virgin media short winners – Black Hole or Sign Language.

First film you ever saw in the cinema?

I saw E.T with my mum and dad and brother when it was first out. My sister was too young so had to stay with Nan and Granddad but as I was only 4 1/2 I cried my eyes out. (I’ve cried at it every time since).

A random/funny story of anything you have experienced in the film world?

Whilst shooting Bruised our last short I took a hit from the lead actress Clare in my left arm. The vain in my arm popped out by a clear inch and has not been the same since. (All for the love).

Favourite film related website?

Write Shoot Cut of course!

What advice would you give to first time actors?

What apart from get a proper job!!! Haha. Just to make sure you are good to all the people you work with, work as hard as you can and never say never. If you can train then train, it will give you so much as a grounding but you will learn on the job forever so don’t walk about thinking you know it all. Don’t think acting is an easy route, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it can be the most rewarding.

Here is the full Q&A that Paul and director Greg Hall gave at Write Shoot Cut in May. 

Check out Paul’s showreel and credits on his Casting Call Pro page and find out more about Broke But Making Films on their site.

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