SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
James Kay: Hi! I’m James and I’m an all round creative guy. I trained as an actor and find myself doing a lot of podcast work these days. However acting is still a big focus of mine and it’s what gives me the most enjoyment!
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
James Kay: I was lucky enough to be taken to the theatre very often as I was growing up. I was exposed to both contemporary and classical shows from a very early age. I was also taken to the ballet a fair bit! I loved being engaged by what was happening in front of me and knew from very early it was what I wanted to do. When my football team unfortunately broke up, I atended a youth theatre on Saturday mornings and really found my feet on stage!
SKSM: How did you become involved in All That You Love Will Be Carried Away Dollar Baby film?
James Kay: It’s a bit of a funny story actually! I wasn’t the original cast member playing my part. I believe the person who had the role before me got offered an oppurtunity he couldn’t turn down so the film needed somebody quickly. I was on holiday and had just finished a day of paintballing when Jack, who plays Alfie, rang me and asked if I was free in a few days. I had trained with Jack at university. I said yes and that evening I was on the phone to the director, Hendrik and was on set a few days later!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
James Kay: It’s a story that can be told in many different ways, and therefore each interpretation will bring something different to the table. I think that is true with a lot of Stephen King’s work. The unknown is exciting and people have a hunger to know more! It’s a page turner on paper, and I believe the cast and crew have transferred it to the screen wonderfully.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
James Kay: Due to how I got the role, the answer is neither really! I sent Hendrik my showreel and he must have seen something he liked in me. That night we had a phonecall discussing the project and my role specifically, he sent over the scripts and within a week I had completely wrapped filming! It’s a fast paced business!
SKSM: You worked with Hendrik Harms on this film, how was that?
James Kay: Great! I came into the fold late and hadn’t established a relationship with any of the cast or crew (except Jack, having known him for 4 years). I was welcomed very warmly, and made to feel at home. Hendrik had a clear vision of what he wanted, but also allowed us as actors to play. Which for me is important! Having a driven director that allows you the freedom to play is biggest thing I look for when working with somebody. The shoot ran smoothly, and even filming the uncomfortable scenes I felt at ease!
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
James Kay: Without giving too much away, I was put through the wars! Geena the make up artist got to work her magic and make me look truly horrendous, and then during the evening I became one with the earth. I can’t really say much more without spoiling it, but it was funny, if not slightly weird to film!
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
James Kay: I’ve had brief chats with Hendrik and Jack. The cast and crew met up for a get together but unfortunately I was on another job so couldn’t attend. However I’ve been told we will all have a few drinks after the first screening so i’m excited for that!
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
James Kay: Right now I’m really into my podcast work. I’m currently working on a show called ‘That’s What People Do’ where we explore awesome and evil people throughout history! I’m also looking at producing some audio work for other people.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
James Kay: Love it! Shawshank Redemption was one of the first films I ever watched and I can still watch it as intently today. I could list them all and how good they are! I actually worked on the first ever theatrical production of The Shining, where we had a hotel that was closed for the winter, and we took the audience around the hotel slowly unfolding the story of Jack and his family! We even managed to axe down a door twice a night. That was great fun!
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
James Kay: I used to be really good at playing Squash, and have a few medals to show for it! I still have the ability but my fitness can’t match it anymore!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
James Kay: Get hyped for the film, I know I am!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
James Kay: Redrum