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25 April 2022 @ 08:50 pm
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lolasaurus
08 March 2011 @ 03:07 pm
 ( ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW BY ME. IF REBLOGGED, PLEASE CREDIT ME AS THE SOURCE. IT'S NOT THAT HARD)

In 2001, A&E aired The Lost Battalion, a made for TV movie set in World War 1. Directed by Russel McCahey, the movie told the story of Major Whittlesy and his battalion as they struggle to survive while surrounded by German troops. The movie was nominated for 3 emmys and won the Christopher Award in 2002. Among the talented cast members - which include Rick Schroeder and Adam James - is George Calil, who portrayed Private Lowell R. Hollingshead. But Hollingshead's was not the first uniform Calil has donned. He is possibly better known as Private James Alley in the Hanks/Spielberg miniseries Band of Brothers.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

G: I was born in London at Westminster Hospital. I grew up in London, for the most part - but truly I'm still growing up.

Did you take any acting classes or participate in theatre while in school or attend performing arts schools?

G: I did a little acting a school (Westminster), a Sherlock Holmes story that we made up. I can't remember what the story was though. I played Watson.

What drew you into acting?

G: Star Wars. When I was young I wanted to be Luke (the shame of it!). My dad told me I couldn't be Luke because he was an actor - so that's what I wanted to be.

What / when was your first acting role?

G: My first ever 'job' was on a documentary called "Speak Robert Speak", I was 10 or 11. But my first role with lines and a paycheck was in the early nineties on a film called "Tiger Heart". I was working as a production assistant for the company that made it and they were kind enough to give me half a day's work as the older brother of the lead. I was dreadful.

What was your favorite project to work on, and why?

G: There are two "Band of Brothers" and "September Tapes". I'll tell you about BoB next. I loved ST for the sheer craziness of what we were doing. 5 of us went out to Afghanistan to shoot the film in July of 2002. As far as I know we were the only independent film makers in the country. We were certainly the first people to make a movie there post 9-11. It was scary and fascinating. I will never forget it. It really brought home to me the bravery of our boys over there and of the locals. I can't put a number on how many people disliked foreigners and what they represented, but I can say that the vast majority of the Afghan people were warm and friendly and genuinely grateful to have been liberated from the Taliban regime. Obviously we couldn't control the surroundings so we had to improvise most of the film. To do this I literally had to live the character 24/7. It was a painful process as "Lars" (my character) is not a nice human being. I would have loved to have played him as a warm more friendly person but what you see on the screen is what the director wanted. I disagreed with Christian strongly but he got what he was the boss. I don't want to imply that he is bad director, we merely disagreed, he is a brave and talented director and a kind, generous and lovely person. I think we could have made a better film, but I wouldn't swap the experience for all the tea in China.

What was it like to work on Band of Brothers?

G: BoB was an incredible. Nine months of my life spent with some of the best people and craftsmen and women that I have ever met. It was a joy to go to work. BoB gave me a number of friendships that far exceed actory lovey dovey "So good to see you darling!" bullshit. Friendships that I maintain to this day. It has been wonderful to see the careers of so many of the young men who worked on BoB going from strength to strength. To work with Captain Dye... what can I say (?) the man is a legend, a bright shining mad man, a caring motivator. At some point we all wanted to kill him, but at the same time we would do anything for him. He tricked us into our characters by treating us as soldiers and I hope we lived up to what he expected of us. BoB was on a scale that I had never imagined. If there was a scene with tanks in it, no problem, there were tanks, literally. And then there was Tom, Mr. Hanks, who reminded that he had won two Oscars when I congratulated him on one. Talk about intimidating. Spielberg himself who I only met the once. Tony To - a great producer. When the job was nearing its end I made some silver screaming eagle key rings for the four of them and I still wonder if they use them!

Was the boot camp as hard as it looked?

G: Yes the boot camp was hard but so much fun, by the end of it I didn't want to leave. It was the beginning of a camaraderie between the boys of Easy Company that endures to this day. I think thirty actors were on the boot camp with at least that number again of ex-service men who played the rest of Easy throughout the shoot. And what a great move from the production team. I was on mortars and my team consisted of two ex-soldiers, Paddy and Dave. If not for them I might have cracked. Learning about your weapon, tactics, parachute landing falls, and all as they would have been doing in WWII. Priceless comments from the real army boys - I remember the captain yelling at me, "God dammit Alley you are so stupid I could throw you into a barrel of tits and you'd come sucking your thumb." The first time we actually marched in step, was an incredible feeling. You really feel powerful and greater than the sum of your parts. Again Captain Dye, "Well no shit Easy Company am I hearing marching?" "Sir, yes, sir!". Corporal Billy Budd threatening to massage one's passage with his "sausage" (rhymes with Sarge) if we called him Sarge again. He's a great guy, as were Laird, Freddy, and E. I made the mistake of challenging Billy to a fight after I'd been winding up the Captain. I told him I'd kill him, "How are you going do that?" says Billy, realising my mistake almost immediately I took to my heels yelling, "'Cos you're gonna have a heart attack trying to catch me you fat fuck!”. The parachute training led a few of us to actually do a jump in Switzerland. The production weren't too happy about that. Boot camp nearly got shut down when David (Schwimmer) hurt his knee. Sorry Cassie, this isn't a very organised answer but these memories are just flooding back. I was so out of shape when I got there that on one of our early morning runs I collapsed and Billy Budd literally slung me over his shoulder and ran the mile and a half back to the dormitory. Learning that lighting up (a cigarette) in the dark can mean a bullet between the eyes. Four hours of sleep a night, sometimes none. And finally - getting your Wings pinned on, feeling you deserved them. Happy times. Or as Cap might say, "Errrr, 50 cal sound of freedom!".

Which member of Easy Company was your favorite, other than Alley, of course?

G: All of them down to the last man. I met the real man I played at the premiere. What a character. We're all lining up to be interviewed for MTV or some such and all of the old guys are saying how great the guy playing them is et cetera. It gets to our turn and the lady asks him what he thinks of me and Alley says, "Hell I don't know I only just met the kid". Priceless.

Do you have a favorite quote from the mini-series?

G: My favourite line was cut from the series (as was the whole scene). Alley meets Winters in Paris having escaped from the infirmary and stolen a pair of civilian shoes to get himself back to the front line to be with his brothers. Winters asks him how he's doing and Alley replies, "32 holes in me from 1 God damn grenade". My favourite line of all was never on the series at all, it happened at boot camp. Two actors, who shall remain nameless, got into an argument about how seriously they were taking the training. One was playing a captain and the other a sergeant. The "sergeant" is yelling at the "Captain" to take this "fucking seriously or he'll make him do it", so the "captain" says, "You wanna take this seriously? Fine. I'm a captain you're a sergeant so... shut the fuck up... and that's an order.” And the fight ensues! It was great.

Did you get along with Dale Dye, who’s notorious for his toughness?

G: I think I've already answered that. I love the man. I'm still in touch with him. For all his notoriety he is just a great stand up guy. Harder than a coffin nail. I had dinner with him and a few of the boys a couple of years ago when he was in London and he hadn't changed a bit. He's actually written about in Michael Herr's book, Dispatches. A fantastic read by the way. As far as I remember it says he was in the press corps and wore a peace button on his helmet. Not such a bad ass after all, but then, do you believe everything you read?

Which episode was your favorite, and why?

G: 6,7, and 10. 6 and 7 for the sheer fun of the battle. 10 because of filming in Switzerland and because of one of the most embarrassing things I have ever done. The boys dared me to wear my uniform to a nightclub, so I did. It was my round so I went to the bar to order 30 drinks or so. It would have been the most expensive round of drinks I have ever bought but for what happened next. I'm ordering and this huge blond man, literally a walking Alp, says to me, "Mickey Mouse". I can see he's itching for a fight so I say, "Yeah whatever man, mickey mouse will buy you a drink". Now I'm pretty drunk so I'd like to blame my shameful behaviour on that. "I laugh" says the Alp, "When American soldiers die, I laugh". My blood starts to boil and I say, "Hey buddy that's not funny, my brother died in Desert Storm". Now, I have two brothers and neither of them has ever been in the army - oops. The shit head says, "I'm glad your brother's dead". So I punch him in the face. None of my boys can see me. I get grabbed by the guy, turns out he's one of the bouncers, and another bouncer and they drag me upstairs and throw me out. By this time I have convinced myself that I really did have a brother who died in Desert Storm, so I'm screaming and trying get a punch in but they overpower me and beat on me a bit then go back inside. I'm so angry I'm in tears and on of the boys is walking down the street. He asks me what's wrong and I tell him the lie I told downstairs, God knows why. My poor buddy believes me and says, "Let's fucking have him". So we try to get back in the club to fight but they have locked the door. Sergeant E (a real soldier) asks what's up with us and my buddy tells him the lie I told. E grabs me by shoulders and tells me to calm down and that he knows what it's like to lose men, to see them killed. He tells me to be a man and rise above this asshole's ignorance. I agree, and my friend and I go for a walk to calm me down. Anyway, on our way back we decide to sneak in (as they reopened the doors) and have it out with the bouncer. When we get down stairs, E has this man up against the wall with considerable force (and years of training) and is telling him that he will apologise to me in the morning and that he should be ashamed of himself. Well he apologised then and there. "Oh God" I think, "what have I done". I didn't sleep a wink that night. The next morning I go down to breakfast and... the news has spread. The boys, actors, production team are all patting me on the back, asking if I'm okay and telling me how I did the right thing to walk away and how much courage that took. So I go to the middle of the room and as loudly as I can, feeling so guilty, I tell the whole room that it was all a lie. It took a long time for me to live that one down. I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed my entire life. On the bright side - Lord almighty that bouncer was an asshole though.

Was it hard to get the American accent perfect?

G: The accent got me into a lot of trouble. I would speak to James (Alley) on the phone for hours trying to get his voice just right. He has a strong southern accent and that's how I played it for the first 4 episodes. When Tom directed episode 5 he asked me to change my accent to standard "This is Tom Brokaw for the NBC nightly news" American. We got into an argument about it with me saying that we should honour the men of Easy Company and be faithful to the way that the men still alive actually spoke. Tom cut that scene and I think I only had ten lines to say in the entire series. Lesson, don't mess with Mr. Hanks. So, while the accent itself wasn't hard to do, it caused me a lot of problems!

Did you experience any PTSD -like symptoms after shooting? If so, how did you deal with them?

G: No. The hardest thing coming off BoB was adjusting to the fact that jobs like that don't come around every day and neither do the paychecks.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

G: No. I haven't had a gig in nearly a year. But, I wrote a story, and then a script for it with James Erskine, a director friend of mine. Its a horror film about imaginary friends, guilt, and redemption, or lack there of.

What is your favorite film of all time?

G: The Godfather.

What sort of music do you like?

G: I love Jamaican music of all kinds, Damian Marley in particular at the moment. "Welcome to Jamrock" - What an album. I really like blues and acoustic sad country, and singer song writers like Damian Rice.


Do you have any hobbies you particularly enjoy doing?

G: I love diving. I lived in Miami for nine months and I'd go every weekend. Its difficult to do in the UK 'cos the water is so cold and London is a fair distance from the coast. I like to write and play the guitar.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors/actresses, such as myself?

G: Keep at it. Practice. It's all pretty obvious stuff really. Acting is a lot like being in a band, its a collaborative effort. Everyone has to work together to get it right. The levels are important, not too loud nor too quiet. With an actor your body (your emotions, your intellect, voice and physicality) is your instrument and you have to keep it in good shape. Acting is not a performance, it is play, give and take. It's an exercise in gathering, bringing people to you and your character not declaiming and throwing raw emotions out at the audience. I was lucky enough to have a great coach, Colin Cook, when I studied acting at LAMDA, and he would always say, "I rather watch a dry fuck than a wet wank any day of the week". Just another way of saying that acting is collaboration.


© Copyright 2011, Cassandra Caruthers, All Rights Reserved
 
 
lolasaurus
06 May 2010 @ 03:52 pm
( ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW BY ME. IF REBLOGGED, PLEASE CREDIT ME AS THE SOURCE. IT'S NOT THAT HARD)

Have you ever listened to an advertisement and wondered who’s voice was compelling you to buy the product flashed across your screen? Odds are it’s Shane Taylor. A successful live-action and voice actor, Shane Taylor shot to worldwide recognition and fame after portraying half Cajun paratrooper and medic Eugene “Doc” Roe in the critically acclaimed HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.

    The miniseries, which garnered six Emmy’s (including “ Outstanding Miniseries,” "Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special," and "Outstanding Directing for a miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special.", as well as a Golden Globe for "Best Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television," an American Film Institute award, and was selected for a Peabody Award for ‘...relying on both history and memory to create a new tribute to those who fought to preserve liberty.") helped illuminate the promising careers of the actors involved, one of them being Taylor.

    “I was born in a crossfire hurricane...Sorry, I'm being silly. That's a lyric from the Rolling Stones. Which is ironic because I was born in Kent,which is the same county in Southern England that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were born. But I was raised on the coast by the sea,”  Taylor explained in response to my first question of where he was born , the answer telling me already that this was going to be a good interview. Kent must have a thing for churning out talent, since Taylor, a native, has done several voice overs and been in several television and film works. As for his heritage, Taylor comes from a diverse group. “My family heritage is varied. My dad's side pings around English, Irish and Canadian. My mum's is Scottish and American. My wife is from Arkansas, so I'm a mixed bag!”

    Unlike a lot of actors who start their careers in elementary or secondary school plays, or community theater works, Shane Taylor discovered his passion while attending college. “ I was studying to be a journalist at college, but then I started to hang out with the wrong crowd (students taking Theater Studies)! It didn't take me long to switch courses,” Taylor stated, before adding, “ I also met a lecturer who ran a youth theater company and that changed my world. On her advice, I decided to apply to drama academies in London. I auditioned for my first choice and, luckily, got accepted. The name of the drama academy was called Webber Douglas (no longer around), but the costs were high. Fortune smiled upon me again when I auditioned and won a scholarship which paid for all of my training and allowed me to live in London. After three years, I graduated and signed with an agent.”

    As for what really drew him to the prospect of being an actor, Shane refers back to his childhood, and Star Wars action figures. “I was one of those kids that dragged their friends into plays who clearly didn't want to be there. I couldn't understand why others didn't feel the same way as me. I remember playing Star Wars figures with a pal who was three years younger than me. At this point, he was eleven or twelve, making me around fourteen; a big difference when you're kids, and I was way too old for playing toys! I remember the look on my friend's sister's face, it was like, 'Get a life!’. I think that moment made a profound effect on me. I've always resented a certain rule of society that decrees the need to grow up! I guess I was drawn into acting as a way to elongate childhood, just on a more sophisticated level. More sophisticated than playing with Star Wars figures, anyway!”

    Shane first popped onto the acting scene as an extra in Mel Gibson’s Hamlet. “They were shooting in a local town. I was still at High School but I went along to see if I could join in. I ended up getting cast as a page boy to Glenn Close who was playing the Queen!” Shane explained. That must have been exciting for a young actor, being in the vicinity of someone with that stature.

    “ 'Doc Roe'. Band of Brothers. Loved the role, loved the show,” Shane said of his favorite project he’s worked on.  “ I loved the idea of playing somebody in a war series that was trying to save lives instead of killing them. The fact we were all depicting real soldiers in a piece of world history, being assisted by the veterans themselves and being backed by the best in show business, well, I don't care what level anybody came into Band of Brothers at, it's impossible to beat. It was more than your average acting job.”

    Band of Brothers was obviously a big part of Shane’s life and he spoke of it fondly. When asked how it felt to work on a project of that caliber, Shane answered, “Great. The sheer scale of the project was mind blowing. We could be on set and walk around towns from different countries. For the majority of Episode Six &
Seven, “Battle of the Bulge”, it was shot indoors! It involved an aircraft hanger filled with trees and artificial snow.” The production spanned 8 to 10 months at the Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, England, on which various sets, including replicas of European towns, such as Shane explained, were built.

    As for the boot camp the actors had to endure before shooting began, Shane had a different view. “Boot camp wasn't what I'd call enjoyable. But it did its job in that it helped us understand soldiering a little more and brought us closer together. And my role as Doc made things a little easier. A lot of the time I'd be inside being taught how to treat various wounds, while the rest of the boys were out doing field exercises in the cold.” The boot camp, or certain parts, can be seen in “ Ron Livingston’s Video Diaries”, on the DVD extras.

    Dale Dye, the strict overseer of the actor boot camp, as well as the historical accuracies of warfare in the war film genre, was another story. Shane, however, had nothing but nice things to say about the retired  U.S. Marine Captain. “I saw Cap'n Dye recently and he was in fine form. He's a great guy and loves what he does. He certainly enforced a code of conduct and a work ethic which we couldn't let slip. In true military fashion we were all numbered turds for a while at boot camp. But it's all part of the master plan and when we were ready to shoot we were ready. And Cap'n Dye was always there for us, as a loyal leader and friend.”

    Shane Taylor’s favorite member of Easy Company? “Roe, but then I'm biased. I think Spiers and Nixon were both interesting characters, in that they both had their inner conflicts and complexities. From an acting point of view, Matthew [Settle] and Ron [Livingston] did an excellent job, too. But then everybody that I worked with blew me away. I'm not going to name everybody because you know who they are, but the cast brought an incredible level of ability to the show.” With such an extremely talented ensemble cast, that’s to be expected.

    The miniseries as a whole was extremely emotional, action packed, and a landmark achievement. Everyone has a favorite part, however, even the actors. “ [Episode] Six & Seven, “Battle of the Bulge” stuff (biased). But it's a critical and pivotal moment in the series and, indeed, in the life of Easy Company.” Shane explained, before adding, “ I like Episode Three a lot. It was a rare thing where the script was so good to begin with, it was just there to be shot without changes. Marc Warren, who plays Blithe, did a great job. It wasn't easy to come in as an outsider who didn't do boot camp and, yet, was one of the main points of focus for that episode. Marc was a pro and was compelling to watch. Episode Nine would be my other choice. It's beautiful and what an opening. The liberation of the camps and the focus on Nixon's personal angst - powerful stuff.”

    One problem that faced Taylor was the prospect of getting the Cajun accent right, which was a huge part of Roe’s character. However, Taylor, now a professional voice actor, had little or no problem with perfecting the medic’s dialect. “ I love accents (especially American) and dialects. In truth, Roe was a hybrid 1940’s Cajun. It was a watered down essence rather than an accurate interpretation. But I had a couple of discussions with Tom Hanks to try and set the bar at the best level, without being too jarring on the ear for an audience. And I think it was O.K. In acting, finding an interesting character can mask many a flaw.” Taylor explained, and he did just that, although I have to admit, I adored his interpretation of the Cajun accent.

    Voice actors can be heard all over the world, from advertisements to animated television. There’s a good chance that you’ve heard Shane Taylor’s voice and didn’t even know it. Taylor has a knack for different accents and dialects, which can be heard in numerous advertisements. On his voice acting career, Shane expressed, “I love voice work. It's my bread and butter. I actually stepped away from acting for five years between 2003-08 to raise a family and my voice work became my main career. I was able to earn well for little time and that meant I could be around to help raise babies!”

    So what does Shane Taylor do on his time off? “I love to write. Most actors do! But it's something I truly spend any spare time doing - besides playing with my kids! And so, naturally, I love to read. Hunter S. Thompson, Bukowski, Dave Eggers. I recently finished Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey  which was so cool. Graphic novels are big in my life: Neil Gaiman,  Brian.K.Vaughen, Bill Willingham and Joe Hill are some the main cats I like to read. The Sandman series, Y: The Last Man, Fables and Locke and Key are top reads.”

    Music wise, Taylor has impressive taste. “ Musically, I love Tom Waits. His collaborations with Marc Ribot (guitarist) are the best. It's carnival, freak show oddity, at its finest. And I don't think there's a better balladeer than Tom. Some of his melodies are sublime. John Zorn and Bill Frisell would get my vote for the more avant-garde. Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman on the jazz; in my youth, early REM, Fishbone, Red Hot Chili Peppers (up to Blood Sugar Sex Magic), Soundgarden, Nirvana and Mr. Bungle - I love Mike Patton. Serge Gainsbourg. Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Hendrix. My dad went to school with Noel Redding, who was the bass player for Jimi Hendrix. Erik Satie and Stanley Myers. Cavatina - The Deer Hunter theme tune - is one of my favorites from Myers. My car radio is always tuned to classical music. And I have a distant relative in Edward Elgar. Also, being a born Brit, The Beatles and Rolling Stones have gotta' be in there!” Shane also plays the guitar and played the drums at one point in his life, but didn’t keep up with it. “I'm not one for regrets, but that's a big one!”

    As for now, Shane is a busy man. “I was in LA recently, not only for the ten year BOB reunion, but to record an audio commentary for an Indie-movie I did called Bomber. It's been doing the festival circuit for the last year. But I'm happy to announce that it's just signed a U.S. deal in New York which will give it an Arthouse theatrical, DVD, Netflix and airline release. Next month I'm also attending the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of a new movie called Devil's Playground. It's a zombie romp and another American role.” So readers, keep an eye out for these upcoming releases, as they are sure to be amazing.

    A respectable family man, extremely gifted actor and great father, Shane Taylor continues to capture the hearts of people all over the world with his incredible talent and his more than sweet personality. It was truly an honor to interview him and I will never forget this experience, as it has been a golden opportunity. Thank you, Shane.


© Copyright 2010, Cassandra Caruthers, All Rights Reserved
 
 
lolasaurus

(ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW BY ME. IF REBLOGGED, PLEASE CREDIT ME AS THE SOURCE. IT'S NOT THAT HARD)



Band of Brothers
. This iconic HBO mini-series, which pulled in six Emmy’s (including “ Outstanding Miniseries,” "Outstanding Casting for a miniseries, Movie, or a Special," and "Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special.", as well as a Golden Globe for "Best Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television," an American Film Institute award, and was selected for a Peabody Award for ‘...relying on both history and memory to create a new tribute to those who fought to preserve liberty.") helped launch several hardworking, exceptionally talented actors into the fame stratosphere. Matthew Leitch was amongst those who reaped the rewards of what can only be described as a masterpiece.

    Portraying the handsome and charismatic paratrooper Floyd M. Talbert, Easy Company’s resident ladies man, (as alluded to in the mini-series. Who else would have over two hundred prophylactics hidden under his bed?), Matthew made a name for himself with American and worldwide audiences alike, as a serious actor.

    Born in Aldershot, England, Matthew had an early exposure to what his character, Floyd Talbert, might have gone through. His father was a paratrooper and he and his family moved around from place to place. “We moved around a lot with the army. I lived in Germany, South England, North England...all over,” Leitch stated, adding, “That is why I was sent to boarding school.”

    Seemingly a natural born actor, Leitch has actually had a fair amount of education in the acting department. “I studied acting for three years at Arts Educational Drama School in Chiswick. It was a pretty intense method/Stanislavski course. It instilled in me a desire to try and do things for real, rather than just indicate things.” he explained, which, in my opinion, is the true essence of acting itself.

     Acting, as most of you well know, isn’t easy and the motivations to keep at it, or get into it at all, are always varied. “Well, I think I just do it to stay sane. Oddly enough, actors are some of the sanest people I know. It's in other walks that I've met the biggest fanatics.” He’s probably met a few of you here, on Livejournal. I know, from personal experience, that Band of Brothers fans, or fans in general can be…well, intense.

    Matthew first emerged on the scene in 1998 as Stewart Jackson in the Nickelodeon program Renford Rejects, a show about a five-a-side school football team, made up of aspiring players who had been turned down by their school's main team. “The show got picked up when I was on holiday in France and I had to take on overnight train to make it back for the first day of rehearsals. Renford Rejects ran for four series.. I only did three. I left before the last one.. which was apparently a TV low water mark. I shot Band of Brothers instead,” Leitch said, and I have to say I’m glad he did, being a huge Band of Brothers fan.

    “My favourite project to act in was a film I called AKA. It was on that film that things started to click and I stopped being so rubbish,” he mused, when asked which project he enjoyed working on most, and why , though he added, “My favourite all round project is a film I wrote and directed and is just ready to see the light of day. It is called Life Like Fire and it also stars my son, Marvin Floyd.”

    Marvin Floyd? That name rings a bell. “Yes, I did name my son after Floyd, although Tab's brothers called him Merle,” Leitch answered.

    Moving on to the subject of Band of Brothers, which is always one of my favorite topic of conversation, I couldn’t help but get a little excited. “Band of Brothers is sort of a blur now, like the birth of my boy. I remember it more as feeling of deep and honest joy and of having done something worthwhile, rather than a series of specific memories. A bit like the birth of my son,” Leitch commented.

     Watching the DVD extras, the boot camp the cast was required to attend was documented pretty thoroughly, showing how the actors trained to portray the real men of Easy Company. “I loved boot camp. Others (who will remain nameless) didn't,” Leitch stated. Under the strict watch of Dale Dye, a retired U.S. Marine Captain and founder of Warriors, Inc., company that specializes in training actors for realistic military portrayals for movies of the war genre, the actors were put through a lot, though of Dye, Leitch said, “ [Dye] is a pussycat.. but don't tell him I said so.”

    Another potential challenge for Leitch, a British native, was getting Talbert’s accent right. Leitch, however, had no problem in that area. In fact, it was quite the opposite. “Accents are a sort of hobby of mine. I approach them in a very scientific way. I like to know all the sounds and where they come from and why... I can usually guess where a person is from and where they grew up. I like dissecting the sounds of their accent.” he answered, adding, “Yeah, I'm a linguistic bore.”

    Matthew has had a considerably successful career after Band of Brothers, having landed the leading role in AKA, and several supporting roles in movies such as The Detonator and The Dark Knight. In 2009, Leitch snagged the lead role in Sabor Tropical as Brian, an American who goes to Panama on vacation during the celebration of Carnival, only to find himself in a relationship of desperation and violence. “ Panama and Sabor was the maddest time ever. We all went insane on sleep deprivation and booze and carnival. No one slept for five straight days, and we shot the whole film in a week in LA, Mexico and Panama City, as well as the Las Tablas carnival.” The film was shot documentary style and has sparked some controversy, despite how brilliant it is.

    As of now, Leitch has a lot of work on his plate. “I am busy promoting a film a I wrote and directed called Life Like Fire.” So readers,, be ready to watch this explode onto the scene, seeing as it’s bound to be fantastic.

    An amazing actor with indescribable talent, Matthew Leitch will hopefully continue to dazzle audiences an critics alike. Matthew is an extremely stand up guy, a great father, and it was a pleasure to interview him. It was a life changing experience and I will always remember it, it having been one of the best moments of my life. Thank you, Matthew.



© Copyright 2010, Cassandra Caruthers, All Rights Reserved