Dan on auditioning, nerves, and how to behave in the film industry
Dan recently spoke to Tom Seymour of Tap Magazine about his competitive nature, his strength when auditioning, and how he still gets nervous during auditions. He also had advice for young actors on how to behave in the film industry, how to get a director to remember you, and talks about a day that demonstrated just how very cool his job is.
It’s important, certainly. You do need to be competitive because there are so many of us, and we’re all good and we all want to work, and there are a finite number of films being made; less now than there were. So it’s about being competitive, but it’s also about loving it so much the competition comes naturally.
Most jobs you get as an , and the last two films I’ve done, you have to really scrap for parts. You have to show the director you’re the most enthusiastic and the most driven and you’ll work the hardest for him.
I’m really good with scripts. I can find a way into a script and break it down really well. I can find what my relationship to the material is very quickly, and that’s what I always love to talk to directors about.
Yes absolutely. I originally auditioned for Kill Your Darlings three years ago. I was playing Allen Ginsberg and had a meeting with the director John Krokidas. I was very, very nervous.
But you’ve got to trust you’ve got a take on the character. The one thing that will screw you up totally is if you start thinking: “I wonder what that actor would do with this, I wonder what this person would bring to it.” You can’t start thinking like that.
From occasionally being on the other side of the audition thing – so reading with other people – if you can go first, go first. Because if you can go first and put in a good performance, you’ll really spoil everyone else’s day.
I’m the wrong person to ask about getting into the industry, because my experience has been so atypical. But once you’re in, treat everyone with the same respect. As an actor you should think of yourself as part of the crew. If you start thinking of a divide between cast and crew, then that’s when film sets start to become unhappy and fall apart. You’ve got to muck in.
When I did my first film without my dad there to chaperone me, his last piece of advice was: “On any film set, there will always be something that will make everyone wait. Just make sure you’re never that something.” If you can do that, it will go a long way, because a film set is always just on the point of everything going wrong.
I’ve always known I’ve had a cool job, but sometimes it shines through. I was filming in New York a couple of weeks back, and the shoot was opposite an elementary school. It was a nightmare. The kids would come out every recess, see us and go absolutely mental.
On our first take, our first assistant director who, to them, is just some guy with a radio, turned round and said, “OK everyone, we’re going for a take. Be quiet,” and 30 kids between the ages of four and 11 completely shut up to watch the scene. You could have heard a pin drop, and I thought to myself, “You wouldn’t go quiet to watch a bloke sell a house.”
Thank you to GRA‘s Babs for the link.