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An interview with British actor James Henri-Thomas.




We recently caught up with the funny and talented James Henri-Thomas about his upcoming projects and his venture to the city of angels, Los Angeles. Here is what this fine young actor had to say:

Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?

I'm James Henri-Thomas and the Henri is obviously French; my Grandmother grew up and lived in Lyon until my Grandfather and her met during the Second World War when he was posted there with the Royal Air Force. He first saw her in a bar and decided then and there that she was the girl he was going to marry! The war finally ended, he returned to Lyon to marry her and then took her back home with him to Birmingham. They've now been married for 70 years - maybe it's this Casablanca-esque tale of how I came to exist which has had an effect on me wanting to pursue my own romantic adventure's in life... only mine involves continuing my success as an actor in LA and not finding myself with a young foreign wife in the English midlands. From the age of 4 I've known that acting is what I do best at and love the most. It's been in me since birth so whenever I'm asked "Why acting?" the answer is simple - I don't have a choice! It’s just who and what I am and have always been.

What inspired you to get into this industry?

Nothing. I wouldn't recommend "getting into" this industry to anyone! It's cliquey, unfair, ridiculously tough, and despite the money in the industry the financial gain for actors is usually pretty non-existent. Being in this industry is an unfortunate side effect of being an artist.

What kind of training have you had, if any?

I spent 3 years with the National Youth Music Theatre as a teenager and then went onto the University of Exeter to get my BA (Hons) in Drama. I've continued my actor training at various places such as the MET Film School at Ealing Studios, the London Actors Workshop and even with Industry Hollywood in LA.

What has been your favorite role to play so far?

Without a doubt, Arthur the Nightclub Owner in Courttia Newland's 'The Far Side'. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a bit of a posh boy who's had a fancy education, so landing the role of a seedy cockney reprobate was such an exciting opportunity for me. It allowed me to show people that I could play a character at the opposite end of the spectrum to what they'd expect from me. I loved every second of it.

What has been one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?

Well I'm still young, but I suppose by default it would have to be getting cast as the lead in a Sony PlayStation 4 commercial last year. I didn't have representation at the time so I was proud that I had managed to get myself a big casting in central London and book the job. I can still see all the other candidates sitting in the waiting room ready to go in after me... #smug

What projects do you have coming up?

I have a casting for a 'Head & Shoulders' commercial coming up. My hair is looking gorgeous these days so I'm pretty confident! (laughs).

Who would you most like to work with?

Michael J. Fox. He's a hero of mine and despite him being a global superstar I can also imagine it wouldn't be daunting to be sat next to him. He seems like a very cool guy. As much as I'd love to work with Gary Oldman I think my shirt would be drenched in sweat after 2 minutes. Olivia Cooke perhaps... so that I could ask her out and tell her that I love her as they drag me off the set, but at least I'd have told her and it would make a good story.

What are your plans for the future?

My immediate plans involve moving out to LA as soon as possible so that I can really get cracking. I've found that the Americans have a positive and accepting attitude towards me as an actor which in London has eluded me a lot of the time (despite the fact that I'm jolly talented and really, really, really ridiculously good looking) - perhaps because I've not been to RADA... (James rolls his eyes and crosses the room to stand at the window. He looks out across the foggy streets) One day they'll see. They'll all see. (Fade to black).

What is your advice to aspiring performers?

It's a bit of a cliche but it's true - the harder you work, the luckier you get. I can only really advise from a British perspective but over here you can't rely on other people to help make things happen for you, especially other actors! Only in exceptionally rare circumstances will another actor look out for you. I get the impressions that it's different in LA. Also, learn about the industry and how it works before you take the plunge. And never skimp out on headshots. Go to the best photographer you can find - someone who's experienced and going to spend half a day working with you. Not somebody who's going to spend an hour or two taking nice photos of you looking pretty against a white background. Your mum might like them, but they won't get you castings. Be honest with yourself about what your casting types are and make sure your headshots reflect them. If that means paying $300+ for an established headshot photographer to get a great shot of you looking like a mean drug addict, then so be it... the phone will ring and that's the goal!



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