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Destined to be actor

Destined to be actor
Highlights

English actor Jake Weber is known for his role in movies like ‘Dawn of the Dead’, ‘White House Down’, ‘Meet Joe Black’ among others. In television, he...

English actor Jake Weber is known for his role in movies like ‘Dawn of the Dead’, ‘White House Down’, ‘Meet Joe Black’ among others. In television, he is known for his role in the shows like ‘Homeland’, ‘Secrets and Lies’, ‘The Following’ and ‘Medium’ amongst, etc. He acted along with maestro Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson in the film ‘Learning to Drive’, which was aired recently on AXN.

Excerpts:

What was the biggest challenge about taking on this role in 'Learning to Drive'?
There really wasn’t a challenge in this role. I had known Patricia Clarkson for years and we were friends and I knew that it would be fun to work with her, again. Very little was asked of me in this film, all I had to do is have a few scenes and I had to be willing to improvise a little bit because the scene that opens the movie in the taxi, most of it is improvised. We sort of made it up as we went along because we were both just yelling at each other, but that’s something that I enjoy doing and it’s not technically challenging. I was just happy to be there, it was a fun project with very nice people and some very good actors.

What kind of roles do you usually prefer as an actor?
I usually like to play extreme characters; the part in ‘Learning to Drive’ is a pretty straightforward sort of versions of me. But, I prefer to find characters that are different from me; that’s what makes me excited to go to work.

How did you get involved in acting as a career?
When I was in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got out. I thought maybe I wanted to be a teacher of English Literature. I was not a drama major in college; I had done some plays but I really had not considered acting to be my future. Then, I applied to drama school thinking I really wouldn’t get anywhere with it. But, my auditions for drama school were well received and I had my choices of a few schools and that’s how I ended up being an actor. It wasn’t a hugely premeditated plan but I was lucky enough to get into an excellent school that taught me how to be an actor.

What character do you think has been the toughest for you to play?
The hardest thing for me is to play the character that is somewhat bland. There are a lot of actors who are so charismatic that they can fill even a boring part and make it compelling for an audience. I’m not one of those actors, if I have a bland part it is very difficult for me to make that part charismatic, interesting and watchable. I always dread having to take a part that is not particularly dynamic because I know that I will not be dynamic in it.

Do you ever think that you could have done a bit better in any particular role?
Every single role I’ve ever done I look at and think I could have done it better (laughs). One thing about being an actor is sometimes you got to reshoot scenes because there’s a technical problem or there was a focus problem or sound problem and whenever I have the opportunity to do that, I’m always happy because it always comes out better the second time.

What are your strong points as an actor?
I think one of my strongest points as an actor is that I’m resourceful. I can make the best of a difficult situation whether it be writing or directing, I can easily find a way to make it work. It may not be the most dynamic or exciting but I can make it work even if it has failure written all over it.

Have you progressed in your acting career as you would have expected?
Well, I had hoped for more out of my acting career. I’m a genuine actor; I’m an actor who is always looking for work and is always looking for his next job. In that respect I’d hope that part of it would be easier, it wouldn’t always be a hunt for the next job but I’m grateful that it has worked out as well for me. It could have gone the other way.

What according to you is the hardest part of being a celebrity?
I don’t consider myself a celebrity. I don’t have any problems in restaurants, I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, and I don’t have lots of famous friends. I’m just working it, I mean this is my job. Most of the time people don’t recognise me or they might have gone to high school with me or have some tangential connection with me that they can’t place but Ben Kingsley is a celebrity. I’m an actor. But, I think that the hardest part of being a celebrity is that you can’t go out in public, whenever you want to.

If you weren’t acting what profession do you think you would be doing?
If I weren’t acting, I would be teaching English Literature to college students.

Upcoming projects?
I am working on shows like ‘Homeland’ and I will be in the upcoming season of ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’.

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