Tevenen Harry is Captain Hook in the short musical Between The Lines. Swashbuckling and singing are just two of his talents. He tells us about the joy of being part of the indie film scene and blending ideas never before thought possible…
D&CFilm: What’s your background and what got you into acting?
Trevenen Harry: I grew up on my family’s farm in West Cornwall. During school and even up to my GCSEs I loved drama; I fondly remember playing Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Edward in Blood Brothers, both as part of my studies. I did not study acting in my higher education, for whatever reason, it never occurred to me that it was the path to take, then again neither was it pointed out to me.
After completing a degree in mathematics, I soon realized that entertainment was my true calling all along. After joining an opera company, performing in several amateur stage productions and being stuck at home for several months along with the rest of the planet, I further refined my interest into acting for film.
D&CFilm: Give us a flavour of the films you’ve been in?
Trevenen Harry: To simplify things, typically I play comedic characters or antagonists. I chalk this up to I’ve always loved making people laugh and I’m a tall man with thick eyebrows. I’ll give 2 examples of characters I’ve played who fit this stereotype:
In Homestay Episode 3, produced by Ted Macdonnell, I played a comedic character called Tony. Homestay is an episodic Youtube comedy series, the central premise is that couple, Chris (Bruce Herbelin-Earle) and Ashley (Nansi Love), inherits a large family house from a deceased relative and must turn to home-stayers to help cover the bills, however, nothing ever seems to run smoothly for the hapless pair.
In Raptor Production’s We Are Alive, I played a character known as the Vulture leader, he was the antagonist. We Are Alive takes place sometime after the end of the world as we know it, we follow a desperate pair of survivors, Sam (Daniel Durant) and James (George Jarvis), as they attempt to eke out an existence. Their lives are not made any easier by gangs like the vultures, men and women willing to mortgage their humanity, however they prove to be the least of their concerns.
I have several projects coming up, but the one I’d like to share today is Overthinking. In which I play the lead; Matt, a troubled young man plagued by worry over his girlfriend’s faithfulness. The film itself is a psychological thriller, with a deadpan comedy kick. [Take a look at the Overthinking crowdfunder]
D&CFilm: What do you look for in a role?
Trevenen Harry: When I examine a role I usually only know what I’m looking for when I read it. Before that happens, I’m typically looking for a character that has a continuous emotional development throughout the film. I appreciate a role that explores a deeper and thought-provoking idea.
Speaking about the script more generally, it’s good to see one that appreciates the value of the unsaid and the obscure, and one that’s a little unpredictable where you cannot see things coming.
D&CFilm: What’s the funniest situation you’ve experienced on set?
Trevenen Harry: During filming in Bristol, ever the eager beaver, I showed up on set way too early for the first day of filming. The set was a house that still had the occupants sleeping upstairs when I arrived. They were kind enough to offer me a cup of tea after I had clearly woken them up, but I figured I’d better make myself scarce for a little while. Thus I set off on an epic quest to locate a Tesco Metro and buy a sandwich! However, despite Google Maps’ best efforts, I became lost.
Eventually, I made it back to set and just in the nick of time for make-up & costume, but it wasn’t a good way to start the first day of filming!
D&CFilm: Acting in indie films can be a bit underground, what satisfaction do you get out of it and what’s your best experience?
Trevenen Harry: Personally, I feel the line between independent and studio films is growing ever more blurred as new platforms and styles of film challenge established concepts. That being said, I very much like the courage, dynamism and experimentality of indie filmmakers and indie filmmaking. There’s a real willingness to try something new, by my reckoning it’s because (hopefully) no one is going to lose their job if it’s a flop.
It’s this willingness to live on the edge that means many indie films are able to create an appreciation in an audience that’s impossible to replicate, by blending ideas never before thought possible.
My best experience on set is the feeling of satisfaction after a long day of filming. You might be hungry, thirsty, exhausted both mentally and physically, and carrying a lot of heavy equipment to help out the crew, but I think that is the point where the real fun of filming begins; when you’re in the thick of it, having done a good day’s work.
D&CFilm: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Trevenen Harry: ‘There is no such thing as a small role.’
My Aunt told me this when we were rehearsing the first production I was involved in since school (Verdi’s Macbeth). It’s always stuck with me and it helped me to realize that the creation of a brilliant piece of film demands a collaborative effort. While a leading actor may have more lines or ‘things to do’, a ‘small role’ is equally as important in preserving and enhancing the telling of that story.
D&CFilm: Describe yourself as a sound or an animal or a tree?
Trevenen Harry: I love questions like this, so I think I’ll have a go at all 3.
I’ve spent much of my life close to the sea and feel a deep connection to it. Much of my family have made their livelihood upon it; Fishermen, North Sea Oil Rig Workers and even a WW2 Minesweeper Captain. So, I think my sound would be that of waves crashing on a beach.
I’ve always liked the humble crow. I used to see them a lot on the farm scavenging for seeds, much to the chagrin of my father. It was only later I realized how clever they are, able to solve complex puzzles, remember which humans have treated them well or poorly and they’re the only non-primate animal to be able to create tools. If I were to become an animal, I feel I could do far worse than a crow.
I like silver birch trees. They can grow in the exceptionally hostile environment of the northern European tundra, even becoming Finland’s national tree. A symbiotic fungus in their roots can also create fairy rings.
D&CFilm: Where can we follow you?
The best place for inquiries, collaborations or just to connect, is @theoriginalrealty on Instagram. Far from being a page where I list properties, I post about my past and upcoming projects.
D&CFilm: Thanks Trevenen!
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