📷 : Faye Thomas www.fayethomas.co.uk
After appearing in the drama series Dixi, Harry Jarvis starred as lead character Tim in 2:Hrs, which premiered in July at Brighton’s Odeon and is available for download now. Later this year, Harry can be seen alongside Thomas Doherty and Juliet Doherty in High Strung: Free Dance and has recently finished filming for upcoming horror Cassette. Speaking to Harry in London before flying out to the US for a new role, he tells us what it was like preparing for his role in High Strung: Free Dance, playing Tim in 2:Hrs and filming at the Natural History Museum.
What age were you when you started taking acting seriously?
I was probably about eleven or twelve, after filming for the Sky TV series Scaredy Cat. It was about three days of shooting and to be honest it was pretty gruelling, we shot maybe sixteen hours a day, it was pouring with rain every day and all the shooting was outside. The director was constantly trying to convince me not to go into acting, it was kind of his little game. When we finished it he was like, “how did you find that”, I said “amazing the best experience of my life”, and he was like, “then you can be an actor”! Pretty much from then I knew this is what I wanted to do.
What was your first professional acting role?
Scaredy Cat, which had David Morrissey from The Walking Dead, he’s the governor, Aidan Gillen who’s in Game of Thrones and Sandra, Grey’s Anatomy, so a great cast to start out with.
Do you know if there’s a release date yet for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
No, they’re in post-production on it right now though, and I know they’re working on a distribution deal. There’s not a release date as of yet but I think if you keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of months you should hear something.
What was it like acting alongside the rest of the cast and had you acted with any of them previously?
I hadn’t worked with anyone previously. In terms of working with the cast, Robert Lindsay is a legend and honestly, watching him every time he acts is almost scary he is so good. Then there’s Florence Kasumba who’s just been in the Marvel movies, she’s a warrior woman, she looks fantastic in it, Holly who’s in Humans and Skins, Tamzin, The Tudors, everyone who was on the set was just amazing. We all became great friends by the end of it, we were having movie nights in each other’s rooms most nights and drinking these Austrian cocktails, which was our favourite drink by the end! We always tried to watch new movies that people hadn’t seen, played Risk, it was fantastic, one of the best set experience of my life, really amazing.
Where did most of the filming take place for the movie 2:Hrs?
It was all in and around London actually so it was mostly central. We had about five or six days at this place where they built this machine called the Vitalitron, it kind of looks like an abandoned warehouse, we shot there for five or six days because there’s quite a few scenes going on and the exteriors were there. We shot in the Natural History Museum one night, so they closed it down at night and opened it up to us, we got to film with the giant dinosaur (Dippy), that’s the last time that the dinosaur will ever be seen in a movie because it got taken down, which is cool. We went to the back rooms and got to see Charles Darwin’s exhibit which is not open to the public only on private tours, that was really creepy but really cool. So we filmed in and around London, we did a lot of filming on bikes and moving shots because I only have two hours left to live, so it’s all quick.
How long did filming take and when did it wrap?
It was an interesting one actually, we shot for three and a half weeks on 2:Hrs about three years ago now. We shot on that pretty consistently, it seemed to be going well and then we got way behind schedule, and because there was a lot to shoot in a little time we took a hiatus of nine months, then went back and did another week of shooting and re-shoots. Ella Rae who’s my co-lead, got her hair dyed in that time hahaha, so it was blonde and they had to try and mask it, you can’t tell in the film I don’t think! It was quite a long break and I feel like I look three years older at least in that nine months, life aged me haha!
📷 : Makelight Productions (2:Hrs)
How would you describe your character Tim?
Tim is kind of like a slacker teenager and kind of from the offset he seems like someone who just doesn’t want to do good, isn’t really invested in his relationships around him. What it really is though, his father died a year ago and his father was kind of his closest ally I suppose and losing him has made him act out quite a lot and he’s not the person that he once was. I guess throughout the movie the whole purpose of the character Tim is trying to reconnect with his family, reconnect with his friends, rediscover what’s important in his life. What’s really good about the movie is it’s not just a fun fast-paced comedy, it does have a bit of heart, it’s got family values in the centre of it and I think that was the essence of Tim.
Does it have a cinema release?
A limited one, we had a release at the Odeon in Brighton with a Q&A, and then Video On Demand on the 30th of July on Amazon, Sky Store, iTunes and I think Microsoft!
What was it like filming for the series Dixi?
Oh it was so much fun. One of the best things about shooting for a kids TV series is you can just play with it so much, we’d come on set and have the most fun. We came on set one day and shot in a Laser Tag Dome, everyone had to wear a different costume because it was meant to be kind of searching for a character, people came dressed as bananas, wolves, there was someone dressed as an elf lord, it was just such an awesome day. We’d also take the last hour of each day just to improvise, whatever we wanted, because they’re meant to be creative arts students, so the director would just sit back and go, “we’re well ahead of schedule whatever you want to do let’s do it” and we’d come up with the most stupid things. We were meant to be drama students being really over the top, so me and this girl Chloe shot this short dramatic film called Silence, and the only words in it were I think, silence and help, it was in black and white, it was so over the top and we just kind of filmed it with our friends, they put everything out that we did, I think the fans really liked that as well because it’s quite playful and it’s fun. It was a great set to shoot, I turned eighteen as well so everyone gave me a big birthday celebration.
Who was your character Ryan?
Ryan is a gormless idiot effectively hahaha, who when he comes on stage becomes like the handsome charming lead that April’s character Mimi falls in love with. When she actually tries to speak to him and have a word with him he’s a blockhead, he just doesn’t understand anything, he was a fun character to do. It was very different to anything else I’d done before.
How is Charlie in High Strung: Free Dance different to your previous roles?
Well he’s a musician for one, I’ve never played a musician before, also my first lead with an American accent so that made me a little bit nervous at first, I’d done The Dare which I’d had an American accent in, not so much speaking because it’s horror. When I first turned up on set, one of the girls, Melissa, was like “so is Charlie Texan” I was like nope that’s not a good start hahaha! I worked on my American accent a lot and the director didn’t know that I was British when I auditioned for it which is a good sign. The musical aspect of it, to try and find that drive and try and find that performance element of musician, it’s not just about the technicality and the piano, like Ryan Gosling in La La Land for example, the amount that he brings to that role just behind the eyes and just the way he holds himself. I had to do a lot of studying on musicians, on Ray Charles, more funky stuff for example, that took a lot of work, it took about two months of preparation, eight hours on the piano everyday, that probably was the most different about Charlie.
📷 : Makelight Productions (2:Hrs)
Can you describe Charlie in five words?
Ambitious, tenacious, optimistic, caring and reliable. I suppose I could say he’s the kind of guy that if you had your one phone call when you were in prison, you’d ring up Charlie and he’d be like “I’m there no worries” and drop everything else haha!
Did you have to learn any new skills for the production?
Yeah the piano! Charlie was a pretty insane pianist, so I got given eighteen grade eight and above songs and the director wanted me to learn them all if I could, I think I learnt about fifteen off by heart, and the others were finger placement. We only used a hand double on half of one song which was great, and that is one of the faster songs, they gave the hand double the music and he was a professional piano player, he said I’m going to need three months and they only gave me one! That was pretty insane, I’m quite happy with how much I learnt. I had a tutor who was amazing, honestly fantastic, and I spent hours every day on set, I probably got about three hours sleep as I was just practising every day, it was hard work, I hope it looks good, I saw it recently and it looks convincing, I think, we’ll see, you can be judge of that haha!
Filming took place in Romania, had you visited the area before?
No and it was beautiful, we were in Bucharest which is the capital, half of the city is completely run down because there was a revolution, there are bullet holes in walls and stuff, the other half of it is architecturally just magnificent, they are trying to attract tourism. It was the most tight-knit set I’ve ever been on everyone was just hanging out every single night, we went to this bar one night called the Garden of Eden, you walk kind of round the back of this abandoned building that looks like it’s a complete wreck, if you don’t know where it is you probably wouldn’t find it, after about five minutes you are in in these arch trees filled with fairy lights, then this makeshift beach, bean bags and hammocks and beach waiters, it was just honestly the most magical night I’ve ever had.
Do you know if there will be a premiere and if you’ll be attending?
There should be, I can’t say what’s been finalised, but the last High Strung had premieres in Japan, China, Australia, the UK and Canada, so I’ve been told there will be premieres and they want me to perform at them so I will definitely be attending! I’m filming a Fox job between September and February so I need to wait and see what happens with scheduling to what premieres I can attend, but I intend to be there for as many as possible, especially to meet up with the cast and crew again.
What can people expect from the movie?
For one to be wowed by the dancing, the dancing is next level, it’s like visually astounding, every move was hit to perfection, the choreography is just incredible, we had Tyce Diorio from So You Think You Can Dance and Desmond Richardson who’s just an iconic dance legend. I don’t know why I’m saying this now as it’s going to be embarrassing, but on my last day of shooting the finale scene, I’m playing the piano, Juliet is on stage doing this incredible solo, and there are papers blowing, just this incredible visual scene, it finished half way through the take because we had to go home and we already had what we needed, I just burst out crying because I so wanted to end it, it was such a beautiful shot and everyone started coming up and hugging me! I saw it recently and it blew me away, I was honestly just shocked, so expect big things from the movie.
Out of the characters you’ve played so far, which would you say is most like you?
I’d like to say Charlie, I mean after the way I’ve described him I feel like I’m bragging now saying Charlie hahahaha! I feel like I’m very ambitious with what I do, whenever I get a job or before I get a job I’ll spend hours a day working on the character, I’m always writing and trying to keep busy. I won’t cancel on someone, if I say I’ll be there, I’ll be there, I’ll always stick up for my friends, I like to think I’m quite loyal. I feel like when I was playing Charlie I was mostly playing myself more than any other character that I’ve played, the only other one is Adam from a short film I did called Colours, but that’s because he’s football mad and I’m just obsessed with football!
What are your acting plans this year?
I am shooting a horror movie called Cassette, it’s a comedy-horror, I’m playing the lead called Jonty who’s a YouTube vlogger. He’s vlogging and trying to get himself off the ground from a catastrophe in his past, and paranormal activities begin to happen in this University accommodation where he’s staying and as more ghost things start happening his YouTube following starts picking up and getting bigger. It’s kind of like the risk of staying in the apartment being famous with all the people in the flat, it just gets more and more dark as it goes throughout, it’s a great script, I’m really excited to do it. I’m going to do a series called Proven Innocent which is a Fox TV series out in Chicago, I’m a recurring character in that, I don’t know how often I’ll be needed, hopefully a lot, but I start shooting that on the 4th of September, I’ll be around if they need me till February, I’ll stay in LA keep auditioning and see what happens.
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