📷 : Jennie Scott
With previous screen roles including ChickLit and Red Dwarf, Kriss Dillon more recently made appearances in popular TV shows Cuckoo and Casualty, both episodes airing in 2018. Kriss has filmed for an upcoming Disney production titled The One and Only Ivan, with the release date to be announced, where he plays an animal inspector. At the end of last year, we caught up with Kriss who tells us more about his role in Casualty, acting alongside the Cuckoo cast and his upcoming role in The One and Only Ivan.
When and how did your acting career start?
It started in 2011. I started off with a model agency and then I had a chat with them because I wanted to get back into acting and I did a lot when I was a child. They put me in touch with an acting agent, I got in with them and then I got a part in a film a couple of months after.
You’ve filmed a few commercials; can you tell us the filming process?
Commercials are normally quite a quick turnaround as opposed to film, TV and theatre – you have an audition on the Monday and then you hope to hear back by the Wednesday and then it’s normally quite a quick filming process as well. There has only been once where I’ve been on location for three weeks and we did two days filming so the rest of the time was a holiday so it was great haha. I did one at the beginning of November and that was shot in Rome and we flew out on the Tuesday, filmed and flew back on the Wednesday evening so that was quite quick.
What stage roles have you done and would you like to do more?
Yes, I would like to do more but I don’t get seen for a lot of theatre. I joined a company just after I got the part in the film so that was in 2012 and they were based in Bethnal Green and we did a show called Jayden’s War and that was running for a few months, and then I didn’t touch stage for a good few years after that because my last stage credit was at RADA and that was last year and that was for a play called Sharks In The Paddling Pool. I would like to do more because it’s raw and it’s there and there is no forgiving at all.
Do you have a routine for audition preparation?
I do, the first thing that I like to do is learn my lines, I know it sounds like number one it’s what you should do anyway, but a lot of people find their character first but I like to learn the lines so that it’s already in my head and then I can find what he’s doing there, why he’s there and what he wants out of that situation. My process is lines first, then accent, and then finding out why the character’s there.
Do you have anything you are currently working on?
I’ve just finished filming Casualty and my first episode was out on Saturday 24th November and I play a character called Rufus Adams. I’ve had a few auditions as well so I’m just waiting to hear back and actually one of those is a stage production! The other two are TV and film again so hopefully I will hear back on them but if not then I’ll just wait for the next auditions to come in.
What was it like to film Cuckoo alongside Taylor Lautner?
That was brilliant, me and Taylor got on really well which was nice. He’s a little bit younger than me but because he’s an A-lister I wasn’t quite sure if he was going to be difficult to work with or not but no, not at all, he was absolutely brilliant. My scenes were with him so it was just me and him quite a lot so we got kind of close. I think my highlight was Greg Davies, he was brilliant and so funny and I made him laugh which was good, I didn’t expect that! I really enjoyed that character even though it was only a little one, the whole filming process was really nice and relaxed.
Can you tell us about your involvement in the storyline and how long it took to get into costume?
I was in makeup quite a while because I was completely silver in that so I was in makeup for a good two hours haha and then costume another twenty minutes getting into that. I had to have this body stocking underneath because it was so cold on set and the costume was completely painted silver as well so that was as stiff as anything – I couldn’t go to the toilet, I couldn’t do anything and if I had to touch anything I had to wear Marigolds so that was quite awkward going to the toilet wearing Marigolds haha!
What was it like filming for the long-running series, Casualty?
That was actually the most fun I’ve ever had on a job, it was SO relaxed and because it’s been going for so long, there was no hierarchy there whatsoever. The director was having a laugh and a joke with the extras and apart from when we went back to our own dressing room, everyone was very much together so there wasn’t a room for the extras and a room for the actors, everyone was one big family so it was really, really good being on that. The director, Julie, let me have complete freedom with the character as well so it was great, it was so relaxed and it was fun. It’s all I can say really, it was just so much fun that one.
Had you watched Red Dwarf before appearing in the show?
I grew up watching it as a kid but I had to switch the channel over when my dad came down the stairs because he didn’t like it haha but I did, I really liked it. That was a funny one because obviously when you watch something growing up when you have no idea you want to be an actor and then when you start acting and you’re in something that you’ve watched growing up, it’s brilliant. Just being in the little ship and I laid down on Lister’s bed, which was cool haha, I just had to do that, I did silly little things like that just to make it a good memory for me, but again, that was good fun.
How long, and where, did you film for your role in Disney’s The One and Only Ivan?
We filmed the main in Pinewood. Unfortunately, the character I went for, they couldn’t get me an American visa in time, so if they did I would have gone to Florida for a few weeks, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get that approved in time. Thea Sharrock, the director, when I went back for the recall, she explained to me what was going on and I was absolutely gutted because I thought that was my character gone, but then she said to me she wanted to write another character for me in it and I’ve never had that before so I had my own little character. It was quite difficult for everyone because they didn’t know what they wanted me to do on set because I was a brand-new character. It actually ended up being bigger than the one I went for so that was an experience because I’ve never worked on anything so big before and just watching the amount of money they spent on it was incredible. I was there for a week and a half on that one, so not too long, but long enough to get a good understanding of how a massive motion picture works.
Are you able to say anything about The Closure and will there be ways to watch it?
The first trailer came out for that last month. We went to the screening of it just over a month ago, they did a short version and now they’ve done a festival version which is also short, I think it’s two or three minutes longer than the version we saw. It is in the process of going to the festivals now and then once that’s done I’m hoping it might be on at the cinemas, if not I’m hoping it will go to Amazon or something like that because that’s where a lot go after festivals if it does well so touch wood. I’m not 100% sure when that one’s going to be out, I think a little while off yet because obviously festivals take a while so hold tight for that one.
What would your dream role be?
I think my dream role would be a bad guy in a Batman movie, I’ve always wanted to do that and the whole reason I got into acting was Heath Ledger, I absolutely adored that guy and when he played The Joker in The Dark Knight I thought that’s what I want to do, I want to do something like that and I want to do something that people remember and just do a completely different version if that character’s been done before and normally with comic books they are.
What are your career plans for the new year?
So, if I get the two auditions that I auditioned for in November, that will take up January and February, which would be quite nice. I normally have a goal every year, I want to do TV and film that’s obviously what you want to do as an actor, so I normally say I want to do one TV job a year, if I do that I can’t moan about what happens for the rest of the year but because this year I’ve done three already and then two short films, I don’t know whether to up my game now or not. Actually, I’m going to go with two, my goal for next year is to do two TV roles, if I get that I’ll be happy – any more’s a bonus, any less I’m not going to be happy haha!
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