Redwood’s Mike Beckingham announces National Film Award nomination for Best Actor

We last caught up with Mike Beckingham when he was off to shoot ‘Redwood’ with Director Tom Paton. With ‘Redwood’ being released nationwide, it is perfect timing to find out that the acclaimed film is up for an award with Mike Beckingham nominated now for Best Actor and his co-star Tatiana also up for a nod.

Geek Syndicate (GS): You must have been thrilled when you got the news of the nomination, what happened?

Mike Beckingham (MB): About a month or so ago, I woke up, it was a Monday morning and found out that Tatiana was nominated for a National Film Award. I checked the social media feed and said congratulations to her. She totally deserves it. Tom Paton called me back later and he said I should get congratulations too. I asked why, and he said that I had been nominated as Best Actor. I tried to get onto the NFA site for 2-3 days, but it wouldn’t let me because millions of people were trying to vote, and it crashed it. The film itself was nominated, I was nominated and Tatiana. It was surreal, I had no idea it was going to happen. Any kind of performance that resonates with the audience and the judging panel is incredible, I am very grateful to be nominated.

GS: It speaks a lot to your talent and range that you have been nominated alongside such experienced and well-respected talents.

MB: I had to look every night to recheck that I really was up against Jude Law, Daniel Kaluuya, Taron Egerton and Jamie Bell. They are all established actors. When I got my head around it I thought it is a great opportunity to go and enjoy the night, with actors like that I don’t think I will need to worry about figuring out an acceptance speech, but it will be a great night.

GS: Tom Paton has been very complimentary about your range and the complexity, your part in Black Site was written specifically for you, why does the relationship between you work so well?

MB: It just clicks with some people, in the process before the production was even rolling. Our work ethics are the same. We are all fragile creatures despite our self-belief and it is great to know that Tom would write a part in ‘Black Site’ just for me showed that he had great confidence in me. I respect him greatly. It is all about the people you surround yourself with.

GS: The last two films you have just worked on have been at an incredible pace, what effect does that have on you?

MB: I really like the pace of Indie films, it encourages you to trust your first instincts because there isn’t time to prepare and second guess yourself you just have to get on with it and believe in yourself.

GS: What projects have you got coming up?

MB: Over the last month I was cast in a new movie that we will start to film next week. The principle photography will happen in Amsterdam and the second part of filming will be in London. I have never been to Amsterdam so that will be exciting. Working with Michael Gambon, Dominic Keating and James Hong will be real honour. I grew up watching ‘Big Trouble in Little China’, they are all so experienced so will be surreal to share a project like this with them. It only has a working title now, but I will share more when we get the green light.

GS: What has been the impact of the nomination so far?

MB: It puts me in the shop window, when people see my name against such established actors it is a wonderful opportunity to get my name out there. I am very grateful to the NFA and to ‘Redwood’. I am taking it one project at a time and appreciating each opportunity. I have a substantial role in my next film, it is a meaty role in an area I have not explored before, so I will enjoy that and see what happens next.

GS: You have mainly worked on Indie films; will this new project be a mainstream release?

MB: It is the biggest production I have been involved in in terms of scale and cost. It is daunting that it starts next week, it is where I want to be. I have to step back and believe that I am supposed to be there.

GS: How did it come about?

MB: Someone I know already was associated with it and a well-known actor had a schedule conflict which left this part open for a new actor. I was lucky enough to be recommended and after a round of casting I got the call to say that I have got the job. It was a real compliment that someone referred me like that.

GS: It speaks to your talent and the strong relationships that you are building in your career that you are getting referred for projects and opportunities, having characters written for you.

MB: It says a lot that people believe in me and my abilities, I am so pleased that people believe in me and trust me with these parts.

GS: You will have to do character preparation, but will you also be preparing yourself to meet the actors you will be playing alongside?

MB: Very much, I grew up watching ‘Little China’ with James Hong and so even though Michael Gambon is best known for Harry Potter I will be in awe of his talent from other films as well. But I will go along and be professional and do what I need to do for the role. I will probably go back to the hotel and react then, be uncool privately!

GS: You said the new role is meaty and something you have not done before, have you needed to prepare for it?

MB: Things happened so quickly. By comparison to previous movies I have had a long time to prepare I have had three weeks this time. The producer and director have been generous with their time to help me understand my character and context. When I was working with Tom, he really brought me on as an actor. We sat down after ‘Black Site’ and planned very deliberately that after two films back to back it was important to go off and work on other projects to develop ourselves and broaden our outlooks. But there will be a third film together I am sure. He is self-taught and a great talent there is still a lot to learn from him and together.

GS: It seems that you have to be an entrepreneur as an actor and make your own path?

MB: I have known since the age of three that I wanted to be an actor, I have a pure love and passion for it. I am keen to grow even more. You have to approach it with self-belief and determination.

The National Film Awards will be held on 28th March 2018.

GS Interviewer: The Aviator

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