8 Questions with…….actor/director/writer Darren James King

3:36 pm
27 May 17

Transferring my 2nd interview on over to the new blog. In talking with Darren James King,this marked my first of several interviews I have done with UK based talent. I have really been very fortunate to have chatted with some wonderful artists and even better people,like Darren here.
Since I posted this,Darren has been very busy both as a actor with 7 new acting credits and directing a short film and and another full length feature. He is the definition of a hard working artist who is always looking to improve his skills and heartfelt effort to everything he does.

It’s 1:11 pm
17 Feb 2015

Welcome to an another edition of my ongoing interview series,”8 Questions with…..”. I started this waaaay back when on another social media site and have re-started it here. The series features people from all over who in one or another have perked my interest. So I ask to do a interview where they answer the questions themselves,in their own words. The series started on DeadSpace,then Blogspot and now its here on Word Press.

Believe it or not,while this is one of my favorite segments to blog about,its also the most difficult. It’s difficult because I do this entirely on feel. I have 548 people on my FB page plus (supposedly) 634 Twitter followers so you would think finding a subject to interview would be so easy. But as weird as it sounds,it isn’t. I have asked folks for said interview and while some have said no,others I just lost the desire for. It’s not the folks,I think everyone I ask to talk to is very interesting,I just get all foggy at times.
And sometimes I like to venture blindly outward and ask someone in a group who I don’t know for said interview. This is how I found small business owner Evon Cassier and playwright Stephen Foster. When I first time posted in a screenwriting/acting group who would like to do a interview,I got only ONE answer who turned out to be Stephen. We had such a fun time that when his debut play “Legends and Bridge” was going to run in New Jersey,Stephen encouraged me to interview the director,Brian Remo,which was a fun interview as well.
This is how I found actor-director Darren King,I put a post out for someone to inteview,I got 19 responses this time!! I went with my instincts and chose two fine artists,you’ll meet the other person soon enough!
How many 23 yr old directors/writers do you who have put out a movie completely on their own? Yeah,that is my answer as well….but lets go talk to the man who has done just that………..Darren James King!

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Tell us a little about your background. Where were you born and raised at?
What was it like growing up in your household?

My name is Darren King, I’m 23 and from East London. I was born in Newham Hospital, Ilford. I  had a great upbringing, I can’t really complain. I have four brothers and three sisters and we are all different. We don’t look like each other either which is slightly worrying… MUM???
Like most brothers and sisters we would argue, fight and stick together and that is still happening today. It’s not normal if we didn’t bumps heads once in a while.
When I was in my early teens I started getting into a bit of trouble and found myself heading down the wrong path, petty crime that was growing more wild. Schooling was a nightmare too, I got sent to a special school where they used to handcuff me when I kicked off. Looking back it is really funny but I can’t stress the damage that has been done. Kids, be good at school. Its important. We moved a lot growing up so I would always be missing exams and that. It didn’t help. I have lived in Kent, Wales, Yorkshire and found living in these places have helped shaped my creative mind just like life in general does. Being young is hard, you are surrounded by so many role models that SUBCONSCIOUSLY fill your mind and you become stuck on what you should be doing in life and who you are. I went from wanting to be a footballer, fireman,working with animals then to acting. Acting was always there.

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What led you to take up acting? Was there one or two people who influenced you? If so,who were they and how did they influence you?

The moment that led me to become an actor, or try to be one was when my drama teacher,Claire Gordon at George Greens School, sat me down and gave me some solid advice. She is a great woman. At that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to be but from that day on I knew what I wanted and I acted upon it. I turned that dream into reality. I owe a lot to Claire. The other person is Jesus, He’s the one that has heavily influenced me. He blesses me each day with meeting some great people. I can’t pinpoint specific people on earth that have helped me because there are so many but Jesus is definitely the main source to my success and the reason to why I’m breathing today.

We all know Great Britain has some superb actors/actresses and studios,is it easy to break into the industry there?

No, it’s not easy to break into the industry. It’s very difficult as there are so many people doing it. The competition is high. I am very competitive and wouldn’t dare pretend that I’m not but I’m also a good sportsman. I think you have to be in this game. All you can do is try to learn, perfect your craft and always remember to stay humble. Staying humble is important. One way of surviving in the industry is to be a nice person. I mean, who likes arse holes!

Your brother is also an actor,in fact you both co-starred,co-wrote and co-directed a crime drama,”Looters,Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters”.
How did this project come into being? Were you influenced by Guy Ritchie or is this completely your own world that you two created?

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Yes my brother Paul likes to get involved in all aspects of film and I think that’s great. I try to do the same. It’s wise to know a little bit about everything.My brother Paul always wanted to act and I was the only one in my family that was actively doing it. So I spoke to him and from then on we made a film. The idea first came about when I was writing a short version.So I came up with a rough story, it was the typical, “ I’ve got an Idea” moment. How many times have we heard that?My brother and I took that idea and churned it to reality. It’s okay to dream as long as you realise that is all it is. Reality is getting up and doing something everyday. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is positive and relates with where you’re trying to be.I have no shame in saying it is a really bad film.
I wasn’t influenced by Guy Ritchie but I’m a fan of his work. This I guess was an influence of every film I’ve ever watched. It’s amazing how much your mind takes without you knowing. Also real life stories and experiences we both have. Kerryanne put a lot of hard work in also, don’t forget the guvnor ,*LOL*. In fact everybody involved were amazing, well not everyone,ha!. But yeah,thanks guys. x

How hard was it to do everything with your brother? Were there any ego clashes on the set? Sibling rivalry ever raise its ugly head over a scene or dialogue?

Yes I can’t lie and say it wasn’t tough working with my brother. He has a great eye for direction, as I see it, we have different ways of doing things and I guess they both work. Pressure came from other areas, like the heavy demand of making a film with our own little money and relying on kind offers from family and friends. It was really a team effort. For me there was no egos, things get a little cloudy when your trying to put your passion into a film, which is ultimately a business. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done.

What is your routine when it comes to writing a script? How do you get into the proper frame of mind?

Before I used to just write off the top of my head and I guess that’s cool, you got to start somewhere. However, now its about understanding what I’m writing and why it’s there.
I study people’s behaviour and situations, this gives me ideas. There is so much work needed in a great script. It is mind-blowing. There is so much I want to say but simply can’t because this will be about 50 pages on its own. So in short words, I start with the initial idea then get the theme, which is the heart of the story and then begin working on the plot. Outlining is great although I don’t always start with that. The whole writing thing is BIG process. So much to learn.

Have you considered moving to the States for the work? Or do you think you will get a better chance staying home and developing your skill sets?

 I would love to just get out of London,ha. I suppose it’s not where you work it’s the people you work with. I’m a team player and wouldn’t want to do this work if it meant me doing it on my own. So the answer I guess is anywhere as long as I’m having fun. Taking things too seriously or at the wrong time is damaging.

The English are famous for working on the stage,without a net so to speak…have you worked in front of a live audience before and if so,how did it compare to film work?

I have done some work on stage and I love it. It’s so much different from film but there are a lot of similarities you can take. With stage there is no CUT. If you get something wrong you got to deal with it. No take 2. That’s the buzz and that’s the fear. I feel if you know the character and you’re in character you can’t mess up. The audience won’t know unless you tell them.

What do you like to do for fun when you are not on a project,any hobbies or activities you like doing during your off time?

I used to play a lot of football but now even when I get free time it is literally still spending that time on Writing, acting etc. This is what I love. This is my life.

Where do you want to be in five years?

In five years time I’d like to be in a comfortable position where I don’t have to worry about financial issues. I’m not looking for fame or fortune I just want to be comfortable and be blessed to wake up every morning and do what I love. I probably want to be settled down too.

Michael here….I just wanted to add something that I think is very important.  I always do a little background on everyone I interview. I do with with Darren as well and I checked out the IMBb page for his debut film. If you were going strictly off the reviews on “Looters,Tooters and Sawn Off Shooters”,you would probably pass because the reviews aren’t very high.
But talking in the very short time I have known Darren,I am very impressed with how he was able to go out and get this film made. He actually told me “that is isn’t a very good film”.

I answered him “Darren,I saw the reviews on IMDB for your film and it only made WANT to me to watch it. Considering how raw you are in terms of film making,just making it and getting it released is damn amazing. And seriously,what 23 year old comes out and scores a blockbuster his/ her first time out? You learn your craft as you go,getting better with each project,right?”

I like to thank Darren for sharing his time with me as he is a very busy getting ready for his next project.

Keep up with new film,TV and stage project by going to……..Darren King’s IMDb page

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