Actor Jack Huston featured in the cover story for Carbon Copy #17, back in 2013. We take a look at that and for the first time publish his interview that featured in the magazine. The questions were researched and written by Ella Hagi, and the interview was conducted over the telephone by Ian Cole who also edited the final copy. The front cover and other images were photographed by the legendary Mick Rock and styled by Jules Wood. You can view the cover story that this interview was featured with HERE.
CC: Where did you learn the art of acting?
JH: From a young age I was always on stage. I remember doing my first school play when I was about seven years old and I loved it. For me, everything clicked and I just loved to perform. I also studied as an artist, and alongside that, I always knew I wanted to be an actor. When I was sixteen I went to Hurtwood House, a pre-drama school, where I did a crash course. I attained a lot of stage knowledge there. I believe in ‘learning from doing’, and I made it my business to learn the craft from all sides including stage management, as something of an understudy. From this, I learned from ‘watching people’ – the more you pay attention, the more you learn.
CC. Your uncle is actor Danny Huston and you’ve played together in Two Jacks. How does this differ from working with someone you’ve perhaps never met before?
JH: Well actually, we had already worked together on a movie called Boogie Woogie, but we weren’t actually in scenes together, as the parts were separate. But working with family brings utter trust to the project and as we’re huge movie buffs, it’s great to work together. Saying that, I find that working with new people can be very exciting too.
CC. You’ve also worked with people like Al Pacino and Ray Winstone. What have those experiences been like? Who were the most interesting people to work with?
JH: Al was amazing, with his age and experience in this business, he is STILL so excited by the whole process. He works and works and he is so enthusiastic – you really feel the passion and I find this infectious. This was one of my greatest experiences, especially as he actually directed. Ray is a fantastic actor and such fun to work with. Working with John Hurt was like having a great mentor, he is an amazing actor and I learnt a lot from watching him. Peter Blythe was also a wonderful actor who meant a lot to me and unfortunately, he is no longer with us. These are people who have been magical to work.
CC. Out of the projects you’ve acted in, what has shaped you the most? As an actor or as a person?
JH: I would say the TV show Boardwalk Empire. My character Richard Harrow is a far cry from who I am and it’s taught me how to play characters. To play someone who is similar to yourself I would find terribly boring! I think this was a pivotal moment for me because it showed me that I can play ANY character. This gave me self-belief as an actor and as a human being.
CC. You have played in theatre before – how do the two mediums differ from one another?
JH: I started in theatre and I love the immediacy of it. In film, you have to break up the scenes, so it’s more time consuming, whereas theatre is more of an instant thrill. I am doing a play in September and this will be my first time in the theatre in seven years. Watching everything come together from rehearsals is a great buzz for me. One performance is never the same as the other, night by night, so that makes it magical. I’ve actually missed it incredibly and feel excited to do both.
CC. Is there a certain role you feel more comfortable playing?
JH: No. If you get comfortable you die. One should always be challenging oneself. Find things that aren’t comfortable and if people can see that you are being challenged in the role, they will find it more exciting.
CC. How do you mentally prepare yourself for a new role?
JH: It depends entirely on what the role is. If it’s a real person who existed, then you can do a lot of research, including a lot of reading and watching film. Then you can decide which bits are important to you, which you can take and use. If it’s a fictionalised character, I simply draw from life. For me, I need to get to a place where I think ‘I can play this guy.’
CC. Are there any roles where you’ve felt like you should’ve done something different or better? A role where you weren’t really 100% pleased?
JH: Yes, many – 80% lol. Up until three years ago, I was never entirely happy about what I did. Sometimes it takes time to find your ‘groove’ and I feel I only found mine about three years ago. Now I feel I’m doing things that I’m proud of. It’s not that I am not proud of previous roles, it’s all part of the learning process.
CC. If you can choose to play any role you want. What would it be and why that specific part?
JH: We’re actually working on something now, which I can’t really go into. But I am desperate to play Erol Flynn! I find his story absolutely fascinating. I feel so right for this part.
CC. Similarly, who would be that one director you dream of working together with?
JH: I couldn’t name one, so I will name some of my favourites! Martin Scoresee – because of his history in film. I think he’s the most important filmmaker of our generation. The Coen Brothers – because of the way they weave a tale together. Steven Spielberg – the scope of his films are cinematically brilliant and his characters are so well rounded. Wes Anderson – I love his awkward, quirky style. It’s utterly original which is hard to do in today’s film world.
CC. You have one film in postproduction and starting to work on another one. What else is in plan for the future?
JH: I’m currently in the middle of negotiating with an incredible director (TBA) for a play and a few TV shows that are in development. I’ve just joined an incredible cast for a new drama with director David O. Russell, which includes Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve also written a film and had several offers. Anything to keep the child fed!
Thank you, Jack Huston!