Brad Moore, whose five year acting career is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. He has over twenty short films and seven feature films including ‘Mercenaries’ alongside Billy Zane, ‘Best Laid Plans’ alongside Stephen Graham and ‘The Rise’ with Timothy Spall as part of his illustrious CV. He is also managing director of Moli Films Entertainment, which has already produced 3 feature films.
We at Those London Chicks catch up with Brad and talk about his journey, career, inspirations and his latest role in London based feature film ‘Montana’.
After a successful career in finance, you became an actor relatively recently. Had you always wanted to be an actor growing up and life took you on a different path… tell us about your journey?
*Laughs* I don’t think my career in finance could be particularly described as successful; I had lots of different jobs in finance and never really felt at home in any of them. After I left finance I spent 2 years doing Stand up Comedy around the country then moved on to acting.
You have only been acting properly for 4/5 years and already you have a huge number of credits under your belt. What made you decide to pursue a career as an actor?
When I was around ten I lived next door to a famous actress, we used to play acting games together. But I didn’t do anything from ten to 40, so I had 30 years where I did nothing. I don’t come from an artistic background or anything like that. I started telling stories to my son, at bedtime, and started doing the characters and doing voices, and started enjoying the performance of it, and I thought I love this so much and I’ve loved film and comedy all my life, so I have to do it. It’s sort of a mid-life crisis, really. Some people go out and buy a Harley Davidson, but I went into acting.
Whose work inspires you as an actor?
I grew up watching actors like Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Marlon Brando. Always in awe of those guys and their screen presence and ability to suck you right in to the story. Without these guys then you wouldn’t have Gary Oldman and Sean Penn who I equally adore and admire their work. I can see how each generation of actors inspire a generation of actors who perceive them.
In terms of the talent recently broken through, I love Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender’s work.
What are your favourite types of characters to play?
The first thing I look for when reading a script is ‘can I play it’ and ‘can I bring it alive?’. Then really I’m looking at layers, subtext, and how does he best serve the story.
What can we expect from your latest film Montana and your character DC Stephen Phelps?
Phelps was a degenerate, selfish, racist, a nasty piece of work and all the more interesting because of it! He represented the black comedy in the film, so was also a great character to play. During my preparation for the character Mo Ali and I spent several days on the streets were we shot the film in London’s east end. I was improvising in character, I would spend 20/30 minutes in character and started to practice simply sneering at life as Phelps does in the film. Although Phelps is not completely unhinged (he actually quiet cunning and methodical), he is violent so I would walk in to a newsagents to buy a coke and consider punching the guy behind the counter on the nose for no reason!! Of course I didn’t punch any one, but it helped to tap into this violent thought process when we came to shoot. What I also found preparing for the role was that it was very difficult to find anyone from the Met that would admit to being similar to my character!! So I couldn’t really anchor the character with any real life examples. Instead, I looked more towards villains because really, at the core of his nature he is a villain.
What was it like working with such an impressive, accomplished team of creatives on Montana Mo Ali (director), Ashley Walters, Adam Deacon, and Michelle Fairley?
Mo’s has this incredible vision as well as a heart of gold but a mind of steel.
Adam and Ashley were very warm and welcoming, very fun guys to have on set. I must have spent something like 12 hours in a Range Rover with them on a shoot day so you can’t help but get to know each other a little bit. They’ve work together on past projects so there was an existing chemistry between them. They’re both very successful so you might think that there might be a clique-y element to them, but this wasn’t the case.
Michelle on the other hand, I initially thought that she didn’t like me as she was aloof and distant. By the second day I twigged what she was doing, in the film our characters don’t like each other so she wanted to maintain that so that it fed into our relationship on screen. After we’d wrapped shooting on her last day on set, she became much more friendly and we got on well.
Are there any funny stories from your time on the set you want to share with us?
Prior to the shoot I went on to the street with Mo to improvise the character, I like to improvise the character in real life before shooting as I find this helps me to really understand how my character would react going about every day life. Mo was doing this thing we call hot seating where he asks me questions in my character. We did this on a popular estate in the east end and 2 funny things happened. We must have be doing a reasonable job of looking like badasses as we were offered drugs within the first 5 minutes. Shortly after this suddenly out of nowhere a guy was taken down by unmarked coppers 5 ft. in front of us for robbing a butchers shop. Mo immediately put pen to paper and if you watch the film you’ll see this arrest takes place in the opening sequence on the same estate we saw it.
You’ve just finished shooting your first lead role in a feature film ‘Long Time Coming’. With Freema Agyeman, Stephan Berkoff, Bernard Hill, Keith Allen and Elliot Tittensor. Nice one Brad! How was that for you?
The ensemble cast of Long Time Coming – North v South were fantastic and a pleasure to work with, I’ve just watched the completed film for the first time today and everyone plays their part inch perfect. What’s lovely about the film is Stephen, Keith and Bernard are very experienced actors and there is enormous maturity in their performances which in my opinion sets it apart from most other British crime thrillers.
What advice would you give to someone, who might have always had a burning desire to become an actor, but their life’s path has taken them down a different road?
I didn’t start acting at 40, so I would say you’re never to old to follow your dreams. It is a very tough business, and you will have to suffer, probably financially at first too. Even if, like me, you were embarrassed to explain to people your decision, eventually the ones that really care about you will respect that you’re following your heart.
Brad what’s next for you?
I’ve just finished shooting a horror film, called Writers Retreat. It’s set on Ossea island in Essex that is cut off from mainland by the sea for 20 hours a day. I’m also about to star work on a grey pound comedy called The Golden Years, which stars Bernard Hill again and Brian Blessed. I play another nasty, obnoxious copper, albeit this time in a comedic sense. As I mentioned before, I did stand up comedy, so I’ve always loved comedy and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to that genre.
Thank you so much Brad
Interview by Karen Bryson xx