Kris is a very talented actor; working on many independent films including: The Guard, ECHO 13 and Isolation.
As well as his extensive acting work, Kris is also talented behind the scenes with his writing/directing/producing debut of Quietus coming soon.
Can you please share some background about how you became interested in working within the industry?
I first became interested in film when I was very small. My first cinema trip was to see Disney's The Little Mermaid, and from that moment I was hooked on film. Each time I watched a film, I found myself intrigued by the characters and wanted to do what they did. When I watched Jurassic Park, I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Or when I watched Twister, I wanted to be a storm chaser. After a while, I realised it wasn't so much the character's jobs or interests that I found interesting. It was becoming the character. So, from that moment, I realised I wanted to be an actor. After taking small roles in school plays, I found myself feeling a great deal of fulfilment in entertaining others and bringing happiness or laughter to an audience. The buzz was extraordinarily addictive. That has stayed with me all my life.
|Kris' character Matt Lawrence|
My advice to those wanting to break into the acting industry is to never give up and take the good with the bad. This industry is one of the hardest to get into. I have had more than my fair share of fails and rejections. However, I believe that if you REALLY want to become an actor, you have to keep pushing and striving for it. If you stick with it, one of the most rewarding hobbies or professions.
What tips would you give to actors to follow while working on a production?
Patience is a virtue, never forget that. Sometimes on a film set, you can be sitting around for up to two hours while the set is dressed or shots are set up. Always try to maintain enthusiasm and professionalism. Film making is a long and arduous process, it takes a lot of time. Be ready to start when the director calls for you and never give less energy than you started with. And, also, don't be shy or reserved. Acting can be very intimate and demand a lot from you. In an upcoming feature film I am starring in, I have a love scene which is very intimate. You can't be afraid to play a character. It really is all or nothing in this industry.
When looking at your impressive resume of acting work, one consistency I noticed was you have worked with Cory Naquin & Ryan Turner on many projects including The Guard and ECHO 13. Can you talk about what it is like working alongside the pair and how you have come to work so consistently together?
|Kris' character Ross|
from ECHO 13
The first time I worked with Cory and Ryan was on the short film, The Guard, which they co-directed together. I auditioned for the lead role and was thrilled to get it. The shoot was only two days, but it was a huge joint effort to get the film made on time. The whole cast and crew bonded over those two days and we had a great time. When they started production on Echo 13, they invited me to play the role of Ross. I was very excited to work with them again so didn't hesitate in saying yes. They are very professional and are both on the same wavelength. They have great on set chemistry, they can navigate a shoot very efficiently and there is never any animosity or negativity on their film sets. They are very generous directors. They allow their cast to bring characterisation of their own to the table and are very supportive when filming delicate scenes. They are both also incredibly funny and nice guys.
During ECHO 13 your character is involved in dark scenes throughout including the rape of Oliver. Can you discuss how these scenes were to shoot and the atmosphere on-set?
If I'm being honest, I hadn't read the script before I said yes to the role. So I had no idea what I was getting into. I just wanted to work with Cory and Ryan again. As soon as I was on board, they sent me a script. I was both excited and nervous, because I had never been involved in filming material like this before. The rape scene was my first day of filming and I had only just met Kieran (who plays Oliver) an hour or so before hand. It was a tense shoot. But, the entire cast involved in that scene had the utmost respect for one another and we all had a laugh about it afterwards and hung out. We just had to keep telling ourselves it wasn't real. That we were just playing characters. In fact, Echo 13 had a few scenes that were emotionally difficult. The execution scene and my death scene were both hard hitting whilst filming. But, nevertheless, we had an awesome time making the film and it was all worth it.
|Kris' character 'The Guard'|
from The Guard.
Ah yes!!! I had so much fun filming The Guard. We filmed it over two consecutive Sundays and after reading the script for the first time I loved the character. I could relate to him! He begins as a very shy and timid guy and throughout the attack from the gang he shows an inner strength and courage he never knew he had. Much like how I see myself when I started acting. So, portraying that transition was really interesting for me. The fight scene was terrific fun. On our first night, we did a couple of hours fight choreography and tried out some different fighting styles. I had the great pleasure of working alongside Scott Thomas Peel (who played Skull) and we trusted each other completely by the time we filmed it... although on our first take he did cut my hand with a hammer! It took about five to six hours to film the fight and I got thrown around quite a lot. So I wasn't short on bruises by the time I got home! The scene looked great in the final short and everyone was really happy with the end result.
Your talents also extend behind the camera with your writing, directing & producing debut coming up soon with Quietus. Can you talk about how your experience as an actor has helped you with the writing and directing of your own project?
Quietus has been a personal project of mine for nearly four years. I have always loved creative writing. It is a fantastic form of escapism and whenever I had a though day at school or work or if I was feeling down, I would write a story. With having worked on film for the last couple of years, I have had the chance to observe and shadow several directors and producers and learn some of the tricks of the trade. Once I became more confident with what I was learning, I decided to use this knowledge to bring my vision to life. Sometimes just watching people at work can be the best form of learning. I am self-taught in every aspect of the craft. I didn't go on any courses or go to university or take classes on writing or acting. I have simply watched, practised, and experimented on my own. And Quietus has really just taken off over the last year. I invested in my own equipment (a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Rode Mic, sound gear, Steadicam unit etc etc) , sourced a talented cast and a crew I could trust, and set up a small indie production company. Filming started a month ago.
Quietus will be an eight-episode series and it will follow a small group of ordinary people as they attempt to survive in a new and cruel world after civilisation has fallen. The main characters are two brothers, Ryan and Theo, and they are taken in by a group. The story really is about their journey to find salvation and safety. It is a psychological thriller/drama/horror. It is also going to feature an infected population who will be the main threat to the group. This series will pay homage to genre pieces such as The Crazies, 28 Days Later, even The Last of Us. We have a phenomenal cast. The cast includes Jonny Woollett, Alex Easten, Sharon Cummings, Paul Outterside, Clare Mitchell, Emily-Jane Jones, Jackson Maule, and myself. All these guys are awesomely talented and I can't wait to show the world what they can do. We are looking at a late 2018 release. A YouTube channel will be set up for promotional material soon and there is already a official Facebook page. So keep watching this space...
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!