A Day with Angus Cook
Angus Cook, British Actor and Film Editor
Thoughtful and caring Friend from university days. Talented Actor. Professional Film Editor. Great Comedian. King of Puns. And amongst many accolades that he has, he is also a YouTube Sensation, although he never agrees with me on that one. But with 11 million (and counting) channel views, at least in my circles, he is a YouTube sensation.
We spent a fun day in London, visiting Vertigo 42 for the afternoon tea and talking about about a career in film and the variety of work that he does, from performing on stage and in film, to film editing and writing scripts.
Angus Cook attended University of Exeter where he read Drama before moving back to London to complete a Masters at ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts). He’s been involved in several projects so far and with his talent and such good looks, I am sure, we are bound to see more of him on screen.
Acting and filming has been part of his life since he was a child making scripted home movies with his brothers. He has honed the art of film editing and earns some of his living editing movies both for professional organisations, fellow actors and doing private work for clients.
Julia: Quite a few people have dramatic flair or were talented performers in school. But many talented students that I recall settled on a “sensible” course with career prospects in an office environment. What or who inspired you to be an actor professionally?
Angus: Going to Bradfield College, a school so keen on theatre really contributed to me finding my passion for the stage. Generally in the classroom I was always performing, making my peers laugh or being cheeky, so being allowed to do that without getting into trouble was great. I wasn't the biggest extracurricular fan so I had a lot of free time - which I spent in the school theatre either rehearsing or helping others out with their projects. What really sparked it though was playing the role of Tom in Alan Ayckbourn's play 'Table Manners' and receiving much praise for my comedy timing. If you're good at it, try and do it for a living.
Julia: Tell us about your typical day?
Angus: Every day is different as an actor and you are always looking forward, making plans. If I am lucky to get into a play, I focus on that. Typically there is a lot of 'resting' which for me consists of emailing my contacts, liaising with producers and my agent, putting myself forward for all sorts of projects, big and small. An ongoing project is the sitcom I am working which keeps me busy along with any extra film editing work I can get on the side. There is not real structure/timetable. I just go with flow and make the most of it. I find time for golf as well!
Julia: What projects have you been involved in recently and what’s in the pipeline?
Angus: I was lucky enough to be a 'supporting artist' on the next installation of the Star Wars franchise (of which I am a big fan) and hope to be invited back for the next one. I do quite a bit of events work which I obtain relatively easily each month and am currently looking forward to playing a role in the British Independent film 'Gloves Off.'
Julia: I have noticed recently that many movies have been made in the UK and the limelight that was shining on Hollywood has been spread internationally. Equally London has a buzzing theatre scene and we have seen many big Hollywood names starring in the productions in the West End. How do you see the London scene evolving for budding actors?
For aspiring actors... It has become extremely difficult as the competition are as you say... Big names. These days the big names will do adverts, low budget films, website series and are subsequently taking up a lot of the roles which aspiring actors would normally use as a step up the ladder. However, this does mean that us budding actors have a better chance of working with the highly experienced and learning valuable traits for the craft. The acting community is very humble and caring but the business side is unforgiving. There are so many actors out there and it is very easy to be taken advantage of which is why the more you understand the world you're trying to work in, the better off you'll be.
London is a hot spot for us. Anytime I have an audition, of course it shall be based in London. Filming happens there, plays happen there and the important people are there. My contacts are all London based - it's where the business side of things happen and it is a luxury to discuss career opportunities in such a setting. Of course it's a big city with lots of people, those who are wanting steal and those who are wanting create. I am now in the know of who is who. You just have to be careful, patient, sociable and push yourself at any open doors you may find.
Julia: What plays have you seen recently?
Angus: Most recently I had the pleasure of watching Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest starring the wonderful David Suchet as the prim and proper Lady Bracknell. [Now at the Vaudeville Theatre.] I was in stitches the whole way through this classic of a farce. Sticking to the original script and adding in skits of physical humour is how one should go about directing Wilde. Adrian Noble allows the actors to explore the true absurdity and colourful language within this fast paced and still relevant play. I recommend it highly.
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Julia: If you had to move to Hollywood forever, how would you spend your last day in London?
Angus: Full English Breakfast at the Breakfast Club in Clapham Junction. Head over to Richmond by the Thames for a pint and a pub lunch. Have a table booked for 5.30pm at one of central London's finest, trendiest restaurants. See a play/musical complimented by a couple of Gin and Tonics. Head to Troy 22, and party the night away before stumbling into a cab home.
As we are all looking forward with anticipation to the release of the latest James Bond movie S.P.E.C.T.R.E. this November, have a look at one of Angus's fan made trailers.