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What's Important About an Actor is his Acting, Not His Life

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Nick Nevern is someone who I tip to be massive in the film industry. Nick has had a successful career both in front of the camera and behind it. At 31 he is preparing for the release of his new film GBH. Nick has had over 20 film roles and he is showing no signs of slowing down.

The first thing you notice about the actor, director, writer and producer is he's fast-talking, bright and, as might be expected, imbued with natural comic delivery, and soulful eyes. They don't miss anything. He is a man who is going his own way, living by his own rules, which includes learning only the first and last lines of his scripts and leaving the rest to God. Now do you see why I like him?

Acting was something he says he always wanted to do. "When i was a kid I was always running around, doing kids stuff. Generally being nuisance. and acting was something that saved me. It was that time in my life when I was being in trouble a lot with the police and my mum said 'look this is it, if you don't go to prison this time, then you have got to do something with your life, otherwise this is going to come on top of you'," he explains.

"She went and found a drama school just down the road called LAMDA and my mum said 'they are doing a course there and you should do something like that because you've always been into acting', so I did the summer course for six weeks. I auditioned. King Lear and my modern thing was Ray Winstones speech from Nil by Mouth, because I just love that movie. I had no idea about Shakespeare I just found the name Edmund the Bastard and I thought it was a cool name. I learnt the speech all by myself. No one helped me do it. I learnt all about the rthyms myself. Then after that course they asked me if I wanted to come back and learn there properly. So I did, but I left after a bit. I don't need to learn how to be a tree."

I asked Nick to tell me more about his Drama school days, guessing it wasn't going to be ordinary or straight forward. "It was ridiculous. I remember one teacher at drama school when we were doing Chekov and she was talking about Moscow. I grew up in Moscow and I said 'well actually that's not right' I can't remember now what the exact conversation was about, and she was like 'oh you know in Russia they have' a whatever it was she was saying. And I was like 'well no actually love it's not like that there and i should know because I grew up there'. And she was really airy fairy and like 'right ok'. From that moment I knew that they were all talking shit That same teacher she once said to me when I was struggling with my lines, 'oh nick just learn your first line and your last line and leave the rest to god' I promise you that is what she said, and that's when I left". The other thing I noticed is how animated and expressive he is. It's not a cartoon version of Nick Nevern British - Russian, but it's at the turbo end of vibrant. He's constantly shrugging, gesturing with his hand and laughing.

In response to a question about his first role, he muses: "It was 'Out of Control' in 2002 a BBC drama with Leo Gregory, it won a few awards. I reckon if that was made now it would go straight to cinema. Me and Leo both auditioned out of 700 other actors. We both got down to the final two to play the lead and unfortunately that bugger {Nick is laughing} got it and he's gone on to be a superstar {Nick is smiling}. And I did n't. But the director obviously liked what I did as I got right to the final two, and so he put me in the film anyway. It was a small part but it was my first little taste of television".

I told Nick to talk me through acting and Directing in his film 'Terry'. "Terry was different it's not a conventional film, it's a found footage movie so it's a lot easier to do that. But it was hard you've gotta play back all the time to make sure every things right. You get very frustrated and angry with people because your like hang on i'm doing to jobs here and I am doing them to the best of my ability, why the hell are nt you doing your job properly. So you get very short with people, but I would n't have had it any other way. No one else could have directed it like that and to make it as real as it was. People watch that movie now and think it's real"

Nick started to strike me as a personality who needs to have lots of things going on. "I wrote Terry on my own but I realised to make it work there can't be a script, and I did n't want to hire actors, otherwise it would n't have been real. I hired real people. The best way to do it was to improvise. After that film my writing partner who is Mike Lindley Inspired me to write. We met at Drama school. He's the complete opposite to me. I don't want to say posh but he's very well brought up and he's just different to me. We just have different humours and we put those styles together and we create really good scripts".

On younger actors Nick sys "The football Hooligan film thing is something that a lot of London actors cut their teeth. Because there is an audience for them. You get to do things that you would n't get to do in real life like beating people up and running around being a hooligan and that's very fun. And people enjoy those types of films, there's an audience for them. A lot of young actors getting in to the game start off on those films and really cut their teeth on them."

I inquired as to what characters Nick has played that he felt were closest to him in personality "In dream team I played a Russian striker. He had cancer. Not that I've ever had cancer but he was a really nice soul and that's the closest any character has ever been to me because the rest have been liabilities". So you think you have a nice soul I asked "yeah do you?" I smiled back and gave him 'the wink'!

Lets talk about your new film GBH I said and Nick leans forward and taps the table lightly "My new film GBH tells the story of Damien Jones. He's a Police Officer with some severe mental health issues. He's a manic depressive. He's an ex football hooligan, but that's not really told in the story. It's just peppered. So he's an ex hooligan who joined the force and he struggles to cope with day to day reality and having to help people as a Police Officer. And there's a thin line between helping people who need it and people who deserved to be punished. He feels the need to punish them. Damien really took over my mind, with him I just let him consume me. I had to. It was so dark. I was taking him home. I was getting angry with people and he's a dangerous guy and you have to kind of be in that kind of mind set, to play that truthfully. You get a more honest representation if you really delve into it".

And after GBH is out what do you have coming out. "Hopefully we are going to start pre production on 'The Hooligan Factory' soon. Me and Jason Maza will take the leads. Leo Gregory is attached to play in it. Leo's completely on a different level to me he's where I want to be. He is a fantastic actor, he's my best mate and I look up to him. He helps me a lot. He's a positive influence and".

After reciting his speech a few years ago from the Film 'Nil By Mouth' I was interested to know how Nick felt when he finally got to meet Ray Winstone during the filming of the Sweeney. "Ray Winstone is someone I massively look up to. When i first met him on set of The Sweeney I had my picture taken with him. Actually it was our mate Ronnie Fox who took the picture. Yeah Ronnie introduced me to Ray. Ray is one of the most talented actors that we have. I think we are really lucky not to have lost him to the states. Whenever he goes over to the States he always comes home. He does great British films. I'd go over to the states to work but I'd never live there. It's a mile a minute like London but more busy and more packed".

So where does Nick see himself in ten years time "In ten years time I see myself owning the world". It was never going to be a normal answer was it?

As we parted ways we hug goodbye and it's a warm and proper hug where I tell him he's lovely. I should have squeezed him tighter!!