We recently caught up with actor Edward Coupland, who is impressing audiences around the world with his acting work and character portrayals. He gave us an insight into his childhood growing up, what inspired him and some of the projects he has coming up. Here is what he had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work:
I’ve been pretending to be other people from as early as I can remember! A typical boy slaying dragons and rescuing the princess from the tower. I must have gone through hundreds of plastic swords — and I’m literally talking hundreds and when I was 5, I wanted to be a lollipop man (school crossing man). My grandad was an engineer at a steel works at the time and made me my own wooden lollipop stick. He got the sign department to paint it and it was professional quality.
I used to spend hours dressing up in my white coat and fluorescent waistcoat, crossing my mum, nan, grandad, next door neighbors -basically, anyone who would let me, across our driveway. I remember one of my first days in reception at (kindergarten), I was 5 at the time and we had to bring in a treasured item to class. I brought in my lollipop stick. Then to my surprise, the real lollipop lady walked into the room and brought in the real steel stick -I remember looking up at it and it was so f*****g tall to a 5 year old (laughs). I still have mine in my mum’s attic -it’s now treasured forever, as my grandad died when I was 10 and we were best mates. My dad wasn’t around then, so he was an absolute father figure to me.
Who or what were some of your influences growing up?
Peter Pan and Thundercats! I used to get a Thundercat sword for Christmas every year for years! It’s all I wanted, a sack full of Sword of Omens (laughs). I was limited to one a year. I’d make it last as long as I could, before I inevitably smashed it to pieces by March and had the long wait again until Christmas. I want to produce a Thundercats movie, I know it’s being mooted for years — but I am Lion-O! I think it’s a major franchise opportunity that has being overlooked. That, and I’ve always been fascinated with history -especially English history, Kings, Queens, Castles and Knights in shining armor!
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I trained at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and with British actor and acting coach Paul Gregory. I’ve known Paul 12 years now and he was my mentor as a very young actor and I owe my career to him really. He taught me everything I know -things you don’t learn at drama school. He’s such an incredibly talented actor and has worked with the cream of British acting talent — Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, David Schofield, Ken Branagh and others, for years. Paul was also mentored by Sir Laurence Olivier” -enough said. (Paul also starred in Ken Branagh’s Oscar Winning Henry V, Frankenstein with Robert DeNiro, HBO’s True Blood, The Romanoffs and spent years working with Sir Laurence Olivier at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and National Theatre).
As an actor, what has been your favorite project to work on so far?
It was great to work with Johnny Depp and Eva Green in Dark Shadows and Gary Busey, (although he’s f*****g nuts) — we had to improvise a huge scene together and it was a blast. We brought the best out in each other.
What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
To be honest, there have been so many, it’s difficult to highlight just one. There have also been a lot of major disappointments, it’s just the nature of this industry. Life’s one giant f*****g rollercoaster (laughs). I think back to being a fresh faced 15-year-old, with a dream of living in LA and being a professional actor. That’s always been my dream and you know what? I’m living it!
If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy -hands down my favorite actors living today. Everyday onset would be like being back at school in a master class. Plus, they are incredible artists and human beings.
What have you learned the most about this business?
Exactly that -that it’s a business! Most people lose sight of that.
What projects do you have coming up?
I have a pretty busy 2019. I’m playing Lenny Johnson in Gingerclown 2, getting to work with a very talented upcoming director Balazs Hatvani, someone I’ve wanted to work with for a while. I also have a couple of TV series, which I can’t really say too much about yet -but have been in the pipeline for a while and got pushed back due to scheduling & financing — believe me, it happens a lot in this industry! I’m playing British Officer Captain Carstairs, in the British MI6 cold war movies ‘Operation Kenya’ and Burma Project’ and I am producing my own feature film ‘Del Obispo Road’, a thriller/horror, based on a true story that I am co-directing and playing the lead role of Ryan Edwards.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?
Never ever give up! Back yourself for success and have a thick skin. If you can’t handle rejection and uncertainty, then don’t be an actor.
Thanks for your time Edward and best of luck with your career!