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Interview: Paul Newbery, Actor - Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

I cannot tell you exactly when I first met Paul, because he is the type of person that after you first speak with him you feel as though you have known him your whole life. He is a genuine, charismatic, talented individual, who becomes the multi-dimensional characters he portrays.

Paul is the kind of actor that deserves to be in big budget box office draws. He is a truly nice bloke who you want to see winning awards, making it big, and getting a go round on Top Gear track. I know Jeremy would like him as much as I do.

Make no mistake my mischievous minions, I do not hand out compliments like Father Christmas does gifts in December. I am from Ireland after all, and although we are known for our blarney we do not give out compliments unless they are deserved and earned. Which is precisely what Paul Newbery has done.

So... read his interview, visit his Web site, sign his guest book, and then pick up a copy of Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders to see what I mean.
    Lili's Lair: I've spoken to many actors, and they all seem to catch this thing called the "acting bug." Can you remember when you caught the acting bug, and what your thoughts were with regards to what you were going to do about said bug?

    Paul Newbery: I was I believe about 5. I got up onstage at a holiday camp and sang a song and acted as a sausage and they gave me a stick of rock I remember it vividly. No-one has given me once since. In my teenage years I was part of a very strong youth theatre and it was all about how I could improve all the time. I used to mix with lots of children who were going to Stage Schools and feel a bit segregated as my parents could not afford that luxury but there were people around me who recognised that, looked out for me and pushed me. I'm forever indebted for their kindness and advice.

    Lili's Lair: Was your family supportive of your choice to become an actor?

    Paul Newbery: Well acting is a very misunderstood profession. No one, your loved ones, friends, your best friend or your closest loved one unless they are in the industry themselves will ever understand what you have to go through to get your c.v. even looked at, never mind getting an audition etc. It's a profession only for tough, thick skinned people.There isn't room for fragilities and egos, people forget that a lot of your working time as an actor is searching for the work, maintaining your craft, marketing etc it's a long list and a full time job trying to get a job. It can be a very lonely life and one that is hard to support because for instance you may get a comment like "so and so got on telly why can't you" which in someones eyes is their way of supporting you because they want you to be on their tv's, that's success to them whereas to an actor that media form is divided into sections and not just "being on telly" if that makes sense. Yes I got support from my family to a degree and still do but believe me the only person who will ever truly support you in this profession is yourself and your agent if they are any good. Being self supportive is very important and has to be learned. You need to bring yourself up from a failed audition by yourself and down from any highs so you can get back to your work. It's unfair to ask people to support you totally, it's too much of a complex profession. If you are reading this and wanting to go into the profession and have no support don't let that be a brick wall, you can do it all yourself and find your own network of people that will understand.

    Lili's Lair: Do you prefer to act in film or theatre?

    Paul Newbery: I like both equally. I like having the luxury of rehearsal with Theatre and the excitement of performing on Stage and in film the technique excites me and I love it that you have it forever.

    Lili's Lair: Is there anything you do in order to "get into character" before a production?

    Paul Newbery: Yes, there are processes I go through, it can be quite complicated, sometimes it's much simpler. Normally if you've done all your homework, you can take your few minutes,attune to your character.You have all these compartments in your head,sometimes you have to drag up an emotion from the back of your mind, put it at the front ready to use then tuck it back safely into your mind again. It's not something I would advise as it can be distressing for some people and there are different methods that people use to get the same result.

    Lili's Lair: Was there anything special you did to prepare yourself for your role as DCI Doyle in Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Paul Newbery: When we were filming at the train station I used to walk around looking up at the skies imagining seeing the Archangel and wondering how it would move in the sky and perhaps cling to the trees because Doyle would do that, Mac would be the one looking for the clues leading to the Archangel, Doyle would just be looking behind his back so he could get away. I used some animal technique with Doyle, hunched his shoulders slightly and gave him a bit of a Rhino charge which I don't think you see in the office cut but it put me in the right frame of mind.

    Lili's Lair: What was your most memorable experience in the filming of Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Paul Newbery: Doyle had 2 deaths, the first one we shot that wasn't used I was lying down on the floor of the car park in a pool of blood literally covered in it and my ribs were killing me on the concrete floor but of course I can't shuffle even a tiny bit because I couldn't take a chance of changing the way the body looked because of continuity etc. and there were 4 actors talking around my body in quite a dialogue driven scene and things kept going wrong and the blood was caking on my skin and then went into my eye and the corn syrup was stinging the hell out of my eyeball and we kept doing take after take. That was memorable and uncomfortable but a lot of fun too. Sissy Spacek had to walk around the prom with her eyes wide open covered in corn syrup in Carrie so i'm not complaining. It comes with the territory with film, I could be filming underwater, I'd still end up covered in bruises after the scene.

    Lili's Lair: Do you take classes to improve your art, and if so, do you feel that they have been beneficial?

    Paul Newbery: Yes especially with film, it's an ever learning process, technology changes and you have to keep and eye on camera technique. There's so much more to screen performance than I realised there would be. It's a fascinating process and rewarding when you see yourself improving. There's also plenty of things on the internet to help technique and they're free!

    Lili's Lair: Are there any particular roles you prefer to play over others?

    Paul Newbery: Not really, I just like good characters.

    Lili's Lair: If you could star in a film or play who would be your "dream" director and why?

    Paul Newbery: I'd love to be in anything directed by Mike Leigh. He marries actor and character perfectly, I know I would learn a great deal from him and he would work me hard.

    Lili's Lair: What would you like to see yourself doing five years down the road?

    Paul Newbery: Working hard with Mike Leigh or in a play or film working with actor Con O'neill or a great character in a musical.
I will tell you something, minions. I truly enjoy interviewing talented, smart, and unpretentious people. Do yourselves a favour and visit Paul's Web site to read his bio, reviews, see what he is up too, drop him a note, or to find out about Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders.