Tom Taylor: An exclusive chat with The Dark Tower’s leading lad

Tom Taylor first came to our attention in award-winning BBC drama series Doctor Foster. Next, he popped up as the lead in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’, which shot to the #1 spot in the US box office. Here we chat to the rising young actor about the numerous projects he has releasing this year.

What was the biggest difference between shooting a TV series and a film? Which did you prefer?

Firstly, with a film there is a lot more time to get the perfect scene which can be great as you get to explore the character in different ways.  Whereas with TV there is less time to do this and you just speed through scenes.  For example, I spent about 4 months of filming for a 1.5 hour film and in the same time for Doctor Foster we made 5 hours worth of film.  I think I like the extravagance of film but I love the realness of TV.

The Dark Tower was predominantly filmed in South Africa – was it a bit of a culture shock? How did you find filming there?

Filming in South Africa was mad!  It was a huge culture shock, which is made obvious the moment I landed in the Country.  I’d only ever seen towships on television but seeing them in real life was surreal, to know that there is so much going on in the world that sat at home in England, people have little idea about.  But, yeah, in few words, I feel grateful.  The views and scenery are phenomenal and if not for movies I don’t think I would have ever had seen the rare cave paintings and animals that I did.  South Africa was a truly eye-opening experience and people should try to go there if they can.

Being an adaptation of a book by an author as iconic as Stephen King, did you feel pressure to satisfy fans of the book and their image of the character of Jake?

I tried to portray the character, Jake, in a way that pleases the fans of the books, because I know how much it betrays you when someone you’ve imagined is ruined by movies.  But I also added elements that made the character feel really and hopefully all audiences will notice this.  I have not met Stephen King but I hope he approves – ha!

You’ve been a lot more active on Twitter lately – have you received much feedback from the fans of the book about their thoughts thus far?

On Twitter, I see reactions of the film and book and most people say “Oh the film only got 18% on rotten tomatoes.  I was hoping I’d like the film…..” and I believe that the audiences should make their own minds up and not be influenced by the “superior critics” – ha!  But to be honest, I think the film is awesome and I can’t believe I’m in it in the first place!

Doctor Foster returns later this year. Your character finds himself torn between his parents as they go through a divorce. What can you tell us about how he handles it?

Tom goes through a lot in the next series! 😉

You’re still so young but already have numerous notable accomplishments under your belt – what can we expect next?

I have some things in the pipeline…….

Finally, what is your FAULT? 

My bedroom’s really untidy (I have a floordrobe) and my handwriting could be better which my Mum will vouch for when she’s trying to type these answers up!

 

Tom stars in The Dark Tower, in UK cinemas from 18th August.

 

Photos and words Jack Alexander

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