Oliver Stark ‘Breaking The States’ FAULT Magazine Interview

Oliver Stark: Breaking The States 

(Originally published inside FAULT Issue 25)

 

Photography by Irvin Rivera at Graphicsmetropolis Styling by Monica Cargile Grooming by Preston Wada at Opus Beauty using Kevin Murphy using V76 Photography assistance by Phill Limprasertwong at phillldotcom

 

Words: Miles Holder 

Fans of British tv and cinema will likely recognise Oliver Stark from various independent movies and UK television dramas. While the roles were small, they gave Oliver the confidence he needed to join a long list of British actors to head to the states with hopes of landing a big time role in Hollywood. It’s a move that many make but one that very few manage to succeed at and while Oliver knows all too well what defeat can feel – he conversely has seen what persistence, courage and the drive born from those setbacks can produce. On his second attempt to crack the US television market, Oliver landed the role of Ryder on AMC’s ‘Into The Badlands’ and the rest, as they say, is history. Now reaping the rewards from years of dedication to his craft, the only way is up for this young actor. As his career climbs to new heights, we sat down with Oliver to discuss his journey into Hollywood and to find out what’s next for the London-born actor with so much more to give.

 

What is it about a script or a role that draws you in?

I think that’s changed over the past year. Now, I really want to be involved in projects focussed on what’s happening around us at the moment and tell a story that has a relevance to society. The way the world is now and where it’s going as a population, I think there are stories that need to be told and I’d love to be a part of that.

 

Much like the parallels Into The Badlands shares with gun control laws?

That’s something that I didn’t expect to come into the discussion with Into The Badlands but it’s great to be a part of things and see it’s connected with people that way. I want to get people talking about real life and even though the show is in such a different world, it’s great it’s a vehicle for wider discussions.

 

How daunting was your move to LA?

I first came out here in January 2014 and I originally came for two months with a head full of dreams and didn’t actually have the best time if I’m honest with you. I wasn’t very busy and I didn’t do very well in auditions so I came home very dejected after that. The second time I went out was a much bigger deal for me because I had to rebuild all the confidence I’d lost and it was on that trip that I booked Into The Badlands.

It’s a big commitment to British actors to do it because it’s a lot of money and you have to readjust your entire life so there is a certain level of commitment to the craft actors show when they make the jump.

 

Even if it has already been done, what would be your dream role?

Some part of me has always wanted to be involved in a football movie! One of those by the numbers movies when it’s very clear who is going to win but is also very heartfelt and glory to all at the end. I’ve always wanted a movie which lets me show off my football skill too! [Laughs]

 

 

What’s it like to meet fans of Into The Badlands?

I think the greatest compliment I can receive is “I didn’t know you were British” because that is always a phew moment because it means I’ve got the accent nailed at the very least.

 

What is your FAULT?

The inability to escape my own head at times because there is always that voice back there that in a room full of great actors will ask “do I deserve to be here?” I think it’s something that everyone struggles.

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