Interview with Nathan Sussex
You've been in both Coronation Street and Emmerdale, have they been regular roles or just one offs?
Nathan: Coronation Street was a one off role for 2 episodes and in Emmerdale I play the role of PC Colin Brown which is a recurring role.
Your role as Roy in Caerdydd was he a regular character and is Caerdydd to the Welsh equivalent of River City or Eastenders?
Nathan: ROY in Caerdydd was a one off role and the series was set around a group of twenty somethings living in Cardiff.
‘Sleep Tracks’ was a little weird can you tell us about that? Although I did like the way the bike operated without the rider, how was that put together without the handlebars veering off in another direction?
Nathan: SLEEP TRACKS was an interesting film and was produced by CYFLE which is a scheme in Wales that works with emerging directors, writers and producers. A lot of the film was made in the studio and the bike scene was done using CGI so that was the magic used in that scene.
In 2007 you played Peter's hand in Summer Scars, was this literally the hand or did you play other parts too? Can you tell us more about the film?
Nathan: Peter’s Scar was a Horror/Thriller directed by Julian Richards about a group of Teenagers who come across a very dark character in the woods while on their school holidays; it was a very dark film and filmed in Wales. I was asked to step in because the lead actor wasn’t available for some “Pick up shots” so I was indeed used to play his hand......I was even credited with that privilege.
Torchwood is where I noticed you first, as the desk Sergeant in Small Worlds, looking back through your IMDB credits you've played quite a few service roles, such as police and doctors, are these the roles you prefer to take or are offered more of?
Nathan: I have played many DOCTORS and Emergency service roles, I guess I have that look, they are not my preferred role but they do give you a chance to work on set and learn a lot about your trade.
Can you tell us about Green Man Festival?
Nathan: I recently worked at the GREEN MAN FESTIVAL for a specially commissioned project for NATIONAL THEATRE WALES which was written and directed by Gerald Tyler. The play took place over the 4 days of the festival with a grand finale on the last day. The piece was titled GREEN MAN/RED WOMAN and featured Father Xmas and his dodgy elves (of which I played one of) and was mostly improvised over the 4 days. We had little script and relied entirely on the GREEN MAN festival goer’s imagination and patience. We were let loose on the public and it was an experience which involved some boozy scenes, all in the name of theatre I might add.
You're currently involved in two new projects: ‘Roleplay’ and ‘Viking: The Berserkers’, can you tell us anything about your roles in these two productions, and will they be released in cinemas or straight to DVD films?
Nathan: ROLEPLAY is a short film directed by Brynach Day who is an emerging director and was offered a BAFTA Scholarship in the states; he is a Welsh director with roots in Pembrokeshire where the film was set. The film is a coming of age story about a brother and sister but was quite controversial as it involved sexual scenes with youngsters; it was a very sensitive piece and one which was handled very delicately and professionally. The film is doing the rounds on the festival circuit. In it, I play the role of Ethan who is the boyfriend of the mother in the film.
The Berserkers was a feature I made last year and was shot on location in Port Talbot it was my second time working with the company as they had received funding to make Viking films and tapped into the Game of Thrones/Hunger Games market. I played the role of HROK who is a Berserker and there was no dialogue for the berserkers in the film so it relied a lot on physicalisation to bring the characters to life, we all each had a different character trait which I hope makes us recognisable in the film. It was made for DVD and has done very well in the DVD charts to date.
I'm completely out of touch with Emmerdale these days; you appeared in an episode on 4th November 2013 as a police officer. Was this a big role, played over more than one episode and who were you after?
Nathan: In my first appearance in EMMERDALE I was playing my recurring character PC COLIN BROWN and my episode was looking for a little boy who had gone missing and I was the regular character ALICIA who was related to the boy.
Whenever I'm looking through the cast lists for various shows on IMDB there is always a link back to Torchwood, or some link with another cast member within Torchwood. For example, Belonging links quite a few cast members, and so does Baker Boys. Do you always find when you work with someone in one show that it feels like a reunion when you meet up again in another production perhaps a few years later?
Nathan: Being a Welsh actor and getting the chance to work on few productions in Wales does mean that I get to work with different friends/colleagues all the time, it’s a very small community in Wales so everyone pops up playing a different character in various shows plus it’s a nice way of catching up with people i haven’t seen in a while.
Although the role of Desk Sergeant was only a few scenes were there any funny moments on set that you can remember?
Nathan: I can’t recall any funny moments on set in Torchwood as we were on a tight schedule and I was trying to stay as focused as possible but the main cast were in good spirits and I do remember John Barrowman singing show tunes in between takes which was very entertaining
What building did they use for the police station and police cells in Torchwood?
Nathan: We filmed all our scenes in a real police station in Roath, Cardiff which still has the original Victorian police cells it was very atmospheric.
In some programmes, actors tend to shadow the people they portray such as medical teams, police etc, did you have to shadow a police officer in order to play the desk sergeant or had you seen enough dramas to know how to portray the character?
Nathan: I didn’t shadow anybody for the custody sergeant role, I tend to do a little bit of research but usually there are ex police on set to give guidance so it’s more accurate.
Have you ever been involved in film making as in working behind the camera as oppose to in front of it?
Nathan: I haven’t made any films although I have thought about making a short but at the moment I prefer to stay in front of the camera.
Have you appeared on stage in any productions?
Nathan: I have appeared in many theatre productions in Cardiff, mostly fringe productions.
How did you become an actor, was this something you always wanted to be or did you become an actor later on in life, and not as a child?
Nathan: Acting is something I have always wanted to do since I could remember. However, it wasn’t until I was 21 that I decided to do something about it and auditioned for a couple of drama schools in London, I finally got accepted into one so grabbed the opportunity and went for it.
Other than acting what other jobs have you had to support yourself through periods of resting?
Nathan: I have a very illustrious temping career with jobs including CALL CENTRE, FINGERPRINT BUREAU FOR SCENES OF CRIME (which was probably the most exciting temping job) and various admin jobs. It’s a needs must thing and sadly very much the case for thousands of jobbing actors but it keeps you very grounded and in my case even more determined to keep going.
Were you following in the footsteps of family to become an actor, or were you inspired by someone in the media to become an actor?
Nathan: I am the first person in my family to pursue an acting career so I have no idea where I get it from although I suspect it’s my dad who used to enjoy performing when a young boy. I can’t say anybody really inspired me to act as it was something I couldn’t stop thinking about when I was a child but I do have actors that I look up to and aspire to. I suppose my hero in life is the fantastic Anthony Hopkins and being a fellow Welshman makes it all the more humbling.
Thank you for a great interview Nathan.