Interview with British Actor BART EDWARDS | Creative Being
We always have something beautiful to celebrate at any given moment. Just being alive and having the possibility to see the potential of good in everything, always exists within all of us. Even though we seem to be constantly searching for events in life that will make us feel good, maybe just by trying to feel good unconditionally is what will bring us to what we want to experience.
What could feel better than being kind to yourself and others? What could feel better than being true to yourself and then trust your intuition? What could feel better than to ‘have something’ to be able to give to others?
When we have a question – there is always an answer, we just have to be open to listening. British actor Bart Edwards seems to know this very well. Born and raised in Norfolk, England, he also considers London close to his heart while he travels the world -because of his successful acting career- spending time and immersing himself in the wonders of other cultures.
His natural charm and talent to portray dynamic characters can currently be seen on screen in his American debut starring in Season 3 of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed series “UnREAL” and in the Norwegian series “Lykkeland” (State of Happiness) that recently had its World Premiere during the Cannes Series Festival in France.
Bart shares with us his insights about acting, the entertainment industry, life and more.
- Since you were 13, you have been studying the performing arts in a boarding school, the Tring School for Performing Arts, followed by graduating from one of the well-respected acting schools in the UK, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. What is the most important lesson you learned?
I was lucky growing up. I had a lot of great teachers who took the time to help me discover who I wanted to be as a person. Surround yourself with good people. Help each other trust your initial instincts and stay true to the story you set out to tell. I really believe if you’re honest and kind to the people in your life and don’t forget to listen, you can’t go wrong. I think the best tool we have is the ability to ask each other ‘why’. Question everything and build upon what you find.
- Since your graduation, you have been working in the entertainment industry in the UK as well as in different countries in Europe and now also in the U.S. Do you think the entertainment industry is getting more globalized and open to opportunities in bringing new talents from different parts of the world together?
Yes, I do, and that can only be a good thing. I’ve found nothing but positivity from working with people from across the world. To learn and be able to be part of other cultures is an honor. Let us continue to come together until the end of our days!
- How do you think the vast international exposure that streaming channels such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon have made possible has affected the entertainment industry today?
It’s an interesting one. On the whole, I think it’s great for the industry. There are more jobs, which is good, and more channels mean more content. I do wonder sometimes if there’s a danger of decent shows getting lost under the sheer weight of options available to viewers. Whatever happens, it’s an undeniably exciting time. More people telling their stories can’t be a bad thing.
- You are currently appearing on your first American television project in Season 3 of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed, award-nominated drama series “UnREAL.” What did you find most interesting about the character Jasper, the Wall Street Banker, you play in this show?
What drew me in was the split between confidence and insecurity. The fact he tries to exude this ‘alfa male’ quality but at the end of the day, like a good number of the contestants just doesn’t want to be alone.
- “UnREAL” gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition show called “Everlasting.” What was the process you used as an actor to immerse yourself into the world of a dating reality show?
Before we started I watched my fair share of reality TV. Stuff like “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “First Dates” and “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.” I got really interested in how contestants behaved when they thought they were on or off camera.
- What was your most memorable moment working with the cast of “UnREAL”?
At the end of filming, there was a knock on my trailer door. I opened up, but no was there, just a small package lent against the steps with a tag reading “Dear Bart- ‘Eheu fugaces labuntur anni’,” Latin for ‘Alas, the fleeting years slip by’ from Adam Demos. I opened it up and it was a crocheted portrait of Adam holding a portrait of me. It’s those kinds of things that stick in the memory. Oh, and who can forget the day Caitlin FitzGerald performed her famous ballet solo from Don Quixote: Dulcinea’s variation for the cast and crew. There was never a dull day on set.
- You are also starring as Jonathan Kay in the Norwegian series “Lykkeland” (State of Happiness) that had its World Premiere during the Cannes Series Festival on April 4-11, 2018. You probably spent a lot of time filming in Norway. Please describe your experience of working on this project.
“Lykkeland” was an incredible experience. We shot it over a period of eight months in Oslo and Stavanger. It was a real thrill to be able to film in such beautiful locations, with a story that resonates so much with the people of Norway. It was really exciting to bring this story to Cannes and we were hugely honored to win some awards. I think there’s something about oil that’s inherently dramatic, the sense of hope but also the danger it represents.
- When you grew up you wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Are you still interested in comedy and would you want to be cast in more comedies down the road?
I love comedy. Coming from Norwich, Alan Partridge was somewhat of a messiah to me. Peter Cook and Dudley made a big impression on little Bart, just the idea of two people trying to make each other laugh made me really happy. At school, it’s all I wanted to do. I think I must still watch at least one episode of “Fawlty Towers” a week. And there’s only about twelve. Working on Peep Show (written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain) was such a treat.
- Have you ever thought of combining your musical and acting skills and audition for a musical? If so, what musical would you like to be part of?
There’s always been a special place in my heart for musicals. I did a lot growing up and one of my first jobs out of drama school was an international tour of “Mamma Mia.” There are some really exciting new shows coming from Off-Broadway and Off-West End. I saw “Girl From The North Country” last week, it blew my mind. Cried like a baby.
- When not filming you write scripts and develop projects for the big and small screen. Can you tell us a bit more about your writing and developing projects?
For me, it started out as a good way to pass the time between jobs. With no real thought of it going further than my notebook or laptop. But as time has passed and having had the blessing of being surrounded by wonderful people all looking to create, it has turned in to a lot more than that. We’re currently developing our first feature. Mark Lobatto is a great writer and director that I’ve worked with a few times. Also, I’ve had a blast over the last few months preparing a play with the music of Oliver Hoare (google this guy. His track ‘Tarantella’ is a banger’).
- Are you involved in any charity or humanitarian organization? If so, which one?
I was brought up a vegetarian so Amnesty International is such an incredible organization and one I’ve supported and followed closely ever since it was brought to my attention as a young kid through the ‘Secret Policeman’s Ball.’ amnesty.org.uk
Also, era 5050. Working towards 50/50 representation of women and men on screen. Currently, there is only 1 female role to every 3 male roles, which just doesn’t make sense. Please go check out the website. equalrepresentationforactresses.co.uk
- Your career requires a certain amount of international travel. While every city and place has its charm, which one is closest to your heart, and why?
Well, Norwich and London have always been close to the old ticker. I’ve spent basically the last year in Norway for “State of Happiness” and it’s such a beautiful place. I advise all to go hike up Preikestolen.
- Our mantra is “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks. What is your take on such a statement?
I agree with the heart of the statement. The fact that anything is possible. It really is. However, I don’t believe we should “have anything we want” at the expense of others. If we can come together, love each other, learn from one-another, stop allowing corporations to exploit the poorest to profit the wealthiest and all work and progress towards a greater good, then I think that sentence makes sense.