Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Did you know Johnny Depp grew up wanting to be a rockstar? Or that Ashton Kutcher studied engineering at university? It seems every actor has their own journey to take in order to find fame. The road can be a long and difficult one as Tom Hardy said in an interview, “You’ve got to be an absolute fucking nutcase to pursue a career in acting.” So how did these passionate characters push through the ranks in the early days of stardom? Elliot Warren is a 28-year-old actor, writer and director who has accelerated his acting career into the fast lane. Kicking back in lockdown in his east London apartment, he spoke to me about his own path and how he started to speed up in the race.
Similar to Samuel L. Jackson, who was trained on the stage before appearing in films, Elliot also approached the starting line at drama school. After finishing university and grabbing an agent, he slotted into music videos for British singers like Tom Walker, “After university, I came out of drama school and got an agent straight away. I thought that’s it lovely, I’m going to be a movie star (laughs) which of course isn’t the way. You have to kind of accept you have entered an industry against thousands of people and you’re all hunting for jobs between you all.”
Like Johnny and Ashton, acting wasn’t at the forefront of his mind. He chatted to me about his passion for writing film and theatre from a young age. He wrote ‘Stick up’ a two-party comedy series that got 12 million views, “I have always written as a bit of a hobby really since I was young.” He then progressed his own debut play, ‘Flesh and Bone’ which co-starred his girlfriend and close friends, “We started the show in a pub in Camden playing to 2 or 3 people a night, then someone said you should take this to Edinburgh, there is a Charlie Hartill grant you can apply for.”
The play then went on to win awards at the Edinburgh Fringe, taking it to Adelaide in Australia, and finally won a slot in London’s Soho Theatre, “We had full audiences, which was amazing. Luckily everyone took to it and got it quite quickly.” Looking at the success of the play, of which the Guardian commented, ‘Warren and his cast ensure that we cannot look away", it's becomes apparent he was grateful for the grant, as it seems without it, the productions dreams could have looked somewhat different.
His acting was soon in the spotlight, as his casting director had given him a nudge to audition for BBC’s ‘Christmas Carol’ alongside Guy Pearce and Andy Serkis. After getting the role, he adapted to the larger world of television, “Yeh it was great, the first time I was on a big set, I couldn’t believe the detail. We were filming winter scenes in the summer. We did a scene in Marylebone and the street was covered in snow and I was in 30 thousand layers.” And it wasn’t long before he was face to face with big names, “There was a moment on location in Knightbridge when I walked in, and Guy Pearce was sitting there serenading everyone with his guitar, he was a lovely bloke.”
With some oil in his tank, Elliot made his way through the crowds and told me roles became more reachable, “It really is about specific projects, if you have the BBC on your CV, anyone seeing that knows you have been trusted. But then when you're in that room with them... it’s then down to you.” It seems his big break hit this year though, when director Matt Reeves wanted to speak to him about being in the new 'Batman' feature film, “They said they liked my east end accent.” He began shooting scenes for the movie alongside Robert Pattinson before the lockdown but, like many features around this time, it was got shut down due to the virus.
When I asked Elliot who he aspired to be from a young age, it didn’t surprise me that the British actor Tom Hardy had helped him find his way, “I basically watched him in Bronson when I was 15 and couldn’t believe the performance he did. I started taking drama at school more seriously. He holds a special place in my heart because of that moment.” I was curious, now Elliot was on his way through the ranks, what he thought of Tom Hardy’s quote about pursuing acting, “Hmmm I don't know if you need to be a nutcase (laughs) but then again to keep up and not crumble to bits, yeh... you have to have some sort of nuttiness about you.”
Taking the opportunity in lockdown to focus on his writing, he finishes off the call with some passionate words for anyone falling at the hurdles, “Make sure it’s what you want to do, and go at it with everything you have. Be amongst people that can write and don’t apologise. Get your art across and just enjoy it. It can be really lonely and stressful if you don’t. I guess that’s what I’ve done, every step I’ve just worked my hardest.”
The Batman Teaser Trailer (2021)
I hope, like many, 'Batman' is back up and running soon and look forward to seeing Warren succeed through the marathon of worldwide actors breaking their way into this beloved industry.
Insta - @elliotwarren
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