Gethin Anthony - Fully Present
Renly Baratheon in Game of Thrones, William in Copenhagen, a masterful turn as Charles Manson in Aquarius. Gethin Anthony is minting roles on stage and screen from hero to sociopath.Recently landing a lead role on season 2 of Manhunt: Lone Wolf. The anthology series delves into the one of the most complex manhunts on U.S. soil, the search for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Bomber, Eric Rudolph, played by Jack Hudson. Gethin openly admits, “I follow my nose.” He is following an internal hard-drive to better himself and elevate his performance.Anthony is a lover of learning and pushing himself. He trained intensely before at the London Academy. “I have an overzealous critic in myself. A major thing that I realized- it’s one thing to know something, like needing to get out of your comfort zone, but [another] to really feel it and do it, to take it to an internal level. What are the crutches I’ve built up in my career, things you can rely on? Challenging those and kicking those away so the piece of work stands on its own. How do I break away from that scaffolding? It can make you vulnerable. But acting is an opportunity as an artist to reveal yourself through work as opposed to hide. I still have a desire to transform into characters. But I now have a sense not to hide.” Gethin Anthony has an uncanny ability to morph with posture, his acting is a true art. He seeks true connection to himself, to the characters he inhabits and to his audience. The goal is an internal change versus just an external one. He is on a mission and we get to listen in from the fortuitous perch of this crux in his unstoppable and destined career.
Dane Kennedy: Where did this begin?
Gethin Anthony: There’s a story of me when I was 8. We were doinga sketch about history in class and my teacher told my mom “He’s clearly keen. He made up his own lines!” I was trying to get in therefrom day one! At age 11, I went to an amazing school with amazing teachers. One of them wound up being a screenwriter and one built a theatre in South West London. This other was putting on plays.They put a lot of their free time into inspiring us as children. I was really lucky. They shared their passion with us. By the time I was 13, it was taking up every spare minute.Tell me about your facility with accent and voice.I love voice work. Love voicing animation characters too, the fun, the play. I wasn’t the kid who liked mimicking voices, but I did sing growing up. There are a lot of dialects in the UK in a small geographical space. I was surrounded by Welsh accents which is different than the English accent where I was physically growing up. Now I work now with a lot of American accents. I think in theUK we grow up on so much American media like 90’s movies and popular culture like Friends. Before the age of 10 I moved around a bunch. Apparently my mom said I would go off for 3 hours and come back with a different accent! Breath and sound are a visceral part of communication. I grew up on theatre where you hear a play, not see a play. The sound is the base line to what the audience is experiencing. But behavior is so important in life too!What’s on your playlist?I’m a musical sponge. Bon Hiver, a bit of Ray Charles will light me up. De La Soul, Jurassic 5 are all nice for around the house.
What are you reading? The Stranger by Albert Camus. I am a big fan of nonfiction. My life is filled with stories so I am a big fan of Yuval Noah Harari who wroteSapiens. Journalist John Ronson.
What fuels you? How do keep yourself energized?
Yoga and boxing in equal measure. If I zen out too much, I have to get that power energy as well.Who is an actor or actress you respect from up close or afar?There is an actor in the UK, Jamie Ballard, and he’s like a big brother in loads of ways. He’s a wonderful, wonderful, beautiful, hard working actor. Alan Rickman was an actor from afar whomI admired. I had the great fortune to meet [him]on a couple of occasions. It’s a sad loss for the world. He was a generous spirit as a man.
Who inspires you?
My big sister. For pure, unadulterated courage on a daily basis. She goes at life. My mom is an amazing human being. Her main job is being a superhero.
If you weren’t an actor? I really don’t know. I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I was a kid, then a fireman, then a doctor...then I just realized I’d been watching Top Gun, Backdraft, and ER. One of the great fortunes I have is that this is what I know I’m supposed todo and the world is just going to have to put up with that.
What do you dream of doing next? What is a pie in the sky goal?
One of the wonders and frustrations of this career is that you are aware of opportunity constantly. I’m in this place of making sure I’m as good as I can be because I feel that I would enjoy working on a project, perhaps in a movie setting, where I have the time to explore a complex character with a really experienced crew and film-maker. I am going to play Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman at The Ruskin Group Theatre. Anthony Hopkins used to teach there because it is small, a place where you can be real. I’m excited to flex my muscles in theatre. The buzz is wearing off from my last Sam Shepard play and I need that fix again. I know classic theatre is within me.
Who would you like to have time with on stage or screen?
Denise Gough (winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress People, Places and Things)
What’s on your screen?The Wire on repeat for the rest of my life, documentaries, The Big Short.
What is a challenge for you?
Being honest. And I don’t mean not lying: putting out your wants and desires fully, to be present, to not hide, to be ok imposing myself on the world, a giving up of self to service the story. [I want] to put something positive out in the world. And sometimes you have to put your elbows out a bit to achieve that.
What’s your greatest strength?
I think that changes throughout your life: calling myself to account, the strength to self-reflect, the will to do that. Gethin Anthony has the will and the presence of mind to destroy, to ponder in order to reconstruct and grow.
He is throwing away his crutches, staring at his weaknesses and challenging them to a foot race. Gethin is a natural-born actor, shape shifter, a savant with dialect, the vibration of sound and how that can transform a character. He is in the business and environment made for him and has the fore sight to be in it for the long haul. The next year is an open adventure forAnthony. He will be ready. His voice is full of a brave balance of humility and enthusiasm and a talent aware of the pitfalls of relying upon past achievements. Coupling the ability to physically inhabit characters and channeling the voices of others, he wants to make a difference and let us know it is ok to “Make up your own lines!” He believes instinctively in the footsteps of “a lifelong commitment to learning in all areas of your life.There are lots of ways where I’m slow to do it,” he laughs, “But the want is there. I will give myself that.” Here’s to his venture. Fighting the good fight. Searching for his best. Break a leg Anthony. We are already standing in ovation.