His Dark Materials actor Amir Wilson sits down with DDW to discuss the challenges of growing up behind the camera and reflect on his career thus far.
2000 boys auditioned for a part in London’s prestigious West End Lion King production, but it was Amir Wilson, at the ripe age of 10 years old, that scored the role. Now, quite a few years down the line, he stars in BBC One and HBO series His Dark Materials, which just recently returned for its third season after a two year hiatus.
For someone that has been under the limelight for much of his upbringing, Wilson seems very down to earth. Perhaps due to the fact that, although his face is immediately recognisable to anyone that has watched The Secret Garden or The Kid Who Would be King, the actor doesn’t feel particularly famous. “Most of my close friends knew me before I was successful, so things haven’t really changed for me.” he tells me. “The group of people I hang with aren’t really into acting and we don’t really speak about it much, which is nice for me. My work can take up huge parts of my life so when I’m with my people, it’s nice to discuss other things.”
That doesn’t mean acting hasn’t been a big part of his life. Quite the opposite, in fact. As an energetic kid, it was performing that helped Wilson channel his excitement, and although he claims to have missed out on a lot of things, he believes it is a small price to pay for what he loves to do. “Being able to travel for my job is an absolute blessing.”
The actor’s reach becomes apparent when discussing him being recognised in public. With people often shocked that he now has a beard, Wilson reflects on the first time it ever happened. It was in London Underground, when a woman opposite him said she recognised Wilson from TV. He was shy about it, but it was just his luck his mother was with him, and quick to chime in to explain to the lady who her son was.
But who exactly is Amir Wilson? For one, he’s quite the fantasy actor. “It’s nice to snap out of reality and delve into a different universe. But after working on several of them, I am looking forward to more real-life productions.” he confesses. His other, also creative facet, seems to be photography. Amidst New York street photography, film photos and behind-the-scenes from some of his productions, Amir proves to have an eye for details. He owns three cameras, and apparently could talk about them all day.
So what exactly does the young actor not want to die wondering about, you may ask? Amir ponders about the environement and, proving again how down-to-earth he is, football.
“Where are the aliens? Are we going to Mars? Will Liverpool get to the top of the table this season? Can we discover more about our oceans?”