Chatting With Shaun Thomas | DDW
Lifestyle3 Minutes Read

Chatting With Shaun Thomas | DDW

October 31, 2023 Share

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DDW sits down with How To Have Sex actor Shaun Thomas to discuss all things inspiration, beginnings and funny moments.

The world of cinema has a new star on the rise, and his name is Shaun Thomas. With a compelling presence on the screen, he has captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike. Known for his roles in “The Selfish Giant” and “Ali and Ava,” Shaun’s talent and dedication to his craft have earned him a well-deserved place in the spotlight, a limelight that has just become even greater. If you thought you knew him from his earlier roles in “The Selfish Giant” and “Ali and Ava,” think again. Shaun Thomas’ latest venture, “How To Have Sex,” has catapulted him into the cultural stratosphere, and he’s taking no prisoners.

“How To Have Sex” isn’t just a film; it’s a gut-punching reckoning with society’s most pressing issues. Vanity Fair nailed it: it’s a no-holds-barred, soul-scraping dive into the wilful disregard of women, and it’s about to rattle your core. Cannes, the sacred ground of cinematic experimentation, bore witness to the its chaos. Critics, society’s reluctant truth-tellers, fell in love. Variety, Vanity Fair, and Deadline echoed the roar of a cinematic revolution. Shaun, the film’s wild card, brings Badger to life, a character who oozes irreverence, provocation, and subcultural rebellion.

Image courtesy of Ace PR

As we plunge headfirst into the depths of Shaun Thomas’ creative psyche, you’ll discover what it takes to become an actor, and why staying true to oneself is the ultimate act of defiance.

What initially drew you to acting, and how has your passion for it evolved over the years?

 I was street casted by Amy Hubbard so it’s more of a question of who drew me into acting. I was only 15 years old and had no acting experience. I got given the opportunity of a lifetime to star in the feature film The Selfish Giant. At that age, I had no understanding of the industry and didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I soon realised that I had lots to learn.  My passion for acting has grown immensely and eleven years later I’m still honing my craft, learning and evolving as an actor. 

Can you share a memorable moment from your early acting career that significantly impacted your approach to acting?

One of the earliest memories of my career is being really shocked to find out that Sean Gilder didn’t speak in an Irish accent! We met before we started to shoot The Selfish Giant he really showed me what an actor can do and how an actor should behave. I’m lucky to have been around such professional and talented individuals from the get-go. 

How do you prepare for a role emotionally and mentally? Are there specific techniques or rituals you follow?

 I prepare for a role by trying to get a good understanding of the characters’ personality and their background plus their reason for being a part of the story. Going into scenes I try to act instinctively with the characters reactions rather than have a premediated idea. I always try connecting my own or similar experiences to the characters to try keep the emotions authentic. But no, I don’t have any rituals I follow I just try always keep an open mind. 

What has been the most challenging role you’ve played, and how did you overcome those challenges?

I think the role of Badger in How To Have Sex has been my most challenging role so far. Taking on a role in such a sensitive and important story brings with it a great deal of responsibility, but given the correct environment, colleagues and platform I was made to feel comfortable which enabled me to perform as best I could. 

Is there a particular character you’ve portrayed that you feel a strong personal connection to? If so, what about the character resonates with you?

 I think the character I feel most connected to has to be Swifty in The Selfish Giant. At that time of my life, I was living a similar life to Swifty so I could really relate to him- I was a young boy growing up on a council estate with a huge passion for horses.  So, for me I’ll always be connected to Swifty because he’s a constant reminder of my humble beginnings. 

In your opinion, what distinguishes a great performance from a good one?

 I think what distinguishes a good performance from a bad one is attention to detail. I think all the finer details in a character are harder to nail down compared to the standout traits in the writing. 

Can you tell us about any interesting or funny on-set experiences you’ve had while filming a project?

One of the funniest moments I’ve had on set was on The Selfish Giant when one of the horses ran away and the whole cast and crew were trying to catch it! 

As an actor, how do you navigate the balance between staying true to a character and injecting your personal style into the role?

I try to build my character from the ground up. Once I’ve learnt my characters story line, I then delve into the characters personality and try to work out what makes them tick, what they might be thinking or feeling in any given moment. I’ll then try to relate to the situation or emotional state the character may be in, by thinking of my own experiences. 

As an actor, how do you navigate the balance between staying true to a character and injecting your personal style into the role?

There’s so many genres I’d like to explore, but like many actors I would love to take on a superhero or villain role -that would be epic!.  

In the rapidly evolving landscape of film and television, how do you stay creatively inspired and relevant as an actor?

Staying active in the industry is the best way for me to stay creative, being around like minded people and helping friends out with tapes for example. I read a lot and put a lot of time into my auditions. I like to write about my own experiences and feelings, plus I try to watch lots of different films and tv shows.

What would you not like to Die Wondering about?

I would not like to die wondering if aliens are real…

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