Actor Interview #6 – Leo Horsfield

Leo Horsfield

Leo Horsfield fell into acting by accident, when a chance encounter landed him an un-credited role in Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters. Since then, Leo has appeared in various film & television productions, including a guest role in Britain’s longest running crime drama series Taggart and the multi award-winning short film I Love Luci, which recently won a Scottish Bafta.

I first noticed Leo in the exquisitely dark short film Native Son which I saw at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2010 and it blew me away. At that same festival Leo played the antagonist in the laugh-out-loud funny feature comedy A Spanking in Paradise and it seems since then he’s been working solidly on some really interesting projects.

 

Please tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Leo Horsfield and I’m a Scottish actor, working mainly in film and television. I’ve always believed that an actor shouldn’t give too much away about themselves, as it can detract from the characters they play. I’m quite a private person really, and find it quite difficult to talk about myself without it sounding like a lonely hearts ad. (Laughs)

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just wrapped on a horror comedy called The Zombie King which stars American actors Corey Feldman and Edward Furlong. I grew up watching films like The Goonies, The Lost Boys and Terminator 2, so it’s a childhood dream coming true being in a movie with these guys.  Now that I’ve got some free time, I’m going to be getting back to work writing my feature film screenplay. Unfortunately I can’t go into details, as it’s a work in progress.

Check out info on “The Zombie King” here : http://thezombiekingfilm.co.uk/

Who/what inspired you to embark on a career in Acting?

I was brought up by my grandparents who used to own a video shop back in the days of VHS. I’d spend hours in front of the TV every Saturday watching movie after movie, so I think that might have had something to do with it.

Have you had to make any sacrifices and how have you coped with that?

Eh, some past relationships have suffered and broke down. It’s difficult for someone to understand the passion, and I suppose the selfishness needed to follow a career in this profession.  But, luckily I’ve found someone who truly understands the commitment needed to progress in this industry, and has always been consistent in their belief in me as a person and as a performer.

What is your ultimate goal?

The same goal as the vast majority of actors out there: to be able to carve a living out of performing without the need for a fall back plan or second job.

What drives you?

I just love what I do. I love the escapism, being able to regress back to that child like imaginative state. It’s like when you played soldiers as a kid. In your mind you were playing for real, totally locked in your imagination, you’d play for hours.

How do you define success?

I know it’s definitely not the accumulation of wealth or recognition, as I don’t think you can define success through material goods or the media’s take on someone. I think success is about feeling content and fulfilled in life as a whole.

How do you feel about collaboration?

Every production is collaboration. But, yeah, I love working on projects with like-minded people. I’ll be collaborating soon with regards to my feature film screenplay, but its early doors and I don’t want to count my chickens until they’ve hatched, but it’s looking promising.

Do you have a niche or genre that you specialise in?

I tend to be typecast as the rebel archetype: the drug dealer, the junkie, the murderer, all the family friendly roles. (laughs)

Leo Horsfield as Rab Hamilton in “Taggart” Episode 102 Local Hero.

What was your first role (Your first role, not the one you are happy to call your first film) and can you tell us a bit about it?

My first film role was in a short entitled The Midnight Barber. It’s about a gangster reflecting on the love of his life and how he lost her to an impoverished artist. It’s set in the 1940’S and the cinematography is beautiful for a short that had such a low budget.

“The Midnight Barber” – Director M.K Thompson

Favourite Actor?

It’s been over forty years since his death, but I still consider Spencer Tracy to be the most skilful actor of his time.  He was just so natural on screen; he never seemed to be acting, he made it look… effortless.  He could portray the hero, the villain or the clown, and make the audience believe he truly was the character he played. I’ve seen people do impressions of many actors from his era, from Humphrey Bogart to Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, but never Spencer Tracy. I think that speaks volumes.  He was inimitable.

All-time top 5 movies (as of this date, we all know it changes daily)?

  1. Harvey
  2. The Last House on the Left
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  5. Guess who’s coming to dinner

What is the best short film you’ve seen?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it has to be Bus 44 by Chinese American writer / director Dayyan Eng.I won’t go into the details of the plot, because if you haven’t seen it, it would totally ruin it for you.  But basically, it’s about how people react under certain traumatic circumstances.  It’s the kind of story that could take place anywhere in the world, with a theme that travels across all boundaries and societies.  The film is ten years old now, but it remains one of the most powerful shorts I’ve ever seen, the twist at the end just blew me away.

Favourite acting related website?

Eh… I suppose IMDb

What advice would you give to first time actors?

The same advice Spencer Tracy gave to first time actors, “Never let them [the audience] catch you at it” and “show up on time, know your lines, and don’t bump into the furniture.”

(Left to Right) Camilla Rutherford (“Gosford Park”), Colin Harris and Leo Horsfield in “I Love Luci” - Winner of Prix des Mediatheque @ Clermont – Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Scottish Bafta for best short film.

 

 

Leo can currently be seen in the award winning dark comedy “A Spanking in Paradise”, winner of two Trailblazer Awards at Edinburgh’s International Film Festival. The film has secured US and International distribution through IFC Films (New York) and is currently available to buy in the U.K on DVD or Download through i-tunes, play.com, facebook, amazon or  by visiting www.aspankinginparadise.com

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2 Responses to Actor Interview #6 – Leo Horsfield

  1. Sheri Murray says:

    Destined for greatness! The Magdalene Sisters was a moment of serendipity, in the film world, for bringing Leo to the screen ;o) Can’t wait to see future projects x

  2. Carmen Grey says:

    I recently downloaded the spanking in paradise, not the greatest of films, some funny moments, but this actor caught my eye. He brought a very dark element to the film, which I liked.

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