Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed actor and entertainer Tor James Faulkner about his career highlights, goals, and the advice he has to inspire other actors.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Tor James Faulkner. I’m an actor and singer. I’m Swedish but I live in the England. I love video games, sitcoms & I drink far too much coffee.
I love spiders, which most people find a bit weird. But I think they’re kinda misunderstood.
My favorite band is Daphne & Celeste and I’m a die hard Sailor Moon fan.
When did you first realise you wanted to be an actor?
From a very, very young age. Probably around 4.
There were a lot of soaps and comedy shows on in my house growing up. I found the dramatic elements of the soaps quite alluring and I was attracted to the funny elements of shows like Friends and Golden Girls. Something clicked with me about it. I knew it wasn’t real at that age but I’m not quite sure I understood what being an actor was either. But I would imitate the characters that I liked.
Instead of playing house or super heroes with friends (although in a way I guess that is acting) we would play Grease or Sister, Sister and we’d act out scenes in the playground. Must have driven the other children nuts.
What is your favourite thing about performing?
I know it’s a bit of a cliché answer but getting to be someone or something else for a while is very therapeutic and often cathartic.
You might get to express something or behave in a certain way as part of a role that in your every day life might be inappropriate or undignified and that’s oodles of fun.
I also enjoy the research that goes into role. Whether it be looking at a historic event or studying an accent to get it right.
What classes or training sessions have you taken to support your acting career?
I went to school in an area that was quite big on performing. I wasn’t in drama school but I honestly may as well have been. Just as part of every day classes we studied a lot of drama, music, poetry, dance. Which really helped establish the foundations I have as a performer. Those of us who actually liked the arts were also greatly encouraged by the school.
I then went to college for acting, partially during high school. After that some classes and workshops here and there.
What was your first professional acting job?
It was an interactive horror play when I was about 13. I thought it was the best thing ever because I got to die in it and then come back as a ghost and chase people around. Because it was interactive with an audience there were elements of improvisation as well as the script. So it was just really fun.
I always count that as my first acting job but there was a semi-professional one before that where I played the mother in a Christmas musical. The reaction from the audience seeing this little boy play the mother was just brilliant.
What was your most recent professional acting job?
I can’t go into too many details yet. But I play an anthropomorphic character for an animation that should be out next year.
Tell me a favourite experience in your career. Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it.
I was doing a few small parts for a video game production. The type of parts where you deliver one or two lines. Ya know, background noise mostly. But the director took such great care even with those few lines.
He wanted the best for the overall production and he wanted to bring out the best performance in me. We did so many takes of those lines and it felt like we were actually creating full characters, despite them saying just a few words.
I loved the passion that he had for his work, his honesty and the encouragement he gave to the actors.
It was just a really special experience. It really enforced in me the sentiment of “There are no small parts”.
What was your toughest experience in your acting career?
It was actually for an audition I’ve just done, I’m still waiting on the final decision. I auditioned for the part of an egg. I had to scream, as an egg.
Eventually I decided it should sound yolk-y.
Have you family and friends been supportive of your acting career?
Absolutely. There has never been any question or any waver. Always 100% supportive and encouraging. Even driving me to film at 3am. Above and beyond really.
Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?
I’d really like to play the villain in a horror movie. Someone like Freddy Krueger where I could be completely transformed and let loose a bit.
I’d like to do more comedy, whether that be a live action sitcom or animated. Comedy is where I fell in love with acting but it’s not something I’ve fully explored yet.
Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realised about being a professional actor.
How slow the production side of things take. There’s stuff I’ve done that I’ve almost completely forgot already and it’s still in post-production.
I find it surprising still and I think I will always find it surprising with both music and acting, how a performance can touch someone. How just a few lines in some cases can have an impact.
What are words of advice you have for other aspiring actors?
Audition your butt off. Auditioning will obviously hopefully bring work but it’s also brilliant experience. Think of auditioning as being like an intern in a more traditional job. Take the learning of the lines and any preparation for auditions very seriously but try and relax and have fun during the audition.
Don’t take roles that don’t feel right. If you’re offered something and it really doesn’t sit right within your heart or your gut. Politely turn it down.
Give me your social links so people can come and find you!
I’m actually brand new to the socials and so far it’s a lot of gaming gibberish (because I also stream games) but my links are Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThatBlokeTor and Instrgam: https://www.instagram.com/thatbloketor