ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH – Aidan Turner
Aidan Turner stars as ‘Kili’ in Peter Jackson’s new trilogy of JR Tolken’s ‘The Hobbit’ due for general release this month. Aidan graduated from the Full Time Actor Training Course at the Gaiety School of Acting in 2004. After graduating from The Gaiety School of Acting, Aidan appeared in a number of theatre productions before moving to London to play Mitchell in the BBC series ‘Being Human’.
1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?
No. I didn’t. It never even entered my thoughts until my final year of secondary school. I filled out a CAO form for potential colleges like everybody else but I knew I was never going to go to any of them or get accepted for that matter. Becoming an actor only happened because I didn’t want to do anything that felt pointless or mundane to me. I had also developed a serious habit of getting bored with any kind of manual labour quickly. Attending a play centre for adults was about all I could cope with at that time.
2.How did you start off in the business?
My first acting experience was an ‘Acting for Camera’ class that I took at the GSA in 2001/2. That was a game changer for me. The buzz of walking ‘on stage’ in front of your peers with work you had prepared, choices you had made and having strangers watch you potentially fail epically was a rush I hadn’t quite achieved through anything else up to that point in my life. And so naturally, I loved it. I applied for the full time two year course and graduated in 2004. My first paying job was with the Abbey Theatre in a production of ‘The Plough And The Stars’.
3. Any tips for aspiring actors?
This may sound really obvious but I think getting on with people and developing a good rapport with everyone you work with is crucial for any kind of longevity as an actor. From what I’ve experienced it’s mostly people who are gracious, kind and generous with their talent and disposition who get regular work and stand a chance of making acting a career. From time to time, and I don’t entirely exclude myself from this, you meet actors with inflated egos or who use selfish ways to garner performances for themselves and make it difficult for others to work around but generally I think people see through that. When all is said I think theatre and film makers want to work with performers who they can communicate with easily in an environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration. In short, don’t be a c**t.
4.What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?
I liked having a safe platform to experiment on with actors I trusted. Making mistakes, learning from them and growing. Knowing all the time that there wasn’t any serious repercussions at the end of it all. Except maybe Patrick Sutton wielding a Samurai sword. True story.
5. Favourite actor?
Right now, Bryan Cranston.
6. Favourite writer?
Charles Bukowski, P.G Wodehouse, George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens.
7. Favourite play?
I don’t know about favourite but ‘Brimstone and Treacle’ by Dennis Potter I seem to remember affecting me in a big way. A fellow classmate gave it to me to read. I was tormented for weeks. ‘Howie the Rookie’,’ A Whistle in the Dark’, ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’
8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
My close friends have been and still are the biggest influence in my life.
Aidan Turner signing autographs at the opening of ‘The Hobbit’, 2012