BYRNE LIGHTING UP THE SCREEN
Q & A
Written By Samera Entertainment
SE: What made you choose film as a preferred career?
BB: I Have grown up around the industry with my Grandmother and Aunty in Theatre their whole lives, and then my sister also got into acting and producing. But I didn’t follow suite until I was around 21. I started doing some extras work and caught the bug, and delved into it head first.
SE: Who inspires you and what inspires you?
BB: I have a lot of different actors who inspire me such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Al Pacino. They inspire me as an actor, but what inspires me to keep chasing my dream is the passion I have for filmmaking as a whole. The different people i met on and off set in the industry, so many stories to be told. I don’t think i could stop, even if i wanted to.
SE: What was your first role?
BB: My first ever role on a short film was as a drug addict who took a wrong batch of pills and wiped out all his mates. I thought the script and character had depth, but i was sorely mistaken. But the first Lead on a feature film was Jay in There’s Something in the Pilliga. Which is still a stand out role for me.
SE: You've worked with some luminaries of Australian cinema including Roger Ward, did any of them give you any advice on how to thrive and survive in the film world?
BB: Yeah, being told by screen legend Roger Ward, that i had a rare talent that he hadn’t seen in a long time, really made me step up my game even more. When you get a compliment like that from someone who has been in the industry his whole life, and worked with some other screen legends, it just gives you the confidence to take it (your acting) to the next level.
SE: Tell us about your latest short the award-winning "I'm Here Too" and why you made it?
BB: I’m here Too, is a film about teen suicide prevention. I like to do things with a purpose, and as a filmmaker and actor, I think it’s important that whilst we may make fun and exciting films, we also use our craft for a greater good at times. I feel that suicide in general is a very confronting and taboo topic, and it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable. But just cause we feel uncomfortable about it, and some choose to ignore it, it doesn’t make it go away. We (as society) need to start taking more responsibility and talking about these things a lot more, and not judging people as harshly that may be going through hard times. I’m Here too tries to break the stigma and stereotype of depression. It shows teenager Claire (played by Carol Elsden), in her seemingly perfect world, and how she suffers in silence, and how we as family and friends can try and be a little more receptive to what others may be feeling on the inside.
SE: What's next for you?
BB: I have a feature film lined up that we have just entered pre-production for, It is a Horror Slasher film called ‘Paid In Blood”, which will hopefully give the slasher genre the contemporary reboot it deserves. Full synopsis and details can be found at www.imdb.com/title/tt6680138
SE: You came to attention as Jay in There's Something In The Pilliga, do you enjoy playing the bad guy more than the protagonist?
BB: Definitely the bad guy. I have played the protagonist a few times and depending on the role and script, it can be quite interesting. But most of the time I just find the bad guy a lot more engaging and satisfying. As a pretty big character actor, I find myself playing the bad buy in some way shape or form, there is usually a lot of depth to their personas and usually a lot of pain and hurt in their back stories. When developing a character, I like to understand why they may be feeling a certain way or doing a particular thing, and the research is usually pretty astonishing. But i guess the best part about it is, getting to be someone else, or something else for a short period of time and experiencing something completely different (albeit good or bad) from my personal life in the real world.
SE: You also have another feature film in post - Death's Waiting Room, what can you tell us about it?
BB: Speaking of the bad guy... Death’s Waiting Room, was an interesting script and Kit Fisk (my character) was without a doubt one of the most interesting to delve into. There were soo many layers to him and he wore a lot of (metaphorical) masks, I think at times even he forgets what mask he is meant to be wearing. But essentially he inherits a mansion from his late father (played by Roger Ward) and decides to renovate and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. Not being able to keep up with all the renovations and choirs he puts an ad in the local paper for a lodger to stay and help out. Once Delilah (Leoni Leaver), shows up they have an instant sexual chemistry ane the next few weeks, as feelings develop between the two, she begins to see that the honeymoon period might be coming to an end, as she begins to peel back his layers.
SE: What's the Biggest challenge in your career?
BB: The biggest challenge for me at the moment, is sourcing the next job. Locking in the next role as a freelancer is difficult and moving from agent to agent is never desirable, but finding a reputable Film and TV agent would be perfect right about now.
SE: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
BB: 10 Years is a hell of a long time, but if i was to be completely honest with myself. I would have to say I see myself tripping between home (Sydney) and LA. Making my mark on the world, one film at a time. In a shorter sense my goal over the next 3 years, is to secure a reputable agent, acquire my visa for the states and head over there to try for a few months. Make as many contacts between now and then as possible and show everyone what I am capable of.