Midlands Feature - Interview with Tom Loone of Do Something Jake
Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Tom Loone, the 22-year old actor who features in the upcoming Midlands film Do Something Jake, about his background and his involvement in this exciting new local project.
Midlands Movies Mike: Hi Tom. I hope you are well. How are things and can you tell us about yourself and how you heard about Do Something, Jake.
Tom Loone: Hi there. Yes, I’d be happy to. I’m Tom Noone and I'm 22 years old and actually still at university at the moment and going into my final year studying Law of all things. I think that surprises people when I tell them, they all assume I'd be studying drama.
MM: Ha ha. Very true. So you are from the Midlands yourself?
TL: Yes, I am a native of the Midlands. I live in Solihull, which is cool because it's so close to Birmingham city centre - I feel like I'm slap bang in the middle of everywhere, which I like a lot.
MM: So true. The Midlands is definitely in the middle of a lot of exciting things I can attest to that! So, how did you hear about ‘Do Something, Jake’?
TL: I heard about it on Casting Call Pro and the premise sounded crazy. I looked up the 'Raya Films' website and knew it was the real deal, so naturally I applied. I didn't hear back for a while so I kinda assumed nothing would come of it - that happens a lot as an actor. Then Caroline messaged me about an audition and I was over the moon. I remember I called my dad and told him.
MM: And where did it go from there?
TL: When I turned up to the second audition I read with Mia, Simon - Jamie was there too. They were so on the ball, line perfect, had tonnes of ideas, we just clicked, had great chemistry instantly. I guess that's when I realised the kind of calibre of actor that'd be involved with the project. Everyone was incredible, cast and crew. I loved working with Ed [Bergtold] too, a really gifted guy. It was so interesting to work with an American actor. He'd say a line in a certain way or do something that I just never would have thought of - I learnt a lot from him.
MM: And were the crew a similar bunch?
TL: They were outstanding - some of the shots these guys captured will blow people's minds. One tracking shot in particular, no spoilers, but it's breathtaking, next level stuff. Caroline and James deserve a lot of credit too - they were really hands on performance-wise, which I love. Without them, none of this would be a reality - it's all down to them, very talented folks. Everyone was a joy to work with, and in that regard the shoot was easy. As an actor I'd never had a challenge as big as this though. After every filming day I'd email James asking if I'd done okay, I think I drove him crazy!
MM: Sounds like a great set atmosphere. Was it?
TL: The cool thing about filming 'Do Something, Jake' is that there weren't any typical days, anything could happen. I'd wake up super early, like 5am, get ready and head to the location. I could never predict what it'd be like - everyday there'd be something crazy happening, but that excited me. Very often I'd have an idea in my head about how something would play out, but then I'd talk it over with the guys, experiment with the other actors, and it'd turn out ten times better, it was a very fun shoot.
MM: Have you worked in the industry long?
TL: Not long at all actually. I'd say about a year and a half. Last year I made the decision that I wanted to get into it. I was just watching so many great films and felt so inspired - I guess I just thought to myself 'I want to do what they do'. I've acted on and off all my life, mostly doing theatre in school. I'd pretty much decided it wasn't something I wanted to do anymore in my teens and shelved it. I feel like I only started properly acting last year when I got into film.
MM: Was the leap difficult for you?
TL: I think film acting is a whole different ball game. I basically started from scratch and taught myself how to do it. I did a short called 'The Forsaken' with 'MegaPixels Productions', that changed everything for me - that's when I got addicted.
MM: Do you like to specialise in any styles of work?
TL: I love all genres. Any opportunity to act in film is exciting for me, regardless of what type it is. That's something that was so cool about 'Do Something, Jake', it's such a mish-mash of ideas, there's comedy in there, drama, thriller, romance, a bit of everything.
MM: And any particular favourite films?
TL: I tend to gravitate more towards smaller, character based stuff, movies that are original, charismatic. I love the film 'Her', 'Drive', and I can't wait to see 'The Light Between Oceans' later this year and 'Nocturnal Animals'. But I love big popcorn flicks too - all these super hero films are great! I have too many favourite actors to mention, but I guess I have my select few ('The Power Four'): Joaquín Phoenix, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Gosling. If I can be a fraction as talented as they are, I'll be happy - they are my heroes.
MM: Acting can be a tough industry. Are there any hurdles you’ve overcome? Anything you’re particularly proud of?
TL; I think the biggest hurdle I've had is being comfortable with myself, feeling natural, reigning everything in and making things subtle. Film picks up everything. When I first started out I'd watch my short films back and think 'wow, I'm really over the top here, I need to dial it back'. Achievements? That's a tricky one, I like to think the best is yet to come. I guess if I had to pick one thing, it'd be being named 'Actor Of The Week' on Casting Call Pro in May this year - I was really proud of that.
MM: Thanks Tom. What are your next plans?
TL: I can't wait to see 'Do Something, Jake', I really do think we've made something special here - everyone's been so dedicated and hardworking. I know Caroline and James have been slaving away in post-production too, it's really going to catch a lot of people off guard. It's such a fun time. In terms of future projects, I filmed a short film with a team called 'Medusa Digital' earlier in the year called 'Fate'. I'm really proud of it, and it'll be out later this year, and I'm also involved with a new adaptation of 'Wuthering Heights' and a short film called 'Chloe' by Rebecca Harris-Smith. I'm lucky to get to work with such cool people.
MM: Finally, I ask this of everyone - do you have any advice for people looking to start out in the industry (as an actor)?
TL: I'm not sure if I'm qualified to give out advice, but I guess I think If I could offer one tip to actors, it'd be to be yourself. Ironically. Nobody on the planet can do what you do. Embrace that and run with it, then I think only good things can happen.
MM: Thanks Tom. It’s been an absolute blast talking to you and all the best with the film.
TL: Thank you too. It's been a pleasure.
You can find out more about ‘Do Something, Jake” at Raya Films http://www.rayafilms.com
Top and bottom photos courtesy of James Smith. Middle photo by Mike Mafrici