Our first Portrait sitting is northern actor and very nice man Jerry Willey. Jerry has appeared in some of the most loved British TV shows of the last ten years! From “Where the heart is” to “Scott and Bailey”
Words: Ascendance Magazine
Images: Lance Burkitt
AM: How do you feel about having your photo taken? Is it the same as acting in front of cameras?
JW: I enjoyed sitting for Lance as he made me feel at ease, therefore bringing out in me what inspires him. This is what I would expect from any photographer or director worth his or her salt.
AM: Have you always had the acting bug? What/ who was it that inspired you to act?
JW: I spent lots of my time with family and friends when I was little watching show jumping at Park Hall, which ended up being developed in to the now defunked Camelot theme park. I became involved in the film International Velvet, which Brian Forbes directed. Spending time hanging around the set and watching how people worked was quite an ore inspiring experience at such a young age. So I suppose this had quite a bearing. I went to college to study acting around 19 years ago, played small parts and did lots of featured background to pay the mortgage. I studied at the Houldsworth Rep Theatre until they unfortunately had to close.
AM: You’ve played some amazing characters during your career, what would you say is your favourite part so far?
JW: I would say a character named Kenny in the BBC drama WPC 56. He was a nasty chap and the sidekick to Charlie Crane, who was a 1950’s gangster.
JW: I would have to say without a doubt ‘Scott and Bailey’ it is also probably the most prominent part I have had to date, where over the last 4 years I played DC Jerry Harrison. All the cast and crew are like my TV family and I love it when we are all together.
JW: I played DCI Lee Sharp a few years ago in the fabulous ‘Where the Heart is’. I have a nice drama coming out next year in the UK, which is currently being aired on BBC America called ‘The Game’ which is about covert espionage set In 1972 London where I play a Special Forces interrogator alongside Tom Hughes in one episode. Blink and you’ll miss me speeding along in my 1972 Ford Cortina 3.0 V6 GT! All I can say is it was an ‘interesting’ car to drive.
AM: Do you have a favorite actor/ director? Who inspires you Jerry?
JW: I would say Richard Attenborough as one of my favourite directors, such a sad loss.
A couple of my favourite actors, I would say Mark Wahlberg as he’s in the spotlight quite a lot at the moment and the mesmerizing talent that is Denzel Washington.
AM: Actors can be notoriously difficult to get along with, are there any out there who have adhered themselves to you Jerry?
JW: One of the nicest actors I have worked with is the lovely Jason Flemyng (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Layer Cake, X-Men: First Class). We spent some time chatting about his childhood, Dr Who and his father Gordon, who directed Dr Who in the sixties.
JW: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are amongst my favourite films; I do have a soft spot for the old Hammer Horror too…
AM: A lot of actors have the dream of Hollywood. Have you ever considered moving state side and have a go at the Hollywood thing?
JW: I’ve never really considered working on anything across the pond. I suppose, I would give it some thought if the offer came to the table.
AM: One last question before you leave Jerry, who is the one character that you would still love to play in your career?
JW: One of my favourite plays of all time is John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’. I would love to have a bash at playing Lennie.
You can follow Jerry on twitter Follow @markiemonster
or find him on Facebook Jerry Willey