Daniel Mays – BAFTA Guru Interview

BAFTA Guru has released a new video of Daniel Mays discussing acting, what he’s learned after 17 years in the business, and what advice he would give to himself when he was starting out.

bafta guru may 2017

Watch below for this wonderful interview courtesy of BAFTA Guru:

Daniel Mays on his acting career: 
I suppose that I am in the ballpark of maybe attempting to take on characters that I’ve never played because no one wants to repeat themselves. As we get older we can grow and mature as actor. There’s still lots of various parts I haven’t even tackled yet.

Daniel Mays on what he looks for in the characters that he plays:
You want them to be as layered and complicated and contradictory as possible (like Danny Waldron in Line of Duty series 3). It’s great for you to explore that and do the research and come to the set fully prepared and try to do the job as best as you possibly can.

Daniel Mays on researching a role:
I always enjoy the endeavour of looking into a character’s past history and childhood and background because you’ve got to always play the character in the round. 

You put however much you want to put in it (the character) – explore it as much as possible. It’ll just come out in your performance in a hand gesture or a facial expression. The tiniest detail can always be picked up on camera. It’s all about putting the work in.

Daniel Mays on why Mike Leigh is so important to his acting skills:
A lot the way I approach building a character is all is down to Mike Leigh (All or Nothing, Vera Drake). It was very in depth and leaving no stone un-turned and to try to play it as truthfully as possible. Danny jokingly says “It’s all his (Mike Leigh’s) fault!”

Daniel Mays on auditioning:
Casting directors want to see you act. I always think when you go into a casting it’s about having this idea or the notion that this group of people in this room have a problem- they need to cast this role- and you somehow have to be the solution to that.

Daniel Mays on the advice he would give to himself when he was starting out:
Try to be as resilient as possible and to not shy away from hard work. It’s hard graft. You have to learn to cope with rejection and the uncertainty of it all.  You never know when that casting or job opportunity will come along.  Peoples’ perception is that you have to be in the right place at the right time but I honestly think that you create your own luck.

Daniel Mays is nominated for a best supporting actor BAFTA for his performance of Danny Waldron in the critically acclaimed series 3 of Line of Duty. The BAFTA awards ceremony is Sunday 14 May 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. 

Follow Daniel Mays on Twitter @DanielMays9