It’s an actor’s life for me says ‘gruff’ Nick

It’s an actor’s life for me says ‘gruff’ Nick

Nick Cornwall (Dagron) has been interviewed for a local paper.  Here’s a snippet but follow the link for the full article. It’s the best job in the world says Nick who describes himself as a ‘modest actor’ born and bred in Blackpool. Tough guys, mercenaries, harsh but fair sergeants, heavies – you name it, Nick’s cornered the market. Right now he can be seen in cult web fantasy series Ren (Tuesdays 8pm) which has won a wide following since starting earlier this month. Read more:...
The First Musketeer

The First Musketeer

Last week saw the long-awaited release of The First Musketeer, an action-adventure web series created by Ren‘s associate casting director, Harriet Sams. Harriet’s show shares several other team members with Ren, including actress/fight performer Dita Tantang (Lyanna), fight choreographer Ronin Traynor, director of photography Neil Oseman and gaffer Richard Roberts. The First Musketeer is a prequel to the famous novels by Alexandre Dumas, telling how Athos (Edward Mitchell), Porthos (Charles Barrett) and Aramis (Ryan Spong) first met and became the heroes we know and love. Filled with swordfights, horses and intricate period costumes, The First Musketeer posed many similar challenges to Ren. Below Harriet shares some of her experiences of making the show. What made you want to tackle these iconic characters? I’ve always loved period movies, along with action/adventure it’s my favourite genre, and The Three Musketeers have it all. Although I would say that the subject matter almost chose me. I was in France with family and my dad commented on the fact that half of the villages look like ready made sets, and that I could make a great Musketeer short film using the locations, and so it kind of evolved from there. It was never really planned to become as big as it did but I tend to have difficulty holding back when a good idea presents itself. Why did you feel that a web series was the best medium for this story? I couldn’t settle on the idea of adapting a story that had so often been done before, and with budgets I couldn’t hope to match. I had recently begun watching a number of web series, and I was struck...
Woodland Warrior: Dita Tantang on playing Lyanna

Woodland Warrior: Dita Tantang on playing Lyanna

Ren’s life will change forever when she crosses paths in the forest with the fearless knife-fighting fugitive, Lyanna. Portraying this all-action woman is Dita Tantang. Tell us a bit about your background in acting and fight performing. I fell into acting all backwards! I actually started with the fight performing and began training on a whim because a friend of mine at drama school was telling me how she learnt to punch people yet no one got hurt – this “stage combat” module sounded intriguing. I was doing a Computing degree at the time and had never heard of it before, so naturally I Googled it, found a course on it, and impulsively blew part of my student loan on it! Unsurprisingly, everyone else in my class were actors so I felt a little out of place with a huge learning curve ahead of me. Nevertheless, I was absolutely loving it. Learning stage combat was like learning something secret, it’s the illusion of violence, fundamentally it’s magic. A year after training, I nabbed my first swordfighting job. That’s when I realised I could actually make something from fight performing. I continued my training in other weapons and became good enough to join fight teams. One of the fight teams I was on was the Independent Drama fight team, which is actually run by Ronin Traynor (action co-ordinator for Ren). A few years ago I was helping him out with fight scenes on a sci-fi series called Chronicles of Syntax, where the writer told me that they were re-casting featured roles and they had to be good fighters. I successfully...
Talking Torberry with Alan Hay

Talking Torberry with Alan Hay

He may look like a simple potato farmer, but there’s a lot more to Torberry than meets the eye. We caught up with actor Alan Hay to find out what it was like to play this intriguing character. How did you get into acting? After moving to England  (from Scotland), I needed a hobby to help settle into the new place, and joined some local community theatre companies working mainly on musicals. Some 14 years later, I’m now one of the producers of a theatre company and one of the creative directors of a comedy improv group, working on productions in Cambridge, London and Edinburgh. What attracted you to Ren and the role of Torberry? I was a huge fan of Kate’s previous work and had a short cameo as an Orc in one of the early scenes in Born Of Hope. I was hugely excited by the Ren project, and was delighted when I was approached as a potential auditionee. I was sent some script extracts for Torberry and auditioned over Youtube, whilst working on a number of theatre shows at the Edinburgh Festival during casting. From the audition material, Torberry had a wonderful mix of father-figure and intrigue about him, and I was delighted when the offer of the role arrived. What was it like to put on your costume and step onto the village set on your first day? For me, once the costume is put together, the character really finds its home. It affects how you stand, walk and move, and I always find everything comes much more alive once you look the part. Miriam did...
Grace Parry on playing Dalia

Grace Parry on playing Dalia

For Grace Parry, Ren fulfilled a dream of appearing in a period fantasy piece. We asked her to tell us more about her role as Ren‘s loyal friend, Dalia. How did you get into acting? It seemed I always had the ‘bug’ for acting. I grew up near Norwich which was lucky as Norwich has a really great ARTS scene! I attended Norwich Young People’s Theatre and made sure I was in every play going at school! It was when I was doing A-level drama that I realised it was more than a hobby; that I wanted to make the move to London to train professionally and I’ve loved every moment since! What attracted you to Ren and the role of Dalia? I’ve always loved watching programmes like Merlin and Game Of Thrones and it had always been a dream of mine to play a ‘Maid Marian’ type role, so when I saw the casting for Ren, directed by the hugely talented and passionate Kate Madison – I thought it couldn’t be more perfect! Dalia’s a great role and I found it easy to find parts of myself in her. She’s incredibly loyal to Ren and it’s the strength of their friendship that drives her actions of trying to save Ren. (I really enjoyed that scene!) What was it like to put on your costume and step onto the village set on your first day? I had the privilege of seeing the set in its humble beginnings, during my initial audition, when the village was just starting to be built! Little did I know how impressive and life-like it...