Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
November 9th, 2009

Tom Sturridge - Pirate Radio

Tom Sturridge's dreams of being an actor sparked at 14 when he saw a film called MEPHISTO by István Szabó. At 17 and drama school-less, he auditioned for BEING JULIA, a new film by his hero Szabó. If you've already gotten ahead of me and read his IMDb credits (oh, you), then you know he got the part!

Now Tom's starring in PIRATE RADIO - or if you're in the UK, THE BOAT THAT ROCKED - alongside movie heavyweights Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, and Emma Thompson. The film's about a small group of rogue DJs that did the unthinkable and took their love of playing rock and pop music to the sea when the British government outlawed it.

When promoting the U.S. version of PIRATE RADIO/THE BOAT THAT ROCKED, me and a few other nice journalists spoke with Tom about PIRATE RADIO, how he caught the part of Carl, the intimidation he felt working with such powerful actors, what it was like being half-naked in the same room as Nick Frost, and getting almost sea sick on a fake set.

PIRATE RADIO opens in theaters this Friday. If you end up checking it out (you should), let us know what you think!

Read on after the jump.

On how he got the part:

I got the part...I suppose the only difference between me and the other people you talked to, they’re all incredibly experienced and talented, and therefore asked to be in it. I had to genuinely persuade Richard to let me be in it, so I had to audition, you know, 3 or 4, maybe even 5 times. Eventually, he was foolish enough to let me be in it.

On what he thought about his character:

It was nice to be someone who’s kind of, almost a voyeur on everybody else, especially as I knew that the people involved were going to be so exciting and interesting and I just really wanted to be a part of that group.

On what it was liking working with all the talented and great people of PIRATE RADIO:

Well, you know, you can’t really be an actor and not be in “awe” of people like Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, and Emma Thompson. I was intimidated, to be honest. Massively intimidated, but like everyone if you spend enough time with somebody you realize that they’re just broken and fragile human beings and not superstars. Again, it was exciting to be a part of that ensemble. Terrifying at first, but slowly became a good thing.

On being nearly naked with Nick Frost:

The most important thing I learned from gotta just not give a shit about being embarrassed about anything because otherwise you wouldn’t try out things.

On how long he spent on board:

It was literally 50% on the boat. When I say on a boat, I mean 150 people get on a boat at 6 in the morning, the boat, as the sun rises, goes as far out to sea as they can without being dangerous. We shoot for six weeks like that, and the other six weeks was [in studio]. All the sets were on enormous gimbals to replicate the boat, which was actually more, kind of sickening [than being on the boat]. These gimbals has different settings, different weather levels. The enormous sets would be moving and everyone would want to throw up.

On acting:

I’m [currently] doing a play, which is the first time. In the matter of weeks, that has totally expanded my horizons about what the potential of acting is. Without being frivolous, it has genuinely changed my life and my opinion of what my life could be, which is really a weird thing, actually. I’m very aware of how you have your little moments in this industry.

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  • Marcus Richer

    Also agree with #1. Every single time First Blood is on TV I watch it (which has been happening a lot on AMC). Just a damn good movie. Really original protagonist and some really good antagonists too.

  • radiowerbung

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is always a problem in special first location

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