Some pretty fierce and intimidating characters may be played by Liam McIntyre, but he's just as down to earth as they come. Before landing roles in hit series such as The Pacific and Rush, McIntyre's early acting career consisted of several short films and guest roles. He would go on to play Spartacus in the hit Starz show, as well as appear in popular video games including Gears of War and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Honestly, my first passion was painting. I never even considered acting! But as painting seemed like a difficult way to make money, I tried my hand at business, went to College for it, and by a chance of fate (and as a favor to my mum) I ended up studying in Ireland where a savvy Irish man tricked me into my first ever play – Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure. I’ll never forget still trying to learn the lines of Act 5 in Intermission. Yikes. Still, within a few weeks of the run, one of my fellow actors turned to me and said ‘you’ve got the bug now, haven’t you?’ I tried to deny it at the time, but ever since that day, I’ve not been able to get it out of my head. I think it’s the incredible canvas you’re given to create, plus the fact that is one of the most collaborative processes imaginable. There are so many different people with so many different sets of skills all coming together to make something amazing (hopefully). I’ve never felt like so part of something bigger than myself than when I work as an actor, and there’s something truly special about that.
Ha, good question – Strangely enough, probably Spartacus. Not simply because I spent so long with him – and certainly not the muscled warrior side of him. But there was something in him that let me look at and live out the aspirations I have as a person – his selflessness, desire to help others, his willingness to stand in front of a bully and say no. To reason with the disparate members of his motley gang and be the peacemaker, as well as the warrior. There was so much of him that I want to be in myself, but as a real human being you’re fallible and it’s hard to live up to your ideals… it was nice to have them written down on paper to try and live up to every week!
Hesitation? Far from it. While my love of acting as a career may not have been something I was born with, video games certainly were. I’d say that I’ve loved video games my entire life – I still have drawings as a 9 year old of games I wanted to try and make (they were terrible, never fear). So when the chance to be IN one came up, especially one of such renown, I jumped at the chance, and was lucky enough to be chosen. I mean, it’s given me the chance to be a Jedi Master! What’s not to like?
Being able to voice a role as truly legendary as Aquaman is an absolute honor. The character was created during the war 80 years ago, to be able to portray him during that time frame is just incredible. You’d have to ask the producers, but certainly one of the lucky things about animation is that, while it’s certainly not easier during a pandemic, it’s much more achievable. I’m sure timelines were effected, but since so much of it can be done remotely (no 100 person crews in a studio) there’s more capacity to keep things on time. Most of my dialogue was recorded over a year ago, such is the nature of these things, so it didn’t really affect me personally. That said, I can’t wait to see it all finished!
I do use social media, quite a bit actually. Honestly, it’s kind of amazing being able to interact with the people that allow you to continue being an actor. Sometimes you get to share in a special moment, or see that the crazy thing you did in Eastern Europe for 2 months made someone smile, or any number of wonderful things. Sure, there’s the occasional person that wants to try and get a rise out of you, but in my experience, remaining civil and decent tends to bore those people pretty fast and they move on. I certainly like to stay connected.
There are countless actors for countless reasons. To me it’s fascinating how the people I look up to most and the way I look up to them changes as I change and grow. My idols growing up were people like Daniel Day Lewis, for his incredible ability to become a role, John Cleese for his unbelievable comedic intellect, Bette Davis for her brevity and ability to reinvent herself, people like Harrison Ford or Sean Connery for the way they can take anything and make it accessible and familiar, be it a super spy or a space smuggler. But as I grow and have a family, I look at other role models, for other reasons. Now I admire people like Hugh Jackman for being not only incredibly talented, but for having, for all intents and purposes, a normal life – Tom Hanks as well. To be able to balance the job with your life, especially now I have a kid, is an incredible feat. So many people in the business find it overwhelming, either quickly or over time… those actors with true staying power are people to be admired, in my book.
There are many types of ‘good’ films. There’s the Blockbuster popcorn film that weaves together a simple, focused story with a larger than life world and a wry sense of humor that takes you along for the ride, like Indiana Jones or Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s confronting and revelatory stories that change the way you think about a topic like Schindler’s List or Requiem for a Dream and so on…
But for me, it all comes down to characters. You can have the biggest special effects budget in the world, but if I don’t buy into the characters you’ve placed before me, and the emotional stakes they have and how much it matters what they go through on the way to discovering what they need to make themselves more complete people, then the movie isn’t going to work. I give a damn about Luke Skywalker, I give a damn about Chris Washington, I give a damn about Michael Corleone. You tell me a good story with good characters and I’m there.
That said, I’ll also watch The Room all day.
Justice Society: World War II | Official Trailer
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