ACTING – A Stone’s throw from the top
One of the UK’s most prestigious actors Terry Stone lifts the lid on his film and family life…
How did you get into producing/acting?
I was offered completely out of the blue a small role with one line of dialogue in a low budget gangster film. When I got on set the Director and Producers decided after seeing what I could do to upgrade my role into a bigger speaking role. I met some great actors and caught the acting bug. After this I got an agent and then started doing some theatre work and some guest parts on My Family, The Bill and Eastenders that most jobbing actors do. After a year I decided that Hollywood wasn’t happening fast enough so I looked at ways of making my own luck and due to my background in organising and producing some of the biggest dance music events around the World and creating two large Dance Music Brands Garage Nation & One Nation I decided to start developing and producing my own content.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t producing?
If I’m not acting, I’m producing, If I’m not producing, I’m developing, If I’m not developing I’m raising finance so I never get anytime to do anything other than things that are centered around the TV & Film World and I’m happy to do this until I keel over.
Do you think your children will follow in your footsteps? Do you want them to?
Acting is the hardest game in the world and you need to have very thick skin to be able to succeed and you need to have huge tenacity and be used to rejection and people telling you how bad you are, how ugly you are, you can’t act, your fat, you have a big nose etc etc. That’s probably one of the main reasons that there is a huge percentage of actors who are insecure and have mental health issues. I think acting is a great thing to do as it does give you confidence to perform, communicate and stand up in a room and speak. These are qualities that I personally think will take anyone a long way whether they want to be professional actors or not.
How has this year been for you?
It’s actually been fantastic even though I had to cancel my 50th birthday Party in January and the year started off in lockdown. The positives is I managed to get away with my family for a holiday that we haven’t been able to go on for 2 years and as this is the only proper time that we spend together it was really amazing. I also managed to act & produce in two films and direct another one so being busy has been a real blessing which I thank the Film God’s and my investors for.
Tell us about lockdown for you – what did you get up to?
Initially I thought this is only going to go on for two weeks, how wrong was I! After the novelty of sitting indoors drinking alcohol and eating takeaways, having lay ins, long walks & reading/watching and endless stream of silly WhatsApp messages and runs wore off I started to get agitated that I couldn’t do anything. This in turn led to me deciding I was going to work every hour of every day and create whatever I could, take advantage basically of the fact the whole World had gone to sleep. This led to me developing 5 x TV Series, 5 x Feature Films and Narrating my Audio Book “King of Clubs” which was based on my days of running dance music events in the rave scene. I then went on to make three of the films and we are finishing them off and releasing them now which has kept me busy and sane during these cruel lockdowns.
What was it like filming for Rise of the Footsoldier origins?
It was an amazing experience as we filmed it in Lockdown and while everyone else was stuck in doors watching Netflix we had to pack up and go away for 5 weeks so we could all be in a bubble. It was upsetting having to leave my family for so long. But the positives were everyone was 100% focused on doing a great job and it was like the World was back to normal in Southend whilst we were filming as we took over a hotel and we basically had breakfast, lunch and dinner together so it was like being on holiday with 60 mates for 5 weeks and it definitely boosted everyone’s mental health and positivity.
Which film has been your favourite!?
Once Upon a Time in London and Rise of The Footsoldier Origins are my top 2 over the past 18 years of my career.
Tell us about your early life – how did you get into acting?
I’ve always loved films and tv shows and I got an opportunity out of the blue to have a small part in a low budget film, if that hadn’t happened who knows what I’d be doing right now?
Are there any actors that inspired you?
Ray Winstone, Michael Cain and Bob Hoskins as they are all working class actors who hit the big time.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
I’m a big family man so I spend it with my wife and three children. We like going out for dinner, we all love the Cinema, sometimes we will watch sports or go to the gym for a work out, or all go for a run together.
What is your favourite thing about being an actor
It’s getting the script and then learning your part and working out what sort of character you’re going to bring on set, how you’re going to play it and then the first day on set I would say is probably the most exciting for me, I can’t sleep the night before as it’s a mixture of nerves and the unknown I’m sure it must be similar to when an athlete is going to compete all those feelings. The worst one is when you start panicking that you won’t remember your lines!!! The worst thing about being an actor is the last day of filming as you know that you’re going to be unemployed for a bit and you get such a tight bond with the people you work with and they become good friends almost family.