“I was never made to feel like my differences should ever be a problem or an excuse to not do the things I wanted to"
So who is Leigh Gill? where did you grow up and did you always harbour ambitions to be in the entertainment industry?
I’m a TV & Film actor, currently based in Surrey. Growing up though, I moved around a lot as my Dad was in the Army. Pretty much every one or two years, we’d move to a different town and go to different schools etc. Which I always kind of enjoyed to be honest!
I think I started wanting to be an actor at quite a young age, from watching cheesy old action movies. The dream was always just to be stood along side Arnold Schwarzenegger blowing shit up! Let’s hope he doesn’t retire before I get that chance haha! I also studied music & played guitar in rock bands throughout my teens and 20’s. So I always hoped it would either be music or acting that I’d somehow find a career in.
How did you get into acting?
Well I always loved doing drama at school. Then I joined a local amateur theatre group, which was a great place to learn and to gain some more experience, before going on to do a few professional theatre productions as well. Then I got asked to act in a few music videos by bands I knew on that scene etc. After this I got myself an agent and the rest is kind of history really.
Who were your heroes growing up and why?
I’d say probably just my parents really. I think they raised me and my siblings in a pretty cool way. I was never made to feel like my differences should ever be a problem or an excuse to not do the things I wanted to. They never treated me any differently to my taller siblings. They just called me “short arse” and told me to get on with things. I think they kind of made me impossible to offend as I genuinely always loved being short. After we all grew up and moved out, my parents place has now become a foster home, where they take care of kids that are waiting to be adopted etc. There’s always so many loud kids running around that place, so it’s never a good idea to visit them on a hangover haha! I have no idea where they find the energy for that shit, but I think they are pretty awesome people!
What tips do you have for any aspiring actors trying to break into a very competitive field?
Take every opportunity that comes, because you never know how long it might be until the next one. Always try to think of ways to stand out by going the extra mile with your auditions. Never turn up to an audition and read the lines directly off of a script. Learn them beforehand! The casting people want to see you acting, not reading. But I think the most important thing is to become really good at networking! As it is such a competitive industry, it helps to become known as a fun person to work with.
Probably your most notable appearances came on the latest Joker movie and that little know franchise The Game of Thrones but what has been your favourite role to date and why?
Without a doubt my favourite role was playing Gary in Joker. Having the opportunity to work alongside Joaquin Phoenix and with Todd Phillips, was just an incredible experience all around. Quite often I get cast in more comedy/villainous type roles, which I do enjoy, but it was a nice change getting to play someone like Gary who is a decent person.
What would be your dream role?
Well like I mentioned earlier, I’d love to be a part of an action movie, with some of the legends like Arnie or Stallone. I just think that would be great fun in a nostalgic kind of way. These days though there are so many great TV series’ being made, so I’d love to land a great role in a long standing show. It would be great to have that opportunity to develop and explore one character over a long period of time! I think what Peter Dinklage managed to do in Game Of Thrones was absolutely phenomenal work! So I’d love to get an opportunity to do something similar in the future.
Here at The Hobo Journal we love to travel hence the name, you're a man thats been all over the world working. Where is your favourite place and why?
I think Singapore was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Everything is so clean there that it looks they had the whole place kept in packaging until you got there haha! On the flip side to that though, one of my other favourite places ever is Coney Island NY. Everything there is kind of run down and old, but in such a charming unique way that it almost transports you back in time. The beach there is actually really nice and it has a daily Side Show (the longest running one in the world I believe?) which is always fun to stop by and watch! I also have to give an honourable mention to Berlin too. I shot two films out there and I absolutely love that city!
More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer