Former Prize Nominee Damien Molony In The Spotlight
In less than a week’s time, the winner of the 2012 Spotlight prize will be announced, selected from 21 nominees from drama schools across the country. Damien was last year’s nominee from Drama Centre London, and Andrew Gower, who appeared alongside Damien in Being Human, was the winner of the 2011 Spotlight Prize.
Damien’s acting career has taken an impressively speedy upward trajectory. Picked in his final year of Drama school to play the lead character Giovanni in ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore, immediately being offered his first television role as Hal in BBC tv show Being Human (soon to begin filming for another series), followed by a major role in Nicholas Hytner play Travelling Light with the National Theatre, he has worked steadily in roles that have put him in the spotlight since graduating from drama school.
Ahead of the 2012 prize, Damien was interviewed by Kate Tozer from Spotlight:
Spotlight Prize: 2011 nominee Damien Molony speaks to Spotlight 28 June 2012
Here he talks about landing the role on Being Human:
“Di Carling had seen me in my showcase at the Drama Centre and she got me in for an audition and I met the director. I was asked back a couple of days later and met Michael Socha.
Because the relationship between us has to be very strong they had to test him against all the other potential Hal’s. We just got on straight away – he’s a great laugh and we gelled in the audition and they seemed to like it.”
“They told me a couple of weeks later I’d got the job. Those weeks were agony, I remember it was about 10 minutes before went on stage my agent rang me and said I’d got the part. That was one of the worst shows I’d ever done – all I could think about was Being Human.”
On preparing for his role as Hal:
“I finished up in Leeds and had a week to watch as many vampire films as I could. I didn’t want to watch Twilight or any of the newer ones, which I know must be amazing because of how much everybody loves them.”
“I wanted to go very much with the Bram Stoker, Nosferatu era, which really helped with the character because he is so moth-eaten – he just doesn’t really know how to live a modern life, poor guy.”
“I was just learning every day, just trying to learn as much as I possibly could. Even now when I watch it I really study myself to see what works for me and what I can improve on because we start shooting again in July, so I want to be prepared.”
“I knew straight away how I wanted to do my vampire attack. When I was in Cardiff I would practice in front of the mirror and I was quite scared because I wanted to make it my own. Anyone going passed would have wondered what was going on.”
On the difference between acting on stage and screen:
“when you’re on stage a deep breath is very much physicalized and in the body, whereas you can almost breathe through your eyes on television; you don’t get that on stage.”
“Though when we did the National Theatre Live, they bring cameras into the National and that was a real opportunity for audiences to get in close. There’s lots of close ups and you’ve no idea what they’re shooting. Then on the specified night it beams live across the world, so my parents got to watch it in the cinema in Dublin, which was just phenomenal.”
On working with Andrew Gower:
“We didn’t actually shoot anything together until episode seven so we didn’t really talk about it that much. He used to give me encouragement and I would try and do the same because I think he is absolutely amazing, a brilliant actor. He goes into so much depth with his preparation. I learnt a lot from just watching him rather than him teaching me”
“You can get swept up in a situation sometimes where there are these massive actors around you. You worry they’re going to think you’re not doing it right but when you have someone who’s from the same background as you, you can kind of relax a bit more, you’re sort of in it together, you know? You’re both going to do the best you can and you can trust that.”
2012 Spotlight Prize Winner Andrew Gower, who played Cutler in Being Human was also interviewed by Spotlight, speaking highly of his co-star:
“I can’t speak highly enough of Damien – he is amazing to work with. He’s in his position for a reason.
Everyone who has seen Being Human knows he is absolutely superb and electric.”
The 21 Spotlight Prize 2012 Nominees will all appear at the 2012 Spotlight Showcase at Soho Theatre on 17 July.