GT Stage

We chat with James Sutton about his new venture

Since leaving the fields of the dales less than a year ago, actor James Sutton has been a very busy man indeed but managed to take time out of his busy schedule to talk to GT about his exciting new venture.

The former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale star has officially launched his own acting company in the form of Broken Leg Workshops, which aims to offer an alternative to regular drama classes, giving an emphasis on helping to develop skills needed for acting in front of a camera.

Broken Leg Workshops will give famous faces from the world of television, such as Danny Miller (Emmerdale's Aaron Livesy), Mark Charnock (Emmerdale's Marlon Dingle), Bronagh Waugh (Hollyoaks Cheryl Brady / BBC's The Fall), Jessica Fox (Hollyoaks Nancy Osbourne) and more, the chance to “teach the things that they've learned over the years and pass on their experience”.

Were they all quick to get on board with the idea?
Yeah, everyone's been really excited. Actors, as a rule, love talking about acting we fucking love it, that's kind of our thing.”

Speaking of the opportunity to help aspiring actors, Sutton regrets that these chances were not available to him when he was getting into acting…
I went to drama school but it's very theatre orientated, which is fine but a lot of the work that I've had has been in TV and a lot of the stuff now is predominantly in TV and films.

The workshops, which will run over a two day period, including lunch, are open to all aged 16 and over, while at the end of the experience, there is the added option of purchasing a professionally edited showreel…
If you break it down it works out about £21 an hour which is cheaper than most drama classes so it's actually not too bad and I think it will be very worthwhile.

What's been your most challenging role as an actor?
I think Hollyoaks because I was very young and it was my first kind of high profile job and playing a character that went through a big emotional torment with his sexuality, there was a sort of pressure to get that right so we really wanted to make sure it was real and people could buy into it.

What were people's responses to your performance of the gay storyline?
We had really, really positive responses from the gay community, more so from young people. The storyline I played out goes on in every school every street in the country. So young people especially really kind of took to it and I still get letters and things now from people saying I watched that storyline and it made me realise what I'm going through isn't actually that unusual.

Do you plan on returning to soapland at some stage?
If the storyline was right and it was worthwhile then yeah, I'd certainly consider it. I know they've got a very big cast now in Hollyoaks so whether there's actually room for me I'm not sure, they've introduced some new gay characters to it as well so I'm not sure whether there'd be room for another one.

Speaking of the possbibility of returning to the stage…
I'd love to do some Shakespeare at some point, I'm not the most ambitious person in that I want to go over to Hollywood straight away and make movies and all that kind of stuff but I just want to do good stuff, whatever genre if it's film or theatre or TV. You just want to do stuff that turns you on stuff that makes you feel proud so I just kind of harbor ambitions to keep working and having a career that lasts until I'm 65.

Still auditioning for parts?
Been up for a couple of films recently, but my focus at the moment has been solely on Broken Leg so I've been putting all my energy into that but I'm not done with acting by any stretch.

And you play the guitar and are described as having a 'fine voice'.
I know that sounds weird coming from an actor but I don't really have enough confidence to kind of pursue music but I love it as a hobby it's nice to go home and chill out and play some silly little songs.

You've been working recently with Danny Miller on Once Upon A Smile…
Yeah, there's a charity do coming up on the 15 July called Viva Las Vegas in Manchester, Danny's hosting it and we're all involved in that and I'm a patron so I'll be there with all my pals, it's a really really lovely charity and it's really worthwhile and they do some lovely stuff for people who have suffered bereavements they do some really remarkable work.

Finally, do you have a man crush?
Do I have a man crush? Yeah, I suppose I do, yeah that Ryan Reynolds fella yeah he's quite handsome. I was gonna say I could shut my eyes and think of England but he's a handsome bastard he'll do as my man crush definitely.

The Broken Leg Workshops will run on 28 and 29 July in Liverpool, and if successful there are plans to take BLW on the road across the UK.

Details of the Workshops, Twitter accounts and Facebook can be found here.

Words: Andrew Jay

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