Chilling on the sofa with Arron Simmonds!
Move over Tom Hardy...
More from Jack Cullen
Say hello to British actor Arron Simmonds. He started life as a young construction worker on the Isle of Wight before packing it in for drama school. Rumoured to be one of the next big screen faces to emerge from London, sexy Arron enjoys horror movies, Hollyoaks and the occasional Maccy Ds binge. Oh, and did we forget to mention that he's gay?
Yes. Arron's of an emerging generation that doesn't need the closet to get ahead. As he points out, good acting is good acting. And as we pointed out, that body, those legs, that stubble, those shoulders, that bulge. Wait what were we talking about? Oh yeah. We caught up with Arron for his first proper gay interview and to discuss his new project called Threads:
Hey Arron! What's your new project Threads?
It's a short film directed by Jack Munsch, set in London around Canary Wharf. It's about a chain of answer phone messages that my character Ryan receives. One of the messages is from Ryan's late mum, and he becomes plagued by something that he didn't do.
Intriguing! If Ryan ever runs out of things that he hasn't done, you can always come to us for ideas. When can we see it?
It'll be out in April and you'll be able to see it at the BFI as part of one of their festivals, the film is being submitted to about 15 festivals I think.
So how did you get into acting?
I've always been a performer and was the class clown at school, always making people laugh. After school I ended up working in construction back home, it made me feel miserable about myself and I just realised one day that life is too short to be doing things that make you miserable.
Who did you look up to as a boy?
My brother Carl. He always inspired me and pushed me and I'm very grateful for that.
When did you come out as gay?
About two years ago. I was with a girlfriend for a while and when we finally called things off I came out.
Were you worried it would affect your career?
Yes of course that crossed my mind, but I felt so unhappy and trapped being in the closet. I decided I just wasn't going to stay like that, and so the choice was made.
Rupert Everett has said more than once that coming out damaged his career...
Well that maybe true with Rupert Everett being an older generation, but I asked myself "Is that going to be the case forever?", if so then that's really sad. Things are changing. We are actors and not playing ourselves is the whole point of acting. If you give a good enough performance then the audience will believe it, even if they know you're gay or not in your personal life.
Talking of giving a good performance. Sorry to gush, but, you're obviously very handsome and strong and everything. We don't like the phrase "straight acting", and perhaps your time hanging out with all those manual labourers helped, but with your persona and classic dark features do people ever look surprised when they find out that you're gay?
Mostly they do actually yes. I don't like the term "straight acting" either. Like right now, I'm not putting on any kind of act, I am just being myself.
Now that you've had some experience as an actor can you tell us whether it's easier to sleep your way to the top as a gay one?
I expect that's the case with the majority of creative industry type jobs, some people probably use being gay to their advantage. But personally I couldn't do it though, I would feel too much of a fraud.
In between jobs you've worked as a barman - have you been propositioned across the bar before?
Sometimes people make offers, yes, which is of course very flattering. The most amusing one came from a woman believe it or not. She was damn right filthy. Haha!
Was London you're first gay scene?
As I'm from the Isle of Wight where gay people don't exist apparently, yes. There isn't one gay bar down there! The Retro Bar [off The Strand] was the first gay bar that I ever went to, I loved it down there!
Where do you tend to go out now?
Err. I don't want you to think I'm boring, but I mainly just stay in now. I have a boyfriend, Dino. He's an actor too, he went to London's Central School of Speech and Drama and he was an Abercrombie & Fitch model before that. So yeah, Dino and I like to stay in and watch movies. I like horror movies. If we do fancy going out for a drink, we'll go for a tipple in the West End.
Anyway, enough gay questions. Do you support a team?
I tried to, but the truth is I find sport utterly, utterly boring! The boyfriend loves rugby though.
Do you watch your weight?
I like to look after myself but I eat everything in moderation. Life's about being happy, so if I want a Mcdonalds I'll bloody have one!
What's your favourite kind of crisps?
I love prawn cocktail crisps.
Kirsty Allsopp or Davina McCall?
Davina McCall! I grew up watching her on the telly. Although I do like Allsopp's voice...
And finally, one for my friend. Do you like having sex with socks on? Or should socks come off?
Hahaha! It's so funny and really weird that you've asked me that because I actually have a massive sock thing! Haha! So socks on for sure!
Well now we know what to get you come Christmas. Thanks Arron!
If you're eager to see Arron in action right now and can't wait for Threads to come out in April, then we found this other short film that he's in on YouTube called 'Against The Grain'. It's actually quite good once you manage to pull your eyes away from the biceps and concentrate on the story:
Image: Jacob Koziel Photography