Actor Ben Peyton is a huge fan of film, especially the ones that feature Britain’s most famous secret agent. He not only enjoys watching movies, but he’s also involved in the Television and Film business by profession. Ben played PC Ben Hayward in the successful drama series The Bill, Warrant Officer Hill in Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers and James Jenson in Emmerdale. The 38-year-old Englishman also works in theatre and is a voiceover artist. Time for a bit of film talk!
“I think my passion for film started late in life, as my childhood was pretty much taken up with playing football and squash. I don’t really remember watching any films at the cinema or at home until I was about 15 years old,” Ben Peyton recalls. “Films like Jurassic Park and Independence Day blew me away at the cinema. The sheer scale of blockbuster movies would excite and enthral me.”
Drama School instead of Sports Science
“I fell into acting late in life also. I wanted to study Sports Science at university, but my grades weren’t good enough. I was studying A Level Drama, mainly because I thought it would be fun and a bit easier than other subjects,” he admits. “But my teacher suggested I auditioned for some of England’s Drama Schools. As it was late in the school year most had stopped auditioning, but the Guildford School Of Acting (GSA) had one final day of auditions left… I went for it and ended up chatting to the Principal until about 6 pm! I pretty much knew I’d been accepted, and sure enough a few weeks later I was in.”
“I never had any particular goals. I just wanted to work as an actor and be the best that I could be. I didn’t care if it was for a commercial, corporate film, TV or theatre job, I simply wanted to work and was always grateful when people gave me the opportunity to do so. Although in hindsight I would’ve loved to have been in an Austin Powers movie. They just look like so much fun! Or maybe a Carry On film. Some of them haven’t aged that well, but a few of them are still arguably the best British comedies ever.”
“My favourite film? A tricky question and, like most people, mine change all the time,” he says. “Let’s go with The Lord Of The Rings as a trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption, which in my opinion is totally faultless as a film and The Goonies. But there are also lots of films that I couldn’t finish. Maybe I was in the wrong mood or maybe they really were that crap… They include Zoolander; which I just didn’t get, Elf; because I think Will Ferrell is awful in everything, apart from Stranger Than Fiction, and the painful Men In Black 2!”
Best actor and actress
“My favourite actor is probably Tom Hanks. He’s incredibly watchable and so believable in everything he does. When he’s in a film, you just know it’ll be good. As for actresses it would have to be Cate Blanchett. She’s incredibly versatile, brilliant with accents and is always challenging herself. Best actress of the last 50 years, if you ask me.”
Explosions, cheesy one-liners and the ultimate dinner party
“I’m a sucker for explosions, cheesy one-liners and set-pieces, so action/adventure is my genre. It’s probably why I love James Bond so much. There’s nothing I like more than seeing something cool on a big screen, with sound making my ears bleed. I’d also love to have a bloody huge table and invite all the James Bond actors (even George Lazenby), Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Harrison Ford, Italian actor Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful is in my top 10 films – just amazing), Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Laurel & Hardy, Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Drew Barrymore for dinner. The latter would be purely as eye candy, as I fancied her in The Wedding Singer,” Ben quips.
Movies to look forward to in 2016
“I’m very much looking forward to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice and Inferno. They’re the ones that spring to mind. Oh, and I think Australian actor Chris Hemsworth should be the next 007, when the awesomely amazing Daniel Craig decides to throw his Walther PPK into the Thames for good!” he concludes.