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Rick Didham Interview

Rick Didham

Rick Didham is an actor from New Zealand, and has appeared in the TV show Kura.

What motivated you to get into acting?

That was the only thing that I was good at high school, and it was fun, and it helped raise my confidence, helped me be able to talk to people better, and it's helped me in my real life.

What do you like about filming short films?

Mostly the people that I get to meet, you usually meet them and get to know them in a very short period of time, so you get to see the best of them. Everyone's putting on the best face, so to speak, and by the time that they get tired, and they get sick of you, the shoots over.

Have there been scenes throughout your career that have been more challenging to film, and what were they?

I think, recently, I had to kiss a guy very passionately, and we had to do that many times for several minutes. He's a really lovely guy, and we got on really well, and we had chemistry, so to speak, but after kissing him for that long, I couldn't look him in the eye. We were supposed to act together, and after being that physically intimate with somebody, you know, we were trying to connect as actors. After that, then I couldn't even look at him.

What has been the biggest challenge in your acting career?

Trying not to take rejection personally. It's a really highly competitive industry, and some people say that to be an actor is almost a diagnosis as opposed to an occupation. So, you're constantly seeking validation. And when you get rejected, which happens over and over and over again, it's hard to not take that personally.

Do you have a favorite genre to film?

Black Comedy and usually of the adult kind, the really dark humor, rude jokes, drug references, things like that.

What has been your favorite screen role to play?

I think my upcoming short film might be my favorite role to play, because it's a character that is an absolute asshole, and they're my favorite characters to play. And he's an asshole in a position of power. So, again, I get to take a swipe at people that I dislike and get to parody them.

If you could play any role from past TV shows or movies who would you play?

Definitely something in Star Trek. I would like to play maybe a Romulan. They're quite scheming and evil and manipulative. So yeah, probably a Romulan in Star Trek.

Was directing the film Whole Lotto Love a good experience?

Yes, because I learned that I was able to do it. And I found my passion, that I love uplifting people, and I thrive when I see the actors gain confidence. Also, I learned my own shortcomings as well. I was sort of thrown into that opportunity without any preparation. So, I learned that - they say you learn the most from your failure, and I think there was a lot that could have been better. So, I learned a lot.

Would you be open to directing more films in future?

Yes, I've got a wonderful new job as a drama tutor at a mental health facility. So, I get to work with people who have had a tough time or who are recovering from past traumatic experiences or they have current mental health challenges. So, I really want to see those students thrive. So, I'd love to work with them and make something with them.

Which actors inspire you?

Most recently, Gillian Anderson from The X Files. She played Scully. She played Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, and I thought she was sublime. She was amazing.

What are your favorite shows in New Zealand past or present?

One show that I would love to see more of, that I've only seen one episode of, was an old 70 show called Hudson and Halls. And they were two gay chefs working with a live studio audience, and they'd have a wine next to them, and they would just bicker like a married couple. And I don't think it was aware to everybody at the time that they were a couple, but they had chemistry, and they would be bitch fighting while they're cooking. So, I would love to see that, if I could ever find that.

How difficult is it to get roles in New Zealand?

It depends on where you're living. what your abilities are, who you know. Do you have the money to be able to take courses? Are you willing to take that risk? It's easy to be an extra if you're living in one of the main cities, so long as you know how to behave on set, but it is highly competitive, and it can be quite elitist. So, it all depends really.

Do you do much theater?

I haven't done any theater since I lived in Christchurch. Because after the earthquakes, I started to get panic attacks, so I'd want to run off stage, and you can't run off stage during theater. But now I think I'm at the point where I will be looking into taking up Theatre in Auckland. So, it's taken some time.

Do you have any desire to move to Hollywood or Britain?

Not at present. If I had a partner who wanted to go to Hollywood, then I would go with them, but I wouldn't want to go by myself. From what I hear, it's really tough and even more highly competitive. The pay's better, but the auditioning process can be quite cutthroat.

Where can people follow you and your work?

I have Facebook page, Rick Didham, which is just primarily for my acting work and updates in that area.

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