Scott Butler: “Why More Diversity In TV and Film Can Help To Reduce Racism And Help Us Feel More Connected”

…Don’t rely on acting for money, work hard to earn money outside of acting, it takes the pressure and worry away and also you are more attractive in an audition if you aren’t there for the money, but for the love of portraying the character for their film, it makes a tremendous difference! Asa part […]

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…Don’t rely on acting for money, work hard to earn money outside of acting, it takes the pressure and worry away and also you are more attractive in an audition if you aren’t there for the money, but for the love of portraying the character for their film, it makes a tremendous difference!

Asa part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Scott Butler.

Scott Butler is an actor from London, England. Scott won the 2011 “Best Actor — Award of Excellence” at the Canada International Film Festival and for his stage debut, the 2009 “Best Actor” at the Pacific Coast Theatre Company. Many of the projects Scott worked on went on to receive awards, including his comedic role as Jack the Ripper on the series Hollywood Hell (2011) which won a Regional Emmy in 2011 and Serene (2010) which was nominated for a Regional Emmy in that same year.

In his short 10 years in the industry, he continues to build a prolific body of work in film and TV, including the role of “Oliver” in the critically acclaimed AMC series Lodge 49 (2018). He also had roles in the Lionsgate release Wiener Dog Internationals (2017), starring alongside Morgan Fairchild, Bryan Batt and Jason London, the Warner Bros release 16-Love (2012), starring Lindsey Shaw and Chandler Massey and one of the lead roles in Holy Terror (2017) with Lisa London, Kristine DeBell and Mel Novak.

Over the years Scott has studied at many acting schools in various disciplines, including the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio, the William Alderson Acting Studio and the prestigious voice acting studio Kalmenson & Kalmenson in Burbank. Scott has over a dozen new projects lined up for 2019 and beyond including the role of “Virgil Robinson” in Straight on Till Morning, working alongside Maria Olsen (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and American Horror Story (2011)), a role in Attack of the Unknown (2020), starring Tara Reid and Richard Grieco and as the narrator of Gregory Hatanaka’s new film Darling Nikki (2019), starring James Duval and Jamie Bernadette.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Ispent most of my childhood growing up in the southeast of England, about 12 miles from the center of London. But I also spent a few years living in New Zealand as a kid, before we moved back to the UK. I was always a daydreamer, often looking out of the window imagining other worlds.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I first became fascinated in movies and thus acting after seeing Star Wars for the first time, I must have been around 6 or 7 years old. The thought that people would come together to depict these incredible worlds and stories, was amazing to me. Around the age of 10 or 11, my Mum and I found a couple of auditions in the local area, sadly we never went to them.

I did try drama class at 12, but was too shy at the time to go back for a second class. After losing my job in the 2008 financial crisis, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands while looking for work, so decided to try an acting class, I nearly didn’t go, almost turned around and went home, glad I didn’t!

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I remember when I worked on “Wiener Dog Internationals”, on my first day, I met my co-star Morgan Fairchild. She was so lovely and gracious, came in with all her energy, very friendly. When she came back from wardrobe and makeup, she was now Miss Merryweather, the villain of the movie.

I said to her as she walked by, “you look great, this is going to be a fun day!”, she looked over to me and sneered, she was already in character, it was wonderful. My character was to confront her near the end of the movie, and he was very nervous about doing so, after we got our scene in the bag, I walked over to her and said “I’m so nervous”, she said “Oh, don’t worry, acting is easy”, I then said “I didn’t mean acting, I meant how my character feels about Miss Merryweather!”, we both laughed.

A few weeks after our shoot, she tweeted to me on Twitter, that I did a great job, I printed that out and put it on my wall to inspire me and remember that great time on set!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

This isn’t really a mistake, but I do think it’s funny. When I started out, I was working on some student films, and one of those, the character I was playing was pretty out there, with spiked up hair, wearing a kilt and warriors-like leather vest and boots, brandishing a baseball bat. As many no-budget films are made, we did some shots outside without permits.

One scene I was bashing someone with the baseball bat (done by me hitting a pillow with the victim off-screen), but an elderly lady thought we were thugs beating someone up and shouted that she had called the police. We then heard a police siren, (which turned out to be a random police car going by) and we all, as we say in the UK, legged it!

I found myself running down a main street, in my weird attire, wondering what the hell I was doing with my life, only 6 months prior I was an art director at a very well-known large company, now I’m running down a street looking like a complete crazy guy lol!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

We are just starting pre-production for a new movie that I am the titular lead in, called “Apocalypse Andy”, shooting early next year. I will also be art-directing the movie, working on the look for sets, locations, characters and creatures, this is a great script and I can’t wait until we shoot!

I also have a movie called “Attack of the Unknown”, directed by Brandon Slagle and from Mahal Empire, coming out this month on the 28th (August), starring Tara Reid, Richard Grieco and Richard LaSardo, I actually played two roles in this, one a human character, another a creature as I love creature performance, was a ton of fun working on this!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Film and Television content is about telling stories, and those stories are about us, as humans, all over the world, in various genres of storytelling and by not having complete diversity we are limiting the range of stories we tell, the more diversity, the more color and interesting angles on those stories.

Representing people of every race, religion and background in those stories also represent young people who look to film and TV to inspire them as they grow up, seeing incredible stories featuring people that they can relate to, helps them to realize that everything is possible and they can find role models in those characters.

Also by having more diversity, I believe it can bring us all together, seeing people that are from different background, races etc on TV and Film all the time, helps us to feel more connected, seeing their stories, feeling what they feel, and as almost everyone on this planet watches that content, it can only bring the world together in my opinion.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

One would be that although everyone says that this is a very difficult career to find success, honestly if you work hard and keep positive, it really doesn’t feel that hard. Yes, you probably book only 5% of jobs and the money isn’t great when you’re still working towards those bigger jobs, but it is so rewarding if performing is what you live for.

The next one is related, don’t rely on acting for money, work hard to earn money outside of acting, it takes the pressure and worry away and also you are more attractive in an audition if you aren’t there for the money, but for the love of portraying the character for their film, it makes a tremendous difference!

Network, network, network, do everything you can to stay busy and meet people in the biz, never try to filter out opportunities (unless they have a negative vibe about them), if you meet a casting director, ask if they ever need someone to be the reader in their next round of auditions, you get to bond with them and you might just get called in to audition later on!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

You have to realize that when you are not cast, it’s hardly ever your fault, never feel down that you didn’t book it, it just wasn’t what they were looking for. Often they have a look or type they are thinking of, but they also bring in other people to see if something else inspires them, it’s just about keeping on auditioning, keep working and things will build up and you’ll continue to move forward, but the biggest thing is, just have fun, enjoy the journey!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

For me, it’s about removing racism from our world, again by what I said before about diversity in film and TV bringing people together, lessening the feeling that people different to us are not understood or accepted, will, in my mind, help to reduce and ultimately remove racism, we are in this world together, facing very similar problems, more positivity, acceptance and love is needed in this world, especially in recent times.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

When I first moved to Los Angeles in 2011, I started out by doing some extra work, to see how sets were out here and meet people. One job, they asked me to change into some other clothes, when I came out after only changing for 2 minutes, everyone had left base camp to go to set! I asked a PA, and they told me not to worry and to stay put.

When they came back, a PA asked if anyone hadn’t been on camera yet, so I put my hand up. The PA asked me if I had a suit with me, as a role hadn’t been cast and they felt they needed it. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring one, as the extra role I came for didn’t require a suit. But a super nice guy also working as an extra offered me his, I told him he should do it, but he insisted as he’d already been used.

This eventually led to me being cast with lines for the sequel as I had posted the trailer for the first film. I still today am very grateful for the actor who leaned me his suit, and I plan on casting him in one of our upcoming films as a way to thank him.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have several, but one of mine is “We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” from Walt Disney. This is so me, I am always curious about things, always looking for things to move me forward and inspire me.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to meet Anthony Hopkins one day, he is one of the best actors not just in the world, but in history. His performances in movies like Silence of the Lambs, Nixon and The Lion In Winter, are just incredible, he is so inspiring and has so much range and talent, mesmerizing to watch.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @scottbutleract.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Thank you so much, and thank you for the interview!

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