INTERVIEW

Jason Allen plays the role of Sanders in HORIZON.

Jason Allen – Answer our questions!

Jason Allen is a relative newcomer to the world of film, having made his acting debut in July 2010, playing Eastern European villain 'Radjovek' in Rhys Hayward's thriller 'Heavy Duty'.

In February 2012, Jason took on the co-lead role of 'Stan' in 'Laughter Is The Best Medicine', directed by Rosie Johnson: "It was a total change to play a 'good guy'. I discovered the basic concept of method acting, utilized some recent life trauma, and together we made a great short film, one that received a good deal of critical acclaim. I'm very proud of it."

Having cut his rookie acting teeth, Jason went on to appear in several music videos and short films, including: 'Broken' and 'Intruder', both directed by Simon Pearce, and Nancy's 'Over Again' promo video, directed by Paul Dudbridge.

Having spent 18 months concentrating on music-related activities, Jason was tempted out of 'retirement' in December 2013 by Paul Dudbridge to make an appearance in Frank Bastow's 'Don't Be A Cant' music video: "We had a fantastic two days filming with Frank. It whet my appetite for film once again. They even managed to get me dancing, which doesn't happen too often!"

How did you get the part in the show?
After working with Paul on the music video those few months before, he asked if I'd be interested in playing 'Sanders' and I knew straight away that I wanted to be involved. They sent the scripts to me, I read them front to back, all ten episodes in one sitting. There were guns, explosions, spaceships, stunts, and a huge amount of VFX. I would've been utterly mad to say 'no' to that!"

With filming scheduled for early January 2014, preparation had to be thorough and fast. "I had a lot of lines to learn - more than every other project combined - so I dropped everything else and spent a solid three weeks with the scripts. I also did a lot of research into the medical aspects of the character. I took it very seriously."

'Horizon' was undoubtedly the biggest production I had been involved with: "It was a fantastic experience. I already knew a lot of the cast and crew, and the new faces I met on set were wonderful to work with. It felt like we were a family. Everyone gave their all to the project, no half-measures. That's the only way to create a quality piece of work like 'Horizon'."

Any highlights from the shooting of the show? Things you haven’t done before etc?
It was great to finally 'fire' a weapon, though it proved to be difficult to do so without making a gun firing noise with my mouth. That'll teach me to play 'war' in the playground at primary school.

I've been 'killed' on film several times, so to actually 'kill' someone made a welcome change.

The final day of shooting at the farm in Pilton was a very memorable day. To have most of the cast and crew together in such a wonderful place on a sunny winters day was marvellous.

What was the hardest part of working on the show? Lots of lines, working with VFX, action stuff? The filming of episodes 6 and 8 on the same day was a test of everyone's stamina. Episode 8 was very physical, lots of running and stair climbing. The gantry scene was particularly hard due to me not being a great fan of heights.

I took a tumble early on in the day whilst running, so I wasn't feeling 100% when we shot episode 6. I did, however, get to eat my fair share of Jaffa Cakes thanks to Producer Layan calling for sugar after I bashed my head/knee/shoulder.

Regarding the craft of acting, what did you learn about or what might you do differently?
I definitely learnt that as an actor facing a long day of filming, you have to pace yourself, especially if you have to deliver a lot of lines later in the day.

It's also a good idea to spend a few weeks prior to shooting getting yourself physically in shape, even if you're relatively fit and healthy.

I gained a lot of knowledge from Paul (Director) during rehearsals for episode 6. I think it's important to listen well and take as much advice as possible.

Finally, what would you do if the events of the show really happened?!
I think I'd do exactly what the characters did; leave town, find a bolt hole in some remote place in the countryside. Prior to that, I'd take a lot of photos of the space ship and flood my Instagram account with them, just in case it turned out to be a complicated dream.

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