SHUFFLE UP AND DIE: A Conversation with Steve Aaron-Sipple for CARD DEAD
Steve Aaron-Sipple is a London based actor with an array of impressive credits to his name, along with some exciting projects in the pipeline. Steve started his career in film and TV after graduated from the International School of Screen Acting located in the heart of the prestigious 3 Mills studios in East London. He is known for starring in One Direction’s last music video (before splitting) which has been viewed more than 200 million times on YouTube, appearing on an episode of BBC’s Cuckoo alongside Andie MacDowell & Greg Davies, and being part of the award winning web series Horizon directed by the brilliant Simon Pearce and Paul Dudbridge.
In our interview, Steve tells The Fan Carpet’s Marc Jason Ali about how he got into acting, his exciting upcoming projects, , heading over to LA to crack Hollywood and the impact Netflix is having on Cinema…
If we go back to the beginning, was there a defining moment for you to get into the Film Industry?
I’ve always loved acting from a young age, performing in school plays, joining drama clubs, choosing the performing arts class in high school, but at 16 I got convinced that it wasn’t a viable career path and should get a “proper” job, which I naively did, I bounced around in different jobs for the better part of a decade before I had my eureka moment, I was 24 working at a university and one of the film students asked me to be in their final year project, I hadn’t acted in a few years so was very nervous but as soon as I started it re-ignited all the passion I had for acting growing up, filled up that void I had created since leaving school. So I started applying for film schools as I knew it was film and TV that I wanted to pursue, got accepted to a small screen acting school at 3 Mill studios in Bow, quit my job and have since been trying to earn my keep as a working actor.
You’ve got a fair few projects coming up, what are you allowed to tell us about working on them and where your characters fits into the respective stories?
Sure, I start filming an independent feature next month called “Card Dead”. Its shooting in the south west of England, and it’s about a criminally organised Poker game wrapped in revenge. I play a character called ‘Billy Seage’ a professional Gambler, really confident, arrogant, thinks he is god’s gift, so he has been a fun character to create. The film is the sequel to the Directors (Tim Thorne) first Film called ‘Killing Lionel’ which has just partnered up with a Las Vegas Producer to gain worldwide Distribution with the hope of ‘Card Dead’ following in its footsteps.
I’ve also just finished a really great short film called ‘One Way Glass’. Its followings the journey of a young Pakistani women, trying to deal with her feelings about her marriage, her work, her temptations. I play ‘Tom’ a character that I think kind of represents the liberal country that she has chosen to live in. The films themes about religion, infidelity, sexuality are all very current and also very out there, I don’t think it has been seen much before so I’m excited to hear people’s reactions to the film.
You’ve had TV guest spots over the years, is TV an avenue that you want to stay in?
Absolutely, TV I feel has grown so much over the last decade, it has made unknown actors into superstars overnight, and some of the most interesting stories and characters have been shown through Tv shows. I don’t think I know an actor that wouldn’t have loved to have been in shows like game of thrones, walking dead or breaking bad. I’m actually heading over to LA next year for pilot season, hoping that I get lucky and cast in the next big thing, fingers crossed!
What is your preferred genre, and do you have any favourite films?
I’m a bit of a comic book nut, I grew up in the 90’s when comics, and cartoons based on the comics were all the rage so to see them come to the big screen, and to TV is like a dream for me, so I guess the superhero genre is my favourite, but I couldn’t pick a favourite from them I don’t think. I also love all the mafia and gangster films of the 90’s, I was definitely too young to be watching them, but I would have to say that ‘Goodfellas’ is up there as one of my favourite movies.
Are there any other aspects of the Film Industry that you would like to pursue?
I tried my hand at writing between waiting for the phone to ring, which I do enjoy, but I struggle to write dialogue for my characters, I feel I can write a great story and treatment for a film but when it comes to writing the screenplay I start thinking too much and I end up hating it! I would much rather hand my ideas to a professional writer who would do a much better job at putting pen to page so to speak.
You have an eclectic range of credits, are there any genres that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to?
Comedy, I would love to do more comedy. Its so hard to get right but when you do the feeling of making someone laugh is amazing, making someone feel anything is kind of why you become an actor, but for me the thought of someone smiling and laughing because of my performance would be absolutely amazing, and is what I’m striving towards.
You’ve worked with a great crop of talent; do you have a wish list of who you’d like to work with?
Oh yeah, literally so many actors I would love to work with. The person I think I would love to work with the most at the minute is Tom Hardy, I love watching him work, his performances feel so real, you see his characters thought process not just listening to their words and I feel that working with someone of his calibre would bring the best out in my performance as well.
Who inspires you within the industry?
I don’t think I have one person that inspires me in the industry, I have loads. Peoples work definitely inspire me creatively, it makes me want to go and make equally captivating characters, and be part of equally amazing stories, but I always love watching interviews and chat shows of actors, find out who they are as people and what drives them, I think it makes them more relatable to everyone, its easy to forgot that some of these superstars are normal people, they have to deal with the struggles of day to day life the same as everyone else, knowing everyone journeys are different is what inspires me the most, to never stop chasing what I want out of life.
Fandoms are a big part of the industry, who or what are you a fan of?
I’m part of the Marvel Fan base, I love those films, the universe they created is amazing. I know the source material has been there for decades, but to translate it to film and create individual stories for characters around a huge plot that ties in over 20’s films I think is incredible. It is a dream of mine to somehow be a part of that universe one day, to play a character in the marvel universe.
Is there a book that you are a fan of that hasn’t been adapted to film or TV or Netflix yet that you’d love to be a part of?
I love books based on true stories, stories mainly about tragedy and hardship, people facing adversity, I think it makes for brilliant reading as there is an element of amazement that this story actually happened to someone, you then relate it to yourself and how would you cope in that situation. I remember reading a book called ‘Damage Done’ about an Australian man who got sent to prison in Bangkok for trafficking drugs, and the torturous things he had to endure for 12 years. I think true stories if done right translate so well to screen, sometimes true-life drama is much more interesting and entertaining than fiction.
With the emergence of streaming services like Netflix, what do you think the future of Cinema is?
I think cinema is safe and always will be. Netflix is amazing and has some amazing original shows/movies, ‘stranger things’ being one of them, it’s incredible. I think streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have made people fall back in love with TV and film, it’s so convenient now to sit down in the comfort of your own home, put on a great show and binge, I do it all the time, and I think that because people are watching more shows and films it makes going to the cinema for the latest release more appealing, so for me they go hand in hand, I know I will never lose the excitement of going to see a new film at the cinema, although paying a small fortune for a drink and popcorn sometimes leaves a sour taste in the mouth.