Read on for the article below.
Harry Melling shot to fame playing Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter film franchise. However, he has since carved out an impressive stage career, which includes taking his self-penned one-man show, Peddling, from HighTide Festival to New York. He is currently appearing in the touring production of James Graham’s The Angry Brigade
Tell me about your role in The Angry Brigade.
I play lots of different people, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s something that terrified me because I liked the idea of hanging on to one person and making sure that story is charted throughout. If you’re playing lots of different people, you’re juggling a lot of different balls. Sometimes, I feel that when you watch that style of acting, you see the skill of the actor as opposed to the character, so in that respect it’s a very interesting challenge to try to make each character as defined as the others.
You’ve also written your own one-man show. Is writing something you’ve always wanted to do?
I just knew that I had to write this story. It wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to be a writer, but I knew I had to try to tell the story of this kid I met when I was very young. But from that experience I’ve got another idea that I want to do, so it’s just a question of finding the time. It’s something that a lot of my actor friends are doing, and it’s a welcome change of pace. Having that power is the crucial thing. It’s completely yours, and you can make the choices you want because you’re the person at the helm. It’s a very different responsibility to acting, which I like.
Coming from an acting family, did it feel inevitable you would do this?
I grew up watching theatre – that was the thing I loved and I knew I wanted to do it. I got into it very young, and because I’d been introduced to it at such an early age, I kind of latched on to it. I’ve been very lucky really in having access to it so young. I’d like to think that had I not been within the same family that I’d still find it, but who knows?
Has doing film work as a child actor influenced the way you work now?
It influenced me in terms of watching older people be on set. It confirmed it was something I wanted to do, but it must have influenced me in other ways I can’t tell you how or why. But I always felt very comfortable on stage, and when I was at drama school there was a heavy emphasis on stagecraft, which has been really useful for me.
What made you undertake formal training?
I really wanted to bridge that gap between being a child actor and an actor. I’m not saying drama school is always the way to do that, but it made sense for me. I always wanted to be as good as I could be, and I think drama school teaches you how to fall on your arse, which is exactly what I needed.
You can read the full interview on The Stage site here.
If you haven’t had a chance to catch James Graham’s blazing new play, THE ANGRY BRIGADE kicks off at Watford Palace Theatre from tomorrow, Tuesday 21 October until Saturday 25 October 2014.
(£5 tickets for under 25s available here).
Join in the conversation online: