Award-winning actor Jack Loy talks about growing up in Birmingham and appearing in Wolverhampton.
As a cast member of the musical version of classic film The Bodyguard, Jack Loy has some big shoes to fill. Just as well, then, that he’s 6’4″ and before his acting career took off he worked amongst other things, as a night club doorman. Whatever he might say, we weren’t going to argue with him.
You’re currently in the middle of a long tour. Are you still enjoying it?
“It’s going fantastically well, full house in all the venues. I’m getting to see so many different cities, which is great. We’re going to Japan in September, and I can’t wait for that. Six weeks , coinciding with the Rugby World Cup there. It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to see.
“We’ve got a real unity within the cast. We’ve been all over and now we’re in my neck of the woods.”
You grew up around Rubery and Longbridge and before going to drama school you worked in an office in town so presumably a lot of people you know will be going along. Is it harder to play to them?
“I’ve had friends and family in the audience. My sister and niece are over from Australia and they’ll be at the show. You have that awareness that they’re out there and it does focus you, then when you’re taking a bow at the end you’re looking for them and that’s when you can breathe out and know that saw the show and nothing went wrong.”
You first came to note with the film Beautiful in the Morning, which won you Best UK Actor at the London International Motion Pictures Awards.
“The win was fantastic. I committed a huge amount of energy to that film, I did a lot of work getting the role. he was a very complex character with a lot of barriers to break down connected to his family. It’s quite a feminist work, about younger daughters and their experiences, a mother estranged from her family, there’s all these entanglements.
“It was interesting to play because even though he’s the bad guy he’s also human and you have to see where he’s coming from, understand the actions he’s doing.
“I’ve got another film that came out last Christmas called King of Crime, with Mark Wingett who was in The Bill and Claire King from Corrie and Emmerdale, I’ve just shot a horror film that’d in post-production now. And we’ll wait and see what’s in store.”
Talking of the big and experienced names you’ve worked with, coming into acting late as you have done, do you ever get a sense that you don’t belong in such company and that they’ll look at you as an impostor?
“Not at all. Interesting with Mark, I used to watch him as a kid, we’d watch about ten minutes of The Bill before bedtime and I remembered his face so vividly. It was surreal, sharing a camera with him. People like that are very down to earth, very gracious. They’re always very complimentary to me and very accepting of my involvement.
“But the one thing about having come in to acting after having done an outside job is that I know exactly what I want. You have that life experience, while at drama school people younger than me weren’t all that certain of the path they wanted to take but meanwhile I was working evenings doing door work to pay the bills. ”
“It makes you more braced for what’s coming at you. You’re prepared to put the work in and you have a more realistic view that the industry isn’t just about the bright lights, there’s something a lot deeper. I’d like to work in the States, just to have the opportunity to have access to that market but I’ve already worked around the world although in a run like the current one it’s good to know you have a wage at the end of the week.
“Working in an office gives you job security and means yo can pay the bills but I’m low maintenance. I’m prepared to take that gamble and so far things are going really well”
Jack Loy is appearing in The Bodyguard at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until 6th July. Tickets