Simon Haycock takes the lead role in a new sci-fi feature film “Kaleidoscope Man”, starring alongside British music and film legend, Toyah Willcox. Following a hugely successful crowd-funding and investment campaign, a special advance screening of “Kaleidoscope Man” is set for 26th January 2019 at the IMAX Cinema in Birmingham.
Prior to this project, Simon appeared in several other significant projects, including the short comedy drama “Last Respects”, which screens on Sky (channel 212) and will shortly be shown on Amazon Prime.
In an exclusive interview opportunity, Simon spoke about his exciting film and TV projects; revealed his best projects such as “Last Respects” and “Wasp” and most importantly, he told us more about the leading role he plays in the new sci-fi spectacular, ‘Kaleidoscope Man’.
Simon, can you tell us about your acting beginnings?
Turning 30 was a life altering shift for me – I discovered it took ’til then to do what I was meant to do all along.
“My foray into the entertainment world came to me in the form of the theatre, when a friend asked me to audition for a play: doing that show got me hooked on acting. I moonlighted with improv and acting classes for about a year after that, before I realised acting was what I needed to do full-time. “
It wasn’t long before I quit my day job to go to drama school. I’ve been an actor ever since.
What are your best projects to date?
It’s been fun reflecting on this because every project I’ve worked on has been unique. One of the best things about this industry is that you get to collaborate with people you love & whose work you respect, in some incredible places. My favourite projects have been “Last Respects”, “Kaleidoscope Man” and “Wasp”. We shot “Last Respects” in the autumn in the highlands of Scotland and we had a blast making it. It’s a dark comedy about two brothers who hate each other, who have to deliver a bottle of whisky to their late father’s grave. “Kaleidoscope Man” is an epic sci-fi movie, set during an alien invasion of earth. We shot a lot of that in a green screen studio – I love working on green screen as you have to imagine so much of what’s eventually going to be added later as visual effects. “Wasp” was again a different film, about a gay couple – Olivier and James – whose romantic vacation is interrupted by the sudden arrival of an old friend – Caroline. We shot it a few years ago in the south of France, in a stunning vacation home overlooking the fields of Provence, and it was my first feature film. I have some great memories from that shoot. I also recently started getting into producing.
“The music documentary I produced with Phil and Rupert Sansom definitely has to make my list of best projects too – ‘My View: Clem Burke’, about Blondie’s iconic drummer. which aired on Sky Arts this autumn.”
Shooting that took us on the road with Blondie, culminating in shows at Hyde Park and Brixton Academy – it was a pretty special experience.
Can you tell us about your leading role in feature film “Kaleidoscope Man”?
My character Tom Dunn is a doctor at a psychiatric institution who has been struggling with depression following the recent death of his daughter. In a lot of ways he feels stuck in his life and has lost hope. He finds out that his wife is pregnant again, but that morning he shares a terrible vision with several of his patients about an impending attack on earth. Shortly after, aliens arrive and take Tom hostage with three of his patients. Tom then has to reach deep in himself to become the hero and the leader he’d dreamed of being as a child. The project has been more than six years in the making and was in development for many more before that. It’s the brainchild of writer/director Simon Cox, who is one of the most inspiring people I’ve worked with.
My involvement started back in 2014 and we shot mostly around Birmingham and in Lanzarote. I finished the last of my work on the film in October – so nearly 4 years elapsed on that one! It’s great to see that the film is finally finished and that people will get to see in in 2019.
How did acting change your life?
It’s definitely given me the creativity I knew I needed, but more than that it’s taken me from the confines of an office job to so many places around the world and given me the opportunity to work on some amazing and very diverse projects. It’s a much less predictable life than the one I led before, but I think that makes it really exciting and challenging: you have to be prepared for anything and be able to change your plans at a moment’s notice.
“Being an actor challenges you to be emotionally open and vulnerable in every aspect of your life and I’d say my relationships are much deeper as a result which is something I’m very grateful for.”
Paradoxically though, you have to teach yourself to be very resilient to deal with the regular ’no’s that happen along the way.
Do you have any interesting Film or TV projects coming up?
I recently shot an episode of a TV series in Canada called “Disasters at Sea”, recreating the deadly fire that took place on a ferry called the Norman Atlantic off the coast of Greece. I’m also currently voicing a lead character in a video game but that’s under wraps so I can’t say much about it right now!
Photo credit: Philip Sansom