|Destroying a set in a sword
fight during the filming of Going Wrong will remain one of the most memorable
moments of actor James Callis' career to date.
"It was exhilarating and exciting," says James of the duel, in which his character, Guy, fights with love rival William (played by Rick Warden). "Of course it's fun smashing up a room. We had lessons and the filming was done very slowly, bit by bit. But we still managed to destroy the set. Even things not in the set, like light bulbs!"
James confesses that at first he found the part of Guy rather daunting: "It was the first time I'd played someone so intense, and it was really new to me. Through the auditions and casting process, all I could think about was that I had to get the part. Now, having done it, I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity, particularly as there was such a good feeling of camaraderie on the set.
"Guy is in love with someone and that's all that matters to him. He has already made a plan to spend the rest of his life with Leonora and can't see why that plan should change."
James grew up in London and went to Harrow. He went on to study English and Related Literatures at York University, before going to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). His first job as an actor was playing a policeman who had to flirt with Minnie Driver in Murder Most Horrid. He was then cast as Major Forrester in the sixth series of Soldier, Soldier, in which he was "stuck in a mine trying to win the war single handedly while all the rest of the cast were off on some exotic location!"
More recently, James had been seen in A Dance To The Music Of Time as Miranda Richardson's young lover, and as the guest lead in the first episode of Heat Of The Sun, with Trevor Eve. For that he got his exotic location - in Zimbabwe.
On the stage James received high acclaim for playing alongside Bob Hoskins in Old Wicked Songs, directed by Elijah Moshinsky, and he is currently preparing to appear at the Almeida Theatre in The Doctor's Dilemma.
But even with such success as an actor, James is unsure of his career path. He "believes in trying everything" and also writes and directs.
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