“He’s a bit of a hero of mine,” Teen Wolf Actor Daniel Sharman says of working alongside his idol John Cleese in Albion. Was Sharman intimidated? After all, even the other Pythons admit to being intimidated by Cleese. “It was an absolute pleasure,” Sharman says. “He’s a genius. Him and Ricky Gervais – they’re the pillars of comedy. It’s difficult meeting people you idolise. I just make them do crazy things, silly things you can’t imagine them doing normally.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone being able to make John Cleese do anything, but the task wasn’t beyond Sharman. “I made him play Soccer Physio,” Sharman says simply. “You make them do stupid stuff, otherwise you’ll regret it. I always try to rope people into racing me, ‘cos I know I’ll win. When I’m filming I always try to get the entire set to do an entire race – for the sake of my own ego. I’m by far the fastest man.” If he sounds a bit pleased with himself, relax – Sharman doesn’t appear to take himself seriously. He’s delightful to talk to. Since acting in Stephen Fox’s film The Last Days of Edgar Harding , which was Sharman’s first feature film, he’s been working constantly, appearing in Immortals alongside Henry Cavill and Mickey Rourke.
Fame might look like it has come to him suddenly, but the young UK actor says he’s been working hard for a long time. “I’ve done my time,” he says. “It seems fast but it’s not, not in any way, shape or form. And even if I keep doing this forever, I don’t know if I’ll ever get it right. With everything I do I’m try[ing] to get it right – I’m continually learning. To me it feels slow but I don’t know if I want it to go any faster. Your training is in playing small parts, maybe four lines here or there, until you’re ready to play big parts. It wouldn’t have been good for me as an actor for it to go any faster. If you’re after meteoric success as an actor, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You won’t be learning in the way that you should. You plod along until the next stage.”
Much of Sharman’s dramatic training involves spending several years with the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company. “Theatre is a great place to learn how to act,” he observes.
Does he miss Shakespeare? “Yes. Weirdly enough I was really young when I started with the RSC. Shakespeare to me feels like a second language, one you learn when you’re really young. I have such an affinity for it, I understand it, it’s like your mother-tongue or something. I have nostalgia for it. But I can’t be half-assed about doing Shakespeare I’d have to dedicate myself to it for long periods of time and I can’t do that right now.”
Sharman, who’s currently living in Los Angeles, says he’s never been as excited about going anywhere as he is about coming to Australia. “I want to do some exploring, go to Sydney and Tasmania while I’m there, go to Ayers Rock – do some touristy stuff. I am also going to rub the cricket into as many Australian faces as possible.”
People come up to Sharman at events like Supanova to talk to him about various projects he’s been involved with. “It’s weird,” he says. “They know me from different things. Or they say they’ve watched everything I’ve done.” Besides Teen Wolf, Sharman’s TV profile includes the hit MTV series, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and the CW drama The Originals. He’s been on stage as well, appearing in Off the Main Road. His regular appearances are thanks to being open to different roles. “Michael Caine said ‘say yes to everything’. And seriously, he’s doing all right! The only things I do now are those that challenge me, move me along, where I feel like I’ve got something to say in this arena. Those are the criteria by which I pick what I do. Life’s too short not to do the things that move you.”
To find out the rest of the guest speakers and more information visit: www.supanova.com.au.
Written by Liza Dezfouli
When & Where: Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne – April 15-17