A recent interview with the talented and humble actor from France- Frederik Hamel!
Please introduce yourself to the readers:
Hi, my name is Frederik Hamel. I am an actor in Los Angeles and came from France after graduating high school with honors for a one year exchange program. I felt like I needed a little time to truly find out what I wanted to do next. I needed to do a little bit of soul searching in other words. I knew I wanted to try theater while I was here, so I did, and after just one month into my first drama class I decided to trade a path in medical studies for a major in Theater Arts. Although I am deeply passionate about what I do, I find time to get my mind off it. My very favorite past time is watching "The Game" and having a beer."The Game" can be a Lakers game, a Dodgers game, but first and foremost an Olympique de Marseille match. My number one soccer team back home. I love nature above anything. I come from the countryside in the South of France, a very small town called Lussas, where nature really impresses its unmistakable beauty upon you. I also tap dance when I find time. It is another passion of mine that I hope to include in my career path somewhere.
How and when did you first get into performing?
My first performances were probably the little lies I told my parents when I needed to get out of trouble as a kid. Nothing too major, I was a good kid, but you know "who scratched the car" type stuff. I also would always find myself headlining little sketch shows whether at camp or with some buddies. My first love for performance came from enjoying hearing people laugh, I think. Especially my mom. What a treat to make her laugh!
Who were some of your biggest inspirations?
I would watch Charlie Chaplin movies over and over as a kid. Just a true master. His ability to find humor in tragedy without any spoken word was incredible. I would be glued to the TV, Michael Jackson was another. Every ounce of his body was completely committed to performance, creation and expression. His life as an entertainer and his loss, I find, put a mirror up to today's world where we probably value fame and success too much. Contradictory, I know, here I am in Hollywood.
What kind have training have you done?
I earned a Bachelors in Theater from California Lutheran University and a Master in Theater Arts and Dance from Cal State University L.A. But for me, my training really took shape outside of school in the professional world. I am constantly learning. Every role is not only a chance to do what I love, but also to learn from a director, a fellow actor, a lighting guy, a situation. I'm very observant and I pay attention to detail in the hope to improve and perhaps some day attain a level of excellence inspired by the masters.
What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
I really enjoyed working on Ten Minutes written and produced by Tony Motzenbacker and directed by Jim Westrick. My co-star in the film is a very well known Portuguese actress called Leonor Seixas. It was one of those times when I paid careful attention to what she did on set. She's fantastic. And I played Donald, a seemingly successful guy yet quite the loner type. He is so deeply infatuated with Leonor's character, a prostitute, and so troubled by the effect that infatuation has on him, that he seems incapable to act upon it. Well, she makes it pretty hard too by being a "professional." The conflict is kinda built around him trying to break her defenses down although he is himself rather introverted.
What projects do you have coming up?
Well, I have been working with LA REELS playing lead roles in several short films for them and they brought me in to play the lead antagonist in the pilot for Kode Orange, an exciting web-series. I must have made a good impression because my character, Randolph, who was supposed to die in the pilot will now be written into the whole season and hopefully beyond as we have investors looking closely at us. LA REELS also has a slate of projects for next year, including a couple of feature films, and they're counting on me to play some pretty great roles. I'll try not to disappoint them. I'm also playing a lead role in a much touted Motion Capture video game for Playstation 4, which will come out at the end of 2014. It's a huge deal and It's been exciting work with an amazing cast, but I am sworn to secrecy so I can't say much more about it. Finally, I'm blessed to have signed a 4 picture deal with Tigertail films- which is crazy, because I auditioned for them several months ago and didn't hear back from them at first. But then I got a call from Paloma Felisberto, the producer there, to say please come in and audition for this other project entitled "Die at Gunfight" and...bam... I'm on board to play 4 major roles with them.
Who would be your ideal co-star and why?
Right now maybe Judy Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Javier Bardem, or even Joaquin Phoenix. I just want to watch and learn.
What are your plans for the future?
Ooh I hate to repeat myself, but continuing on a path of observation and soaking everything in. When things settle down I wanna travel again. Traveling is so good for the soul. And eventually maybe, you know, wife and kids, little doggy...who knows.
What is your advice to other aspiring artists?
Keep at it. Be persistent.