Q&A: Edward Hogg


Hailing from Sheffield, the town that gave birth to Joe Cocker and the Arctic Monkeys, Edward Hogg is a stage actor of repute and a music fanatic. His turns in "Bunny and the Bull" and "White Lightnin' " brought him to casting directors' attention. The actor, who turned 31 earlier this year, has just finished a seven-month stint at the National Theater in a production of "Our Class," written by Polish playwright Tadeusz Slobodzianek and hopes his love of theater and new-found movie popularity will keep him busy in the coming years. Having been in Berlin last year for the screening of "White Lightnin'," Hogg spent time with 2009 Spanish shooting star Veronica Echegui, with whom he starred in "Bunny and the Bull." Hogg talks to The Hollywood Reporter's U.K. bureau chief Stuart Kemp about drinking in Germany, acting onstage and why "Alien" is his favorite movie of all time.

The Hollywood Reporter: Where were you when you found out you had been selected to be a Shooting Star?

Edward Hogg: I was in "Our Class" at the National Theater (in London) when I heard.

THR: Expectations of what it will mean to you or career?

Hogg: I was hanging out with Veronica (Echegui) last year when she was (a Shooting Star) a lot because we were in "Bunny" and I was in Berlin with "White Lightnin'." I don't remember much about it but we drank a lot of beer and it was great fun. I know (being a Shooting Star) has done wonders for her and she's doing lots of good roles in great work. I am looking forward to it.

THR: You're going to star in Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous," which is the German director's return to his native country after more than a decade in Hollywood. What does that feel like?

Hogg: It's a different level from what I have done before. I have auditioned for lots of directors I admire and have grown up watching but this is the first time I got the role for such a well-known director. When I found out (that I got the part), I was very much looking forward to it but then you go through a phase of saying, "Oh my god, can I do this?"

THR: Actors/actresses you admire?

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Hogg: I'm a big fan of James Cagney, probably mostly because my Dad was a fan of his and I grew up in a house watching his movies. I just liked his films. Now when I see them, as an actor, I think he was brilliant before (Marlon) Brando was brilliant. I am a huge fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert de Niro, the ones everyone likes. I think Meryl Streep is brilliant, too.

THR: Is there a part you wished you had played?

Hogg: I would love to have played a part in "Alien." That's my favorite movie of all time. It covers so many genres and does them all the best. Brilliant film.

THR: Directors you would most like to work with?

Hogg: Paul Thomas Anderson is one director I dream of working with. And I like the Coen Brothers' movies. Both Anderson and the Coens write their own stuff and good actors always work with them, so I would like to be a part of that.

THR: Your breakthrough role?

Hogg: I'm really proud of both "Bunny and the Bull" and "White Lightnin'" and really chuffed to have been involved in both of them. I'm a lucky boy. I can't believe my life has changed so much in the last three years and I am now able to do films.

THR: What about Hollywood?

Hogg: I'd like to go over there and work but I am not sure I'd want to go and live there, yet. I love the movies that come out of the U.S. indie scene and there are always good scripts floating around.

THR: The quality of scripts seems a big thing for you.

Hogg: The writing and the director are massive things for me. I don't think you realize that until you've fallen down on bad writing or a director you haven't gelled with.

THR: Can you expand on that?

Hogg: When you've got good writing and are having a good time with the director, things tend to come easier. You find yourself taking more risks as an actor and exposing yourself to more for any director you feel confident in. I would jump through walls for a director I believed in.

THR: Do you prefer theater or film?
Theater is my favorite thing I like doing. Loads of actors say they find acting on camera easier than on stage. For me, it's the other way around. I find it easier to act on stage than on camera.

THR: Soccer wise, Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday?

Hogg: I always say Sheffield United but I don't really follow football. I didn't really go because my Dad didn't. But all my friends support United. My passion is music, I was in a few bands before I got into acting.