Once upon a time, it was possible for actors to have ongoing contracts with one of the film studios, but those days are way long gone. So, today, if you say you’re an actor, it’s a given that you’re also freelance. We caught up with one such actor, who’s also a musician, whose star is on the ascent.
Alexander Newton, 19, comes from London, but he recently moved with his producer dad to Los Angeles. He stars in the film Justice/Vengeance, with the late Roy Scheider, which was released in the US in March and will be coming to UK cinemas in August. Not only does he act in the film, but he’s written the song which plays over the closing credits and his single, Lost in Forever, is out now. He’s also working on an album.
How did he get started? “I got into acting at the age of three, when my parents cast me as presenter in a TV show they were producing. Since then, I’ve been in lots of plays and I’ve had lots of drama teachers. Dad and I moved to LA when we finished filming Justice/Vengeance
“The movie is very diverse: a revenge thriller set in the present and a romantic drama set in the past. My character, young Joseph, suffers the loss of his family and becomes a partisan. His girlfriend, Kashka, played by Sarah Bolger, helps him to survive.”
And what about the music and writing songs? “I pick up new instruments all the time. I play a lot of piano and guitar – drums a bit too. Music comes to me in the most random situations – I'm always prepared to just write it when it comes.
“It's so important to be as skilled as you possibly can,” says Alex on the subject of being an all-rounder and the importance of having a wide skills base. “It's the skills of a generation that define a nation. Every building on the street, car on the road, lamppost, T-shirt, cell phone – all came from somebody having a skill.”
NYLON put Alex on its list of 55 Faces of the Future and he’s been dubbed “the next Robert Pattinson” by UK Vogue, so is modeling another string he’d add to his freelance bow?
“I love being in front of the camera, experimenting with light…. It's pretty much the same thing as acting. I've had lots of opportunities to model and be represented by big agencies. The right one would get my signature!”