Aaron Fontaine describes being an actor as his passion. He sees it as the ability to deceive, make believe and fulfil his dream. He talks in depth of his admiration towards his peers, working with Angie Le Mar, his own aspirations and how he plans to use the talents he has been blessed with when the camera is on, as well as when the curtains come down.
What inspires you to be as actor?
In particular, people inspire me. Initially, Will Smith, Idris Elba, Aml Ameen and Richard Blackwood inspired me from a young age because I feel like they have broken boundaries for up and coming actors. I have to give props to Richard Blackwood, he’s been like my brother to me and I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today without him. I also find people who are young and are doing well to establish and sustain themselves in the acting industry an inspiration to myself. They make me believe that you can do something when you put your mind to it, as did my brother Lewis Fontaine, may he rest in peace.
In regards to Aml Ameen and Idris Elba as being inspirational actors, what career move made them prominent to you and UK drama?
Aml showed me that you can be on primetime TV, and still be humble, as well as be around your family and friends. At the beginning of the year Aml set himself the objective of acting in a Hollywood movie by the end of the year. He told me he wrote down a plan of which he wanted to achieve and before the half way mark of the year, he’s acting alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard in Red Tails. That’s a perfect example of putting your mind to something and doing it. Elba came from Hackney and started by doing radio shows and DJing, worked hard, and set his focus on acting, now look at him, sky high! All of this just adds to the inspiration I already have for myself, I believe that Idris and Aml are perfect examples of not knowing their success and continuing their drive and ambitions.
How would you differentiate the opportunities for actors in the UK in comparison to opportunities available to those in the US?
I don’t think there is much difference, because the opportunity is always there. I think it depends on how you see the opportunity. Whatever work you put in, is the work you can get out. In this industry you need to make it so that your talent is good enough to take you far in this country and good enough so you can use your talent in another country, like America. I agree that in the UK, the market may be even smaller, and may be suited to a specific audience but you have to adapt to it. Your aim as an actor should be to break out into the market. You also need to be the right person, in the right place at the right time.
Let’s talk Angie LeMar… how did your collaboration come about?
This is exactly what I’m talking about: Being the right person, in the right place at the right time! When I started working at Choice FM for work experience as the assistant producer on her morning show, we became close friends. She then told me about her theatre ideas and I mentioned I was an actor. However she could not just give me the role, I had to prove that I am a good actor. If I wasn’t a good actor then our friendship would have remained, but I wouldn’t have been a part of her show, that’s why I say “The Right Person, in the Right Place at the Right Time”.
Do You Know Where Your Daughter Is…What is this play about?
The play is about a teenage girl who is torn between her good friends and her bad friends. In the middle of this mix up, she likes Dwayne. Now Dwayne, played by myself, is a spitting image of a typical mixed race guy, who thinks he’s too nice and who also thinks he’s ‘road’ but has yet to experienced the real world. The play depicts the relationship between these young people and the problems that can arise when you are not careful of the company that you keep. It also shows how the relationship between a mother and her daughter is affected by the peer pressure of the teenage society.
In regards to the role of Dwayne, do you find that you are always type casted for the lead romantic role or do you feel you are suited for something different?
I get type casted a lot for these similar roles because of the way I look, but seeing as I get type casted a lot, I have to make the most of that opportunity, and do my best in that role. There’s no doubt I could play a dark side of a character, or a good side.
If you were to write a play, what would it be based on?
Ahhh man! To write a play is different from producing a film because you have to be extremely specific…. erm, I would like to try a horror play and see how that works out! Like the Women in Black or something like that! Horror or a deep meaning racial play like ‘Higher Learning’ that would be hot!!!
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR DAUGHTER IS?
Dates: 2 – 5 November and 7 November 2009, 7.30pm
After-show guest Q&A: Tuesday 3 November, 9pm
Ticket prices: Adult: £7.00 / Child: £5.00
Address: The Albany Theatre, 8 Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG
Box Office: 020 8692 4446
Website: www.afridiziak.com/daughters or www.thealbany.org.uk
Words by Simone Byer