In a recent episode of the podcast Girl with the Camera, Nicole Ven had an engaging conversation with British actor Matthew Leitch, known for his role as Floyd Talbert in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. The discussion delved into Leitch’s experiences during filming, his career trajectory, and his advice for aspiring actors and directors.
How did Matthew Leitch Land the Role in Band of Brothers?
Leitch began by sharing the story of how he landed his role in Band of Brothers. He was initially cast in a different film, but when the lead actor dropped out, Leitch was called in a day before the movie started. This experience led him to audition for Band of Brothers, where he initially read for a different character. After several auditions and script changes, he was finally cast as Floyd Talbert.
“I auditioned for episode one for a part called Dietrich… and then they were like oh no read for this and then own a read for that and then come back tomorrow for this. I got the script and then they said you want to come back tomorrow and I was like no, I’m not going back tomorrow. I will come back today and I’m not leaving here without something,” Leitch recalled.
The Filming Experience
Leitch described the filming process as far from glamorous. Whether standing in a field with Tom Hardy or someone else, the experience was the same – cold and waiting to say something. Despite this, he found the experience exciting and rewarding, particularly because of the attention to detail from the crew.
He also gave us a glimpse into the filming process, “Filming is the least glamorous job imaginable… you’re just stood in a field cold waiting to say something. The costume guys knew your character well, your real guy. They’re just the biggest nerds. They knew pictures, movies, letters, and everything,” Leitch said.
The Impact of Band of Brothers
When asked about his reaction to the series’ success, Leitch admitted that he had no idea of the scope of the project while filming. It was only after the series aired and he saw himself on a billboard in Los Angeles that the impact of “Band of Brothers” truly hit him.
“It was pretty mind-blowing. Yeah, it’s weird. I always get said like what am I doing? What am I doing there?” Leitch said.
The legacy continues with We Happy Few 506
Post “Band of Brothers,” Leitch has continued his acting career, including a brief appearance in “The Dark Knight.” He also created We happy few 506 cast reunions which are happening online with the cast of “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” where they discuss different episodes and share behind-the-scenes stories. Matthew also organises Battlefield tours in the steps of Band of Brothers across Europe.
“I’ve found myself organizing that… it’s really cool stuff… you can go back and watch all the episodes together. It’s great because it’s me hosting it, everybody’s a bit loose. There’s lots of swearing, there’s lots of funny stories and that kind of stuff,” Leitch said about the online events.
Advice for Aspiring Actors and Directors
Leitch offered some advice for aspiring actors and directors. For directors, he emphasized the importance of understanding the writer’s vision and keeping the actor focused on that. For actors, he advised them to stay in the ring and not worry about what others are doing.
“Stay in the ring and the other great piece of advice I can give is stay solvent… don’t make acting especially in the early years about trying to get that job to get money because that’s what will destroy you. What’s great about what’s going on at the moment with television is that there’s a very broad spectrum of casting. People are looking for good actors,” Leitch said.
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