Break a Leg?
A Leicestershire actor is making his mark on the British film industry and is now setting his sights on Hollywood.
Coalville's Tom Hopper is carving a place for himself as a television and film actor in London, and is next hoping to take on America.
Twenty-four year-old Tom has most recently played Marcus in the film "Tormented" - a teen horror film set in a school.
The movie follows a character called Mullet who commits suicide after being bullied at school - only to return to haunt his persecutors.
Chris Baxter and Tom Hopper
Listen: Interview with Tom Hopper
BBC Leicester's Chris Baxter spoke to Tom about broken legs, emotional acting and the Tigers...
Tom really enjoyed filming Tormented, despite all the fake blood, and was pleased with the end result:
"I personally don't think it's super scary, it's kind of eerie, it's definitely gory. I like to think of it as a horror comedy rather than just straight horror.
"I think that compared to others things that have been out in recent times, like Hostel and Saw, I think this has a different edge which brings a little bit more fun back to horror, which I like about it."
The movie was filmed at a real school in Birmingham and many of the students were extras.
There are a number of rather cruel characters in the film who predictably meet quite painful ends. Tom's keeping quiet about how Marcus kicks the bucket:
"I have a little bit of a scrap, I'll say that, and I'm not wearing particularly many clothes when I have the scrap - and I end up with a hole somewhere. That's all I'll say."
Tom first got into acting at school where encouragement from his drama teachers resulted in a couple of stints at Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
"I think I found that when I was doing a show on a regular basis and just acting constantly that was when I was at my happiest."
This revelation prompted him to attend a drama school where, after three years, he achieved a degree - something he'd never thought possible.
As well as a few film parts, Tom has appeared in popular television shows including Casualty, Kingdom and Doctors.
After the buzz around Tormented he is now looking to travel out to America this summer to root around for some more film work:
"I think any actor that wants to do films, if they don't want to go to America I personally think that's a silly choice because [...] American has a huge amount of films being made and huge budgets for films, and if you can get inside there it's literally the way to be."
Mum's the Word
For now Tom lives in London, but still supports the Tigers and visits Leicester regularly to see his mum and friends:
"London's so busy, London's manic half the time. When you travel across London it can take two hours to get from one end of London to the other, when it actually takes me two hours to get up to Leicester.
"So it's not actually that big a deal for me to come up to Leicester anymore, it just feels likes I'm going to the other side of London. So it's quite nice to come home."
In fact Tom has been quite reliant on his mother recently after he snapped two bones in his leg and dislocated his ankle whilst trying to long jump at Tormented's wrap party.
"It was the most boring time of my life. My mum was looking after me day-in, day-out - making me lots of cups of tea and looking after my dog at the same time actually.
"Don't break a leg anyone. Do not break a leg. It's really boring."
last updated: 25/06/2009 at 12:00
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