Alexander Dreymon charmed Manila when he came for a short stay to promote the movie “Blood Ransom” with Anne Curtis.
A serious actor who believes in continuously honing his craft, Dreymon showed a congeniality that was endearing.
He expressed surprise at hearing Christmas songs played so early; keen interest at the sights he saw around the city like Intramuros; and the inevitable invitation to eat balut and dinuguan.
I have seen him in “Christopher and His Kind,” where he played a gay rent boy opposite the current Doctor Who, Matt Smith. And on the hit TV series “American Horror Story: Coven,” he played the son of legendary Broadway star Patti Lupone.
This handsome, down-to-earth and intense actor may not be a familiar name here just yet, but he is definitely one to watch out for, as he’s bound to play the lead in what is touted to be TV’s next “Game of Thrones.”
He will star in the upcoming series “The Last Kingdom,” based on Bernard Cornwell’s books, “The Saxon Stories,” and produced by the geniuses behind “Downtown Abbey.”
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
There is no specific moment, I just always knew. I can’t say I got it from my family—my dad is a doctor and my mother worked as a teacher, a psychoanalyst, and she managed a humanitarian organization, so no artists in my immediate surroundings.
Maybe it was in school that you got the inspiration?
No, I didn’t really start acting until after high school. I went to Paris to study acting for three years, then London for another three, and now I work in Los Angeles.
How was it like filming with director Francis dela Torre?
Francis and I have become close friends. He knows how to steer his ship and stay true to his vision but nevertheless is always open to suggestions, and lets me do my thing. He’s great at communicating what he needs, so we’ve established an easy rapport on the set.
What about Anne (Curtis)? What was it like working with her?
When the camera is on she is in the moment, which makes working with her very exciting. And when things go wrong, as they do in production, Anne’s calmness and friendliness remain undeterred. She’s a real pro.
Are you a fan of the vampire genre?
I don’t think one has a choice because it keeps coming back! I’m a big fan of “The Fearless Vampire Killers” by Roman Polanski.
Isn’t it difficult to compete in a movie town like LA?
Of course! But it’s part of the game. You have to start at the bottom, and I prefer it this way. If I got in straight away, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to fight for it. The struggle makes you grow as a person and as an actor; and when I had to work other jobs to pay the bills, I always came out with something that had been worth learning.
Like a marathon
Has there been a role that you really wanted but did not get?
That kind of thing happens a lot, and that’s when it hurts the most because you may already have invested much of yourself in it. But these experiences make you who you are; they make you stronger.
The work you put into an audition is pretty much the same you put in for a part you might get paid millions for. I think I’d get the same pleasure out of doing the work. It’s like running a marathon—you might spend a whole year training, so the day of the race is just a tiny tip of the whole process. You’ve already won when you start running that day.
I am very fortunate to have a strong and loving family and a great circle of friends who support me. This is what makes the difference in low moments.
When you were young, did you ever consider a profession other than being an actor?
My dad took me to see an open-heart surgery once, and after that, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to be a doctor.
There was a time I considered becoming an architect, because I had a friend I looked up to who was like a mentor to me, who is a great architect in San Francisco and who made me fall in love with architecture. But in my heart I knew that my true path was to work in theater and film.
Who are your favorite actors?
Daniel Day Lewis, of course. But among the young generation, I admire the work of Tom Hardy and Andrea Riseborough.
How are you preparing yourself for your upcoming TV series, “The Last Kingdom”?
Through doing research into the time period and physical prep, like swordfighting and horseback riding.
What are the highlights of your visit to the Philippines?
We went out of the city, to Taal, which was gorgeous. I would love to spend more time out there. And I very much enjoyed visiting Intramuros and learning about Rizal’s story.
What did you love most about the country?
The kindness of the people, for sure. I would love to meet more people in the countryside, because in Europe and in the States the people in the countryside are always kinder and more laidback than the ones living in the big cities, where they have to deal with stress.
Here, the people in the city are already overwhelmingly welcoming and nice, so I can only imagine what it’s like in the countryside.
“Blood Ransom” will open in the Philippines on Oct. 29 and in North America on Oct. 31.