Born and raised in Perth, Connor got his start in the industry at the age of eight when he began formal acting training after being inspired by his cousin’s performance in a play. Acting quickly became a way for Connor to express himself and to escape into a different world. He quickly gained attention for his natural talent of bringing depth to characters which led to him being scouted and traveling the States as part of an acting tour at the age of twelve. He began to book projects and continued to study his craft in depth throughout his high school years before enrolling at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he received a diploma in Screen Acting.
Connor’s list of credits include several theater roles including “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Bugsy Malone: The Musical” and numerous shorts including “The Little Astronaut,” “All in the Hood,” “Shine Bright” and “No Bus.” He can also be seen as ‘Rex’ in the feature film “3rd Night” and as ‘Tommy’ in the television series “What We See.”
Music became another creative outlet for Connor at a young age and he has since self-taught himself to play the drums, piano and most recently the guitar. He is also an avid gamer and enjoys long distance running. Connor hopes to use his growing platform to advocate for mental health awareness for men.
Connor, how are you? Welcome to OLC! Wow your from Perth, I am also from Perth! So tell me how you got started and what inspired you into acting?
Hi OLC! I’m well, thank you for asking. It’s nice to know someone who first off, even knows what Perth is, but secondly is from there! I guess what sparked my interests into acting was growing up watching film. I always wanted to be like the characters on the screen, particularly Spider-Man. I mean, I still want to be Spider-Man but when my 6 year old dreams were crushed and I realised super powers were out of reach, I played with the idea of being the actor.
It wasn’t however until I was 8 and I saw my cousin in a theatre show that inspired me to start acting. I was enticed in the story and washed with emotions, leaving me with new perspectives, ideas and thoughts. I knew from that night that I wanted to give the same feeling to others. So I enrolled into acting classes with my cousin and I guess that’s where the whole journey began.
So what path did you take to get to this point in your career?
I was doing acting classes once a week at the Ali Roberts Studio for four years, when I was asked to be a part of their U.S Acting Tour. Basically there was 10 of us invited to travel to the states to workshop with LA and NY casting directors, directors, actors, etc. Acting up till this point was merely a hobby for me. I didn’t have any desire to pursue it as a career or wouldn’t have even known what that would look like, I was 12. Whilst in Los Angeles, Ali Roberts introduced me to Bill Perlman and Darci Price (Foundation Media Partners) who they then introduced me to Paradigm Talent Agency, both still my current U.S management team and agent. They were the ones to tell me that if a career was something I desired, it was something I could achieve. Their belief was what motivated me to take my acting a little more seriously.
So, I continued doing classes every week at the studio for the next four years, started auditioning for projects, and even signed with Actors Management International (based in Perth) by Ali Roberts and Peter Gunn. By the time I graduated high school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. Whether to head for the states and shoot my shot or continue my training for a little longer. Ultimately, I chose the latter which was the right choice as the pandemic began a few months later. To continue my studies, I decided to take a diploma in screen acting at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). By the end of it, I had found myself as an artist. I knew what I wanted from a scene and what kind of stories I wanted to tell. However, I also found myself burnout. So many years of acting training had worn me down and I had come to peace with deciding to putting it on hold for a few months. However, that was until shortly after making that decision, the audition for Resident Evil came through. I thought “ah, let’s just do this tape and be done with it”. A couple weeks later, I got a phone call from my team telling me I booked the part. Pretty insane timing, if I do say so myself.
I know someone who’s from Perth who would also love to get into acting, what advice can you give them or even a place they could start?
If you’re starting out, enrol into some classes. Get a feel for it to see if it’s something that interests you, however it’s important to be patient. Acting is incredibly subjective so it may take time to find what “acting” means to you. If you’re confident in your ability, start pitching yourself to agencies with some photos, tapes (of you acting) and a bit about yourself. These are the guys that are gonna get you auditions. Just remember you deserve an agent that is going to work hard for you, don’t let your talent be under-appreciated. Finally, just in terms of the craft itself, the two most important notes I believe I can give is to find yourself and be patient. Find yourself as an actor because that is what is going to make you different to everyone else. Discover what you want in and out of a scene, what stories you want to tell, where you want to go in your career, etc. There are many different methods to acting, just find your method. Once you’re there, now it’s just about being patient. There is very little control in this industry, particularly for actors who haven’t had their ‘“break” so to speak and it’s much harder for Perth actors to get their break. Be confident in your ability and know that your time will come but it may be in 30 years, it could be tomorrow, you just never know. The main thing is to be kind to yourself throughout the journey. Your mental health is more important.
You star in the upcoming series ‘Resident Evil’ debuting on Netflix July 14th I believe? So tell me a bit about the show and who you play?
Yes, the show will be available on Netflix July 14th! I won’t give too much away but the show follows the Resident Evil storyline from the games, set after the events from them. It takes place in two different timelines, one pre-pandemic and one post. It’s an exciting continuation with a new story! I play a teenage boy named Simon who helps his newly found friends on their journey, who are in need of his skills. That’s all I’ll leave you with ahah.
How did you get the audition and was the character of Simon the one you originally auditioned for?
So my agents were the ones to pass on the audition to me and yes, that audition was for Simon.
How much preparation did you put into the role? Have you seen the films or even played the games?
I had very little information on the show and even my character only until a couple weeks before filming because it was quite confidential. Once I discovered it was Resident Evil, I was very excited. I’m a huge fan of the games! Or maybe it’s more appropriate to say my generation of RE games. My first experience was when I played Resident Evil 7 when I was 15. Absolutely loved it and it’s still one of my favourite games. I then played the remakes of 2 and 3, and Resident Evil 8 as they came out. I did go back and play the original Resident Evil (1996) and as much as I enjoyed it, that game hasn’t aged well compared to my generations gaming experience ahaha. But it’s safe to say I’m certainly a fan of the franchise and I’m really looking forward to the Resident Evil 4 remake!
Getting back on topic, having the knowledge from these games gave me so much background information on the story and my role. Having the history behind everything was incredibly beneficial. The most amount of prep that went into Simon though, was his accent. I originally auditioned for the role in an American accent but only a week or so out of filming, production decided on a British accent for the role. I wasn’t trained in one so you could imagine my distress ahaha. However, I worked closely with an accent coach for the week that we had and managed to find Simon’s voice for the show.
What’s been the most memorable moments so far from being on set?
I honestly just remember having so much fun! I was fortunate enough to become really close with my co-stars so I just remember a lot of laughing and encouragement. It made the overall experience very comfortable which enabled me to learn so much as well, because this was my first gig on this sort of scale.
You also did a lot of theater acting, how different or challenging is it to being in front of a camera as opposed to being on stage?
For me, I’ve always put it simply that in theatre you’re performing and in screen you’re behaving. To make any sense of that, in theatre you’re putting on a show for the audience in front of you, performing for them, and in screen there is no audience. You’re performing for no one but yourself and/or the other characters in the scene, which makes it for me more like behaving than performing. Essentially you’re suspending the disbelief so much you’re purely being, imitating life. That’s why I’ve always gravitated towards screen more than theatre because, for me at least, it involves deeper connections.
Theatre however brings such an exhilarating experience that you can’t get from screen. We’re all entertainers at the end of the day and to receive live affirmation from an audience brings so much joy and pleasure. Plus the flow isn’t interrupted. You go through an emotional journey from start to finish and it just makes you feel complete. Film and television doesn’t bring that as you have to do every scene at least a few times if not many. However, screen captures the depth. Those are the stories I want to be a part of.
Where are you based now? And when your off filming what do you miss most about Perth?
I’m actually still based in Perth! Making plans to travel either to Canada or the U.S in the next year or so, but I’m happily still in Perth for now. Which is something I never thought I’d say because I honestly couldn’t wait to leave. I used to think Perth was too quiet and boring, however now having travelled to multiple places around the world, I love it here. I love being so familiar with everything. The most isolated city in the world is now a title I’m proud of ahaha. I guess it’s a bit cheesy but Perth is and always will be my home. Mostly though, my family is here. They’re are easily what I miss most when I’m away, but I always know they’re waiting with welcoming arms for when I come back.
Will there be a season 2 of Resident Evil, and if there is would you love to be back?
I’m actually unsure about a season two. Although, if I was asked to come back I think it would be hard to say no.
If you had the opportunity to working with anyone in Hollywood past or present who would you choose and why?
Tom Hanks has always been my biggest inspiration. I believe he is the king of authentic story telling and I would just love to be able to watch him work and then better yet, have the opportunity to work alongside him. Nothing is better than doing a scene with another actor that inspires you and/or challenges you. I believe Tom Hanks would be one of the best partners in this case.
What’s next for you after this, do you have any upcoming roles you can tell us about?
Honestly, I’m just taking things day by day. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with high-grade members in the industry and get a solid foot in the door. Now it’s just about continuing to build the craft and waiting for the next opportunity to arise. Fortunately, this project has made me realise that for one, I’m capable of doing this, and for two, shown me what the industry is like at that level. I won’t lie, it’s incredibly daunting. However, I’ve learnt now and it’s important to note that you can’t control the ocean, you just gotta ride the wave. That’s what I plan on doing.
Is there anything you’d love to say to all the people in Perth and everyone in OLC! world?
To everyone, just remember to be kind to yourselves. Thank you 🙂