DA MAN talks with up-and-coming Australian actor Alex Fitzalan about acting and his latest role in hit TV Show “The Society.”
This is only the beginning for Alex Hunter Fitzalan. Like many actors before him, he started with a small role in a film before moving on to play bigger characters. His first role was as Tom in “Slender Man,” a 2018 American supernatural horror film. Prior to that, Fitzalan appeared in a few TV movies and short films. Of course, trying to establish a career while living in another country was not exactly easy. He worked on three pilots and none of them were picked up, until his fourth pilot, which was for “The Society.” Fortunately, he didn’t took the easy way of moving back to Australia (where he was born) even with all the roadblocks thrown at him along the way.
“The Society” is a 10-episode dystopian drama on Netflix that follows a group of teen residents of West Ham that must forge their own society to survive when everyone else mysteriously vanishes from their town. The series gained widespread popularity basically overnight.
Fitzalan’s character, Harry Bingham, is that one character you love to hate. Mostly love, however, what with his rugged charm and online presence. Now, as the studios are in talks for season two of “The Society,” Fitzalan shares some insight into his life’s story.
DAMAN: Hi Alex, great to have you with us. So, what keeps you busy these days?
Alex Fitzalan: Well, actually, I’m in Italy right now. I’m loving it. Travelling is something I never have really done before. Every dollar I earned was spent on going to Los Angeles and that got very comfortable, very quickly. So, it’s nice to see the world and experience other cultures that are so different to what I’m used to.
DA: Congratulations on the success of The Society! Can you tell us a bit about your character, Harry Bingham?
AF: Aw, thank you. I think Harry is pretty easy to read. He has pretty major defense mechanisms in place that make him less agreeable than the average person, but I do think he does know right from wrong; he just chooses to ignore that empathetic feeling. He is just so scared to be himself that he drives everyone else away.
DA: Tell us how you landed the role of Harry Bingham…
AF: I auditioned and I felt like I really understood this character and I knew that I could do something special with the material that was provided. So, I went in and showed them what I could do and thankfully the creative team agreed with my opinion!
DA: What would you do if you were trapped in a situation like “The Society” in real life?
AF: I can’t really say what I would do when it first happens, but I think eventually my instincts would (hopefully) kick in and I’d do everything I could do to survive and to create a new community. Make the best of an awful situation. And I’d also try to find a pet dog.
DA: Was there anything particularly memorable from shooting “The Society” that really stuck with you?
AF: Yeah, I think certain moments definitely changed me and shifted my opinion on what filmmaking is. There were scenes with Kristine Froseth and Kathryn Newton that just felt so good to be apart of. Those ladies are incredible to work with.
“My biggest thing right now is that I need to be more patient. I hope I’m much more content to not be in such a rush for an end result”
DA: What was it that drew you into acting in the first place?
AF: I loved improv when I was in school and I loved the idea of doing something creative, especially on your own terms. I loved that it was a challenge to get into and an even bigger challenge to become successful. And if I ever did succeed in this field, I had a suspicion it would be an incredibly fulfilling career. I think I was right. I did grow up in a small rural town and I was bullied when I started high school for wanting to be an actor so I buried that ambition deep inside myself and tried to finish a law degree. Eventually I lost interest in law and ended up pursuing this harder and harder until I had no choice but to dive in.
DA: What usually keeps you busy outside work?
AF: Photography, movies, friends, video games and travel.
DA: What kind of roles would you like to try out in the future?
AF: Anything that interests me. I want to work with people who are creating things that they care deeply about and that mean something to me. I’m a big fan of a collaborative approach.
DA: Who are your personal heroes, people you really look up to in life or those you consider your role models?
AF: My family is a big inspiration to me. They are all so dedicated at whatever it is they put their minds to and whatever happens to them in life. They deal with grief, loss and even happiness with an incredibly leveled head. They all have a very strict and straight moral compass, which has certainly rubbed off on me. I’m a very lucky young man to have these people as my role models.
DA: You mentioned taking up photography before. What was it that made you look into it?
AF: I was on set on my first job and a guy told me to stop taking photos with my digital camera. He said it’s because I could potentially post them anywhere—as if people would actually care if I did? Anyway, for my next project—“Slender Man”—I wanted to keep some memories from the set. So, I bought a film SLR from the 70s, and no one said a thing! Then it was a free fall—I fell in love with taking photos. I love photos that tell a story, and I especially treasure learning on a film camera. You have to take care with each photo, make sure its correctly exposed and I only ever take two photos (MAX) of each moment. I would love to be able to call myself a professional photographer one day.
DA: What’s your favorite object to shoot and why?
AF: The main reason I’m drawn to photography is to capture the memories and moments that I want to be able to recall. So spectacular sunsets are fun to catch because along with the photograph there is always a lovely feeling and moment attached to it—forever!
DA: What is your current camera and what do you love about it?
AF: I have started a collection, actually. I have my old mirrorless digital camera that desperately needs to be retired, a bunch of point and shoots from the 80s, a Nikon SLR, but I think my favorite is my first camera—my Canon AE-1. It’s the one that got me hooked on taking photos.
DA: Do you think that having a solid social media presence is important in your line of work?
AF: To an extent. However, I think it has little to do with the actual work you do on set and that’s all I’m concerned about while working.
DA: What makes you happy?
AF: Feeling fulfilled. It sometimes surprises me what makes me feel fulfilled. I’m currently travelling around Europe for the first time and seeing the beautiful historic buildings overwhelms me with a feeling of complete awe.
DA: Do you read? If you do who is your favorite author and why?
AF: J.K. Rowling. I’m a big fan of firsts and kick started it all for me. I love the Percy Jackson series of books. Just kidding. Love Harry Potter and I know she wrote that.
“My family is a big inspiration to me. They deal with grief, loss and even happiness with an incredibly leveled head”
DA: What are the top three songs that are on your playlist right now and why do you love them?
AF: “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. This one might be self-explanatory, very melancholic song. “Twilight Driving” by Methyl Ethyl. A catchy chorus that makes me feel things. Billie Eilish—love her stuff, it’s really different and unique.
DA: Where do you want to be in 10 years’ time?
AF: My biggest thing right now is that I need to be more patient. I hope I’m much more content to not be in such a rush for an end result.
DA: What is the best advise that anyone has given you?
AF: “Treat others as you would want to be treated” is tied with “Stop. Think. Do.” Two fantastic tips that are simple and probably not applied enough in our everyday lives!
DA: Last question: If you could pick one word to describe your life right now, what would it be?
Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Hair Ted Gibson @starring Salon by Ted Gibson for Tomlinson Management Group
Styling Amir Dobos
Makeup Robert Bryan
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