As he shares his life’s journey as an actor, Axel Matthew Thomas showcases his stylistic side as he tries out the key looks from this year’s spring/summer collections
Axel Matthew Thomas has become quite a familiar face in the entertainment industry. After starting his career at a very young age, Thomas has now grown into a bona fide actor. You can tell from how he keeps adding titles of movies and TV series to his ongoing portfolio. As he keeps rising, the 24-year-old star, however, keeps his feet on the ground. It reflects on how approachable he is during our chat on the photoshoot day for Key Looks of spring/summer 2022. “Get to know me first. Sometimes people get the wrong impression about me. I’m actually a people person,” said Thomas. So, here we are. Getting to know more about the young actor and entrepreneur.
DAMAN: Hi, Axel. How are you and what have you been up to?
Axel Matthew Thomas: Lately, I’ve been filming for a movie. I’ve been rehearsing my lines and getting into my character. Besides that, I also have a business which I manage. So, I’m just balancing my time between those things.
DAMAN: Let’s go back a bit and tell us about your journey in acting. How did you start?
Axel Matthew Thomas: I started when I was 14. My father was active in the era of soap opera and I began my career with soap operas. So, I was just trying to follow in his footsteps. But I’m just doing some films right now and producing a bit.
DAMAN: How do you prepare yourself for a role before filming? Any special traditions or preparations?
Axel Matthew Thomas: For me the most important thing is I have to read the whole script. Even the scenes where you don’t have a part in. I need to analyze every scene to learn the story and get into character. For instance, I have this new project where I have a character that is new to me, I take time to process that. I read the script over and over again, and have some alone time. Because having alone time to read the script gives me more space and more energy to absorb what I have to do with the character.
DAMAN: You’ve starred in numerous movies and series. Which one has been the most memorable for you?
Axel Matthew Thomas: It’s the movie that I’m doing currently, “Satria Dewa: Gatotkaca” by director Hanung Bramantyo. The process started when I was studying abroad, in the UK, and my manager told me about the casting and said that I should do it as it is a really good movie. So I did the casting in the UK with the help of my father. It had to be perfect, because I knew the director. I’ve been trying to work with him all these years. I am a big fan of Hanung Bramantyo. So, it is a challenge for me to be cast in the movie to participate in it alongside all those super talented actors. The other thing that makes it is the way they shoot the movie. For example, when I was shooting at the set, the whole perimeter and the whole area had to be cleared out. So then you as an actor, you have more time, more space to do your part and do your best. I have never shot like that in my life.
DAMAN: They say, with every role, you learn something as an actor and maybe something about yourself. What was it that you took with you from your acting experiences?
Axel Matthew Thomas: Lately, I have been given the role to act as the bad guy. It was something new to me. It was hard in some scenes, especially when there was a dialog where I had to shout. For me, shouting is harder than crying. From that experience, I learned that if you are the bad guy, people will criticize you badly. People send me DMs on Instagram DM saying, “can’t believe you did that!” or “you can’t do that!”, things like that.
As an actor, I’m happy to play that role. I learned how to act like a bad guy. Not always a funny guy, a good guy. I try to experience all kind of characters. And I’m happy.
“LIFE IS A PROCESS. YOU CAN’T HAVE SOMETHING INSTANTLY. YOU NEED TO DO IT STEP BY STEP TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. IT’S JUST A MATTER OF WHEN”
DAMAN: And on from the flip side, what are some of the most challenging parts of being an actor? Especially those that most people might be unaware of?
Axel Matthew Thomas: For me, it’s the rest. To be able to give 110 percent on set, I have to have enough rest. Sometimes you shoot until morning and the next call is also in the morning—only a few hours afterwards. With that situation, it is hard to get enough rest. Rest is important, right? It helps me focus. Additionally, you are on camera, the camera can see your tired face, so you have to cover it with a good performance. That’s the most challenging part for me. But if I don’t get the rest that I need, what I do is prove to them that I can still do well.
DAMAN: Besides being an actor, you also have a clothing line. Could you briefly share a little about it?
Axel Matthew Thomas: I started my clothing line in 2018. I was going through some stuff and got a bit bored. And I was trying to make the most of my time. Clothes, creating something, and art are a few of my passions. Additionally, I had the manpower to do it. My mother is a designer, and she introduced me to her staff. I made connections with them and I became passionate through that.
DAMAN: How would you describe your personal style?
Axel Matthew Thomas: Street style. I lived in the U.S. for a long time, and in the U.K. as well. I used to walk down the street every day and saw people being themselves with their styles in ways that were not too fancy but made them look good. So, street style it is.
DAMAN: How do you balance your work as an actor and as an entrepreneur?
Axel Matthew Thomas: I still come to the office between Monday to Friday. Lately it’s three to four times a week at the office—I try my best to come at least three times a week. Because if I do less than that, I wouldn’t be able to see what’s going on, what the situation is with work. I also have partners that help with the work and balance my time.
DAMAN: And what would you say has been your greatest achievement so far?
Axel Matthew Thomas: Greatest achievement? I don’t think I’m there yet. When I am there, probably then I can describe it in words. But now, I am still getting there, step by step. I just got back from the U.K. two years ago, so I’m in the real world now where I work, try to earn by myself, follow my passion. Maybe in a couple of years, I would’ve finally found my answer to that question. As for right now, I’m still in the process.
DAMAN: In the future, which field would you like to explore more, acting or business?
Axel Matthew Thomas: Business. Because it’s where my passion truly is. Acting is my passion too, but my father, he put me into a business school in the U.S. and then producing in the U.K., both are in the business field. I actually have a production house and we produce a few things. It’s still growing. Right now, however, I’m just trying to focus myself as an actor these past couple of years, trying my best to use my full potential in my acting, and finding my way into the business side of filming.
DAMAN: What’s the best piece of career advice that you’ve ever heard from someone?
Axel Matthew Thomas: “Life is a process. You can’t have something instantly. You need to do it step by step in order to get where you want to be. It’s just a matter of when.”
DAMAN: Last but not least, what would you say is your next goal from now on?
Axel Matthew Thomas: To keep being consistent with the things that I am doing, since I have started it. Keep doing it consistently because I know I’ll get there—I’ll get to where I want to be. Everything that I do, I want to focus on it. Working hard, giving back, and being nice to people.
PHOTOGRAPHY EANDARU KUSUMAATMAJA
STYLING SAFINA HARYS
STYLING ASSISTANT BAGOES ABYOSO
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT AHMAD SALIM BARRY
GROOMING GEODE DINAR F.
LOCATION PLAYBOWL JAKARTA, Jl. RAYA SRENGSENG No. 55A, WEST JAKARTA +62 819 4121 121, @playbowl.jkt
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