Transitioning From Stage To Screen: A Conversation With Rising Star Ricardo P. Lloyd | The Fan Carpet

Transitioning From Stage To Screen: A Conversation With Rising Star Ricardo P. Lloyd


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Ricardo P Lloyd is a British actor born (20 November 1993) in United Kingdom, England. He is known for his work in Theatre, Film and TV. Lloyd studied Performing arts; Film TV & Stage at Buckinghamshire New University (2013-2016). In 2019 Lloyd was a part of the Shakespeare walks and Shakespeare in the Abbey produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company working alongside Mark Rylance directed by his wife Claire Van Kampen.

Lloyd later secured the role of Romeo in Excluded. The play transplanted and re-imagined some of Shakespeare’s iconic characters into a London secondary school as they prepared for GCSEs and highlighted how the education system is failing many young people in the modern day. It was produced by Intermission, a company which helps teenagers stay away from crime. Lloyd performance in Excluded generated national and regional press. In 2020 Lloyd was listed on The Voice newspaper’s 2020 Top 20 ones to watch out for in business, sport, culture and politics.

In our interview, Ricardo tells The Fan Carpet‘s Marc Jason Ali about transitioning from stage to screen, working with Mark Rylance and creating his own content…

Marc: So how have you been?

Ricardo: I’m okay. I’m at this stage right now in life and my career where I’m transitioning from theatre to screen, so film & TV. But as you can imagine, it’s not like an easy transition.

Marc: Yeah especially after the last year and a half.

Ricardo: Yeah. So, for me, I’m at a stage where I’m just trying to create as much content myself and, you know, do my own short films and stuff like that to just get myself out there. So that I’m not waiting on my agents calling me and saying, you know, “here’s this and whatever”. I’m just being pro-active.

Marc: Yeah, sounds good, very good.

Ricardo: What about yourself, what sort of stuff have you been doing?

Marc: Well, a lot of the same. Just keeping going on the website, regularly news items going up there everyday. Running competitions, when we get sent them. Reviews as well, I’ve got a review up for Black Widow…..(Ricardo reacts)

Ricardo: Wow.

Marc: Yeah cause I saw that last weekend, Disney sent me a screener.

Ricardo: So what kind of inspired you to run this company and stuff like that, if you don’t mind me asking?

Marc: No, yeah it’s a fair question. I’m originally a designer. So, back in 2002, I was contacted, well I was part of an e-mail newsletter with Jess who used to run a fan site for Kirsten Dunst, and she needed help with galleries, so I answered the call.

And we just stayed friends and build the company in 2004. It started of as a fan-site network which we still run, we still have fan-site network, but its just grown from there and at the moment we’re doing well. We’re in pre-production on our first short film…….(Ricardo reacts)

Ricardo: Wow. Congratulations on the success. It’s been a journey. 2004 you said? Wow

Marc: Yeah, 2004, we’ve been running for 17 years now.

Ricardo: Wow.

Marc: So yeah, just under half my life (laughs) I’m been doing this.

Ricardo: Wow

Marc: So yeah.

Ricardo: I guess if you wasn’t passionate about it you wouldn’t continue, but this is something that is driving you to continue.

Marc: Yeah absolutely. You know, they say when you do something you love you, you never work a day in your life, and I certainly feel that way.

Ricardo: Wow wow wow. I feel like I’m interviewing you now, but I’m just curious about people’s own journeys. What’s been the most exciting thing that you’ve been able to do through your company?

Marc: We’ve done a lot of cool stuff over the years, but I’d say one of my favourites was when we interviewed Anna Kendrick at the London Film Festival.

Ricardo: Wow.

Marc: It was more of a sound bite, but we got some time with Arnold Schwarzenegger as well. We did this, I think it was an Earth Day thing we did, with Mark Rylance and…….(Ricardo interrupts)

Ricardo: OH! My guy!

Marc: He’s actually one of my questions (laughs) while I was going my (laughs) and he’s just wonderful. So yeah, we interviewed him. We’ve done the press conference for The BFG, we’ve done the press conference for Maleficent 2, all sorts of stuff over the years. It’s been fun.

Ricardo: Yeah I think that’s the thing with these kind of journeys, you never know where it’s going to take you. It’s almost like a journey of faith.

Marc: Yeah, yeah absolutely. So now I can attribute my life to what it is today to like to one person and that’s my business partner. If it wasn’t for her then my life would be very different, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

So it was a happy accident, well not really an accident…..I suppose in a way it was an accident because I didn’t think about film as a career path originally because I was a designer and I still do some design work. But yeah, I mostly do film now.

Ricardo: Thank you for sharing that. It’s always nice to know someone’s journey because it’s very essential as well.

Marc: Yeah, no worries. I’m always happy to talk about it. Yeah, I’m always happy to talk about it to anyone. I mean, I spent a lot of my time interviewing various people, so it’s nice to be asked the questions as well (laughs).

Ricardo: I’m kind of just curious, I always want to learn and pick people’s brains.

Marc: Yeah, no problem. It’s all good. That’s what this is all about, to find out about people and you find out new things. So, yeah, you never know until you ask.

Ricardo: Exactly.

 

 

Yeah. So cool. So if we go back to the beginning, was there a defining moment for you to get into the film industry?

The defining moment? I think….just me, as an actor, I love to create and I love to play different characters. I feel like with film it is kind of one of those things that is immortalised. It kind of lives……it outlives you, so you die and stuff like that it’s all about legacy and stuff like that. And I feel like, as human beings it’s very important to capture our story, the power of stories, different stories. And whether that’s through the written form or whether that’s through film, whether that’s through…….stage kind of doesn’t do that because it’s like…….you have that moment but it kind of disappears.

Whereas film kind of lives and, for me, that’s something that is inspiring and allowing me to go in that direction in my acting, because I love watching films, you know. One of my favourite films was Sister Act 2 with Whoopi Goldberg and stuff like that. I see these kind of classic films or even films from the 60s to the 90s to the modern day.

You notice the ability to tell stories visually that really, like, encapsulates me and it inspires people because audiences are about representation and being able to see their story as a human being is something that is shared, a shared experience not just they’re going through something, if that makes sense.

 

Yeah absolutely, sounds good. So you’ve got a few films in various stages of production with The Other Side, Treatment etc. What are those experiences like and what can you tell me about those films?

Yeah a few films that you mentioned The Other Side and Treatment, these are things that I’ve been writing and developing during lockdown. So I was writing and stuff like that, it’s just……as a creative, yeah, you want to be fresh and stay in a place of creativity and, like I said, coming from a theatre background it was weird place to see the whole of the industry kind of shut down because of Covid.

So, for me, staying creative was to write and develop my own short films and one of the recent short films that I developed was a film called Call It A Problem, which I worked with a charity the people fc and young people from my area. And it was just a way for me to keep inspired, if that makes sense, and to inspire others by creating something of my own and not just waiting on my agent to say “oh Ricardo here’s this casting, here’s this audition” I have to be pro-active. If I’m not pro-active then I’m just kind of going blind and leaving my destiny in someone else’s hands. I think it’s very important as creatives to take control over your destiny.

Marc: Yeah absolutely.

 

Yeah it absolutely is. Now you have a range of credits over theatre, film. What brings you more joy and do you approach them differently?

That’s a good question. I think what brings me joy is the projects that I tend to be working on or I get invited to work on. I think, for me, it’s about the power of the storytelling. It doesn’t matter about the platform or medium, it’s just matters about how well you can tell that story. Theatre is a different experience to film and TV. For example, theatre is all about live performance so if you go wrong on stage you kind of have to improvise, whereas film and TV you have more leeway to make mistakes and that can be edited and developed later on, whereas stage and being a theatre actor you literally have to be on the ball in terms of the cues, the lighting, the staging and just, like, listening to other actors and all that kind of thing. So it’s different skill sets that’s required, but I think, because my training comes from theatre and you have to be able to improvisation and deal with all those things that could go wrong, I feel like I’m prepared for film and TV. I know it’s like a different medium and film and TV is more minimised compared to stage if that makes sense.

 

Yeah. So you where shortlisted in The Voice newspapers 2020 Top 20s “One’s To Watch Out For”. How does it feel to have that sort of recognition?

Well it’s always good to be celebrated amongst your community and your peers and I think, for me, it was definitely humbling because it made me realise that all the hard work that I was doing in theatre was being recognised, you know what I mean? Because I had lost my confidence almost, because, like, as an actor sometimes you can have success in a show and stuff and then when that show is finished you can almost feel kind of lost if nothings, like, happening for you and stuff like that. So it’s like, you know, people always say “you’re only as big as your last hit” and stuff like that, so to be recognised for my talent and my hard work it was humbling and it keeps me inspired to keep on going.

Awesome. Yeah because correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve been actively pursuing this career since 2011, so it’s quite early in your career to have that sort of gravitas, like, listed for you.

Yeah definitely, definitely. Yeah and, like you said, since 2011, I’ve come from performing arts, graduated from university for film, stage and TV, I’ve got a degree.

So, I took a break from acting and I was trying to pursue other things, you know, like business and all these other things. And then I came back to acting I’d say in 2019, you know, and that’s when I did the projects with Mark Rylance and stuff like that that. So it’s definitely humbling for you to get that amount of attention and eyes on you, you know what I men. And it keeps you inspired to keep on going and to work harder.

 

Yeah absolutely, but it’s great. So you’ve worked alongside the wonderful Mark Rylance, what was that experience like?

Mark Rylance is a great human being. Why I say that is because he’s a conscious guy, so he kind of understands that he has a responsibility as an artist and to speak on social injustices and that kind of stuff. And I think that’s a true artist in that sense, to use his platform, to use his voice as a creative to shed light on different things. I think that’s what’s inspiring and obviously, like, you know, when I’ve worked with him as well I’ve just seen how dedicated he is to his roles. Sometimes, he might be misunderstood, be weird or eccentric in the way that he gets into the character, but that’s just his method and I just commend him.

When you’re working with someone like that, like an Oscar winning actor and stuff like that, and you’ve worked closely with them and had moments where you’ve had deep conversations with them, it definitely empowers you, inspires you, you know, to stick at your craft and develop it and take it to the highest level you can take it to.

Marc: Yeah, awesome. Yeah, he’s wonderful, he’s a wonderful guy. I like him a lot.

Ricardo: And the thing as well, he’s very humble. You’d think that someone whose got an Oscar and all these kind of things would be a bit cocky and up themselves, and I’ve met many different, like, Hollywood people yeah, and many of them have that kind of “speak to my publicist” attitude. But with Mark Rylance, he’ll make time for anyone from any walk of life in society, I’ve had moments with him where I can speak with him and I’ll ask him questions and we’ll have conversations about life and all these kinds of things. So he’s definitely taught me what it is to be an artist, that it doesn’t matter how much success you have, it’s always good to just remember where you come from and build genuine connections and authentic connections with people.

 

Yeah, absolutely. He’s a wonderful guy. I’ve had the privilege to meet him a couple of times. What is your preferred genre and do you have any favourite films other than Sister Act?

(laughs) Wow that’s……you know what….I think when it comes to films, yeah, it depends on what my mood at the time. You know, sometimes you have, like, a mood like sometimes you might want to watch a sci-fi….I like things like Black Mirror and stuff like that, I know it’s not a “film” film, but just like things that take you into another world, it transports you and makes you look into the future and all these kind of things. Sometimes I like the historical things and sometimes I might like a drama. So it depends on the mood (and?) how I’m feeling at the time I connect to different things at different times.

Marc: Yeah over this last year, I’ve been watching a comedy every other night because that was the mood I was in, so I just wanted to watch a comedy, because things where on fire outside (laughs), so yeah.

Ricardo: Yeah. I was going to say, back in the day, I used to like Mike Myers so it’s weird, it’s like very eclectic in my tastes and in music as well. It’s not like conventional, it depends on what I feel at the time.

 

 

Yeah, absolutely, alright cool. Are there any other aspects of the film industry that you’d like to pursue?

Ricardo: Producing! I’ve touched on a bit of producing before so I’ve worked with different companies and I was like a producers assistant. I even produced, co-produced, my own film which we looked at different artists in the theatre world and we interviewed them.

So producing is definitely an area I want to develop more in, because I feel like when you produce you feel like more kind of creative control and input, and I’m all about putting…..having more input as an artist, I don’t just want to be an artist but obviously because of my business background, as well as having an MBA I think I’m drawn to the other side of the aspects of the industry like producing or writing and directing, if that makes sense.

Marc: Yeah, yeah. Nice. Yeah, I’m finding producing fun at the moment.

Ricardo: It’s very hard work isn’t it?

Marc: It’s very hard work yeah, and trying to work out the budgets and everything. So yeah it’s…….it’s fun though (laughs) it’s an interesting journey.

Ricardo: But I’ll say it makes you have more hands on a project, when you’re looking at every aspect of it, you know. I think, as well, that’s what I’m trying to do with my career in terms of, like, just being more business savvy, if that makes sense, because I feel like in order to succeed and have that long lasting career of 30 years plus, you have to be a like a business person as well and not just an actor. Being an actor is your product, you know, your talent, your gift, what you have to invest in. But it’s also the other elements like networking, connecting, you know, getting involved in the different sides of it, that’s what enables you to sustain that career and be like a Mark Rylance, for example.

 

Yeah, absolutely. If there’s anyone to aspire to be like, it’s him. He’s wonderful. Who inspires you in the industry?

There’s a lot of people that have sadly passed away that has inspired me or that are older. For me, when I was starting out to be an actor I was drawn to people like Sidney Poiter whose quite, like, an old school classical actor, but I like people like that because they kind of pave the way and break down things in the industry. So Sidney Poiter and these kind of people enable people like Denzel Washington to have those careers that they’ve had. So I look at talent like that or I might look at a Marilyn Monroe and I see what she’s achieved and inspired popular culture, you know, you’ve got your Kim Kardashians and stuff like that. But she {Marilyn Monroe} is a movie star, you see the different elements of people like that who are gone. Or James Dean, for example, that bad boy narrative and the Marlon Brando, if that makes sense.

So there’s different people at different points in the industry that have had an impact that also paves the way for future artists and people to come through.

 

Absolutely. So with the popularity of streaming services, like Netflix, Disney+ and them being the life blood for the last year and a half while we’ve all been inside, what do you think the future of cinema is?

I feel like cinema is not going to go away just like theatre will not go away. Obviously, like, these different platforms have now enabled cinema to have different forms, but I feel like there’s always going to be, like, these places.

People are are always going to want to have that experience of getting together and watching something, and sometimes, like, when you’re just watching at your home or watching it on your phone or your laptop it’s not the same experience.

There’s nothing like sitting next to someone and you’re watching a film, you know, laughter and giggles and you’re eating popcorn, there’s nothing like that experience. It can’t be duplicated, if that makes sense. So these things are definitely…….they’re not going to go away so easily, I just feel like, you know, the industry is going to shift in a new mould to kind of adapt to the times that we’re in, if that makes sense.

Marc: Yeah absolutely. Yeah I’m looking forward to getting back into cinemas, if it happens I should be at IMAX next week.

Ricardo: (laughs) Yeah. What are you going to see?

Marc: Black Widow, hopefully. I mean, I’ve already seen it, but I’ve been offered tickets to IMAX so yeah……(Ricardo interrupts)

Ricardo: So are you going because of what I just said, in terms of that just getting together with someone and going to the cinema?

Marc: Yeah I love the cinema experience. My other half loves it as well. So yeah the PR company we work with, one of them, offered me tickets for IMAX, I’d like to go so yeah. I know my girlfriend wants to see M. Night Shyamalan’s Old as well and that’s out at the end of the month. So yeah I’m looking forward to getting back to the cinema, I love the cinema. I haven’t been in over a year, so (laughs).

Ricardo: And it’s just like, you’re much older than me, but I remember just as a child going to see A Bug’s Life and all these kind of shows or Titanic, you know what I mean? It’s like there’s nothing that beats these things, that experience. I can still remember those experiences so vividly.

Marc: Yeah. It’s not my earliest memory, but one of my memories of going to the cinema; we saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze in cinemas. We got tickets from a newspaper I think, and the atmosphere was just immense. I’d seen a lot of things on Alive and Kicking when that was a thing, where they had they puppeteers in there showing how the animatronics heads worked and everything. It was just so incredible, because back then, obviously, it was all tangible you could reach out and touch these things it wasn’t reliant on CGI.

So it was actually animatronics and it had something like 20 odd people just working the head (laughs) working the controls of the head, so a couple of people would be there to make it blink and a couple of people were there to move his eyes and….yeah it was awesome to see that.

Ricardo: What an experience. What an experience.

 

Yeah it was awesome. So, fandoms are obviously a big part of the industry, who or what are you fan of?

What am I a fan of? That’s an interesting question. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m a fan of (laughs) I just like anything that kind of inspires me or that brings me joy. I think with films, yeah, and any medium or any art form it’s all about escapism. That’s all it’s about.

It’s about escapism, it’s about education, it’s about learning, it’s about seeing the world, different worlds. So, anything that can do that that has, like, a message or that is enabling me to lose myself for a moment, you know, I’m definitely going to be a fan of it, you know what I mean? But I’m not like a crazy fan like, you know you have people like Star Wars and they obsess and they buy all the merchandise and stuff like that, I’m not like that. But I do commend and respect different things, if that makes sense.

Marc: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a fan of Star Wars but I don’t go out and buy all the merchandise.

Ricardo: Hopefully I didn’t offend you.

Marc: No absolutely not. There are different levels of fandom. I mean, you can have appreciation for it, but I’m more interested in cinema as a whole. And, yeah, it’s definitely about escapism.

Ricardo: I can just say, I’m a fan of just great art and great art forms, like, not just entertainment in general. Like, I like my music choices, my movie choices, my theatre stuff that I like, ou know, my favourite actors. It just all varies, it’s not like just one thing that you can put in a box.

 

Yeah, awesome. So is there a book that you’re a fan of that hasn’t been adapted to film, TV or Netflix yet that you’d love to be a part of?

A book that I haven’t……..that’s a really hard question (laughs) because I have to think about all the books and stuff that I’ve read. That’s a really hard question, I really don’t know. I feel like there’s so much things in the canon that could be adapted and developed into Netflix.

But then I feel like sometimes, when you do these things it can kind of taint things if it’s not done in the right way, you know what I mean? Because sometimes when you look at different things even when they do, like, make different remakes it doesn’t beat the original, see what I mean? So, like, sometimes you just have to leave things alone. Some things can be developed into films and stuff like that and sometimes, I think, just leave it as it is.

Marc: Yeah absolutely. And admittedly as a content creator, admittedly you wouldn’t want to say the actual book if you wanted to get the rights to it.

Ricardo: Yeah, of course, you have to be smart (laughs)

 

(laughs) So, just finally, where can we find you online to keep up with everything you’re doing?

Ricardo: So everything that I’m doing you can find me Ricardoplloyd.com and also my Instagram page is Ricardo P Lloyd, my social media handels are all Ricardo P Lloyd.

Marc: Awesome. Alright, this has been wonderful to speak to you. Good luck with everything and I’ll look out for everything you’re doing. Thanks very much.

Ricardo: Thank you so much. I appreciate you and I appreciate you’re time, the opportunity and thank you also for even using the initiative to do something and make a change in this industry by creating your own thing.

Marc: Yeah absolutely, when we started The Fan Carpet, there wasn’t really an outlet like us, it was just something that we wanted to do me and my business partner.

Photagrapher Julia Buchalska

 

 

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