• Simon Roptell

The Evolution of Krassikus

Ken Welsh: An actor prepares.

Actor Ken Welsh and I were planning to work together a few years ago when I was casting The Top Secret adventures of Clara Chapman but there was some scheduling hurdles and that did not end up eventuating. A few years later I was looking for an actor that could provide a tough talking cockney type for Quest for Steel and Ken arrived for an audition. We arranged to meet in Hyde Park where Ken provided an energetic Captain Krassikus and after some note exchange we secured a date for the shoot.

I would have been happy with this version of the character. It would have served the story well and been one of the many great little moments in the film. But on the day when we were breaking up the monologue into sections and throwing around when the character would break character:- ie. adopt the voice as someone else which is what most people do when they tell a story, we could both suddenly see the character take on a different form, - Krassikus was now more complex, with an evident backstory, so we ran with this version. Here was a military captain that was now more evidently refined, from a higher class but trying his best to keep in good with the lads. We have seen this type of person in politics and in the media and once I saw Krassikus as this, I could not unsee it. He had to be the posh kid talking tough with his men.

To me, this is one of the greatest pleasures of directing, seeing a character take on a different form and then suddenly, without it being spoken, a back story appearing from that. Like all highly skilled and professional actors, Ken will prepare effectively for a role but also have a great trove of accents and personality types he can pull from if a scene alters.

To provide any more information about this particular scene would be to spoil it. You will just have to see this scene as part of the 2 hour and 10 minute film (Maybe longer at this point) When it is due for screening later this year.


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