I was fortunate to be able to catch up with veteran actor Pete Collie in between takes on his new film, “The Drunken Hitman.” What I notice first is his accent - he strikes me as a proper Englishman, but he definitely has a grittier edge to him. It makes sense that most of the roles that he gets cast as are a variation on the criminal or the snarky comedic friend. Collie revels in exploring the darker side of humanity. His most memorable and favorite role was that of a serial killer named Isaac Skinner in the film, “Committed.” In preparing for the role, he consulted his mother who is a criminal psychologist. “I like the experience of putting myself through things that normal people wouldn’t do,” he says. “I love playing someone that is evil to the world, but they don’t necessarily see themselves that way.”
Collie trained at schools including the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the New York Film Academy (one year program), as well as the International School of Screen Acting (one year course). He works regularly on sets in both in Los Angeles and the United Kingdom. He is at home behind-the-camera, on-camera, on film sets, theater stages, and most recently, the motion capture video game world, which he says is the “best mash-up of theater and film.” He provided voice and motion capture performances for “The Order 1886,” which was one of Sony Playstation’s biggest projects to showcase the new system.
If that wasn’t enough, not only is Collie an actor, but he produces film and television as well. His production company, Sunset Ghost Pictures, has a science fiction pilot ready to pitch to financiers, as well as two horror scripts and a comedy feature in various stages of production. He advises newer actors to “Film as much as you can, whenever you can. The online world is so important right now… you can put something online and have an agent knocking at your door and launch your careers.” He also recommends that actors should work on a set as a production assistant so that they can see the behind-the-scenes perspective of the set and develop an appreciation for how hard the crew works.
For someone that hustles as hard as Peter Collie does, success in this industry is inevitable.
Where are you from originally?
When did you come to Los Angeles?
11 years ago.
What inspired you to be in the industry?
I was originally interested in set design, then after doing a few plays got the acting bug. I continued with doing school plays and moving upwards from there. The rest is history.
What are some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
Plays - The Crucible, Masquerade, The Rover, Psychosis 4:48, Macbeth, to name a few...
Short Films/ TV /Film - The Order 1886, Scary Tales, Zero, How to With Kitty Gibbs, Asst.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on multiple scripts with our production company and hoping to have our first feature ready to film next year.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Becoming a full time working actor, and working with our production company making more films.
How do you feel the industry is changing?
From working behind the camera now for many years, I feel the industry has progressed with technology. Auditioning can be done from your home, and filming has become a much faster pace. CGI & SFX have made projects that used to be impossible to do on low budgets now possible. Being an actor is like being part nomad - actors are flocking to where ever the industry is booming next and then swamping the market. Sometimes I feel the truly talented actors and actresses are getting lost amongst it.
How does it benefit you as an actor?
I think it allows actors the time and space to actually work on their craft and on their skills in video auditions instead of wasting time rushing around all of LA or London, trying to beat the traffic and get to the audition on your lunch break. It is allowing the actors time just to focus and do their best performance they can rather than rush it. It’s becoming more user-friendly also. For example, my friend's company www.werehearse.com is now allowing actors all over the world to connect, run lines, learn accents and ask questions about the industry. It’s a fast-growing part of the industry. I think with the tech side of cameras becoming cheaper, it allows actors to do more and more projects and get the experience they need.
By: Giovannie Espiritu