Interview with Beau Fowler

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Hey folks,

We have an interview with one of your favourites Beau Fowler, the brilliant mind and star of Express Delivery. Express Delivery was shown at Fighting Spirit 2017. We hope you enjoy getting to know Beau.

Describe yourself in three fictional characters?

A mix of all the Ninja turtles, although someone has said Leonardo in the past (TMNT)

Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop)

Not sure, possibly Marty Mcfly (Back to the Future)

What are three films you recommend people watch and why?

There are many films I would love people to watch because they resonate with me personally. Movies like John Woo’s Hard Boiled, Johnnie To’s Election, David Fincher’s Fight Club, and Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future are in my many favourites, but to limit it to three, off the top of my head I would probably pick:

La Vita e Bella

Amélie

Léon

Love all three of these movies. La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful) is heartbreaking in the most beautifully crafted way with one of the most amazing characters shining hope under the darkest of situations, brought to life by Roberto Benigni. Roberto won the Oscar for best actor and also directed the film. Amélie takes you on a beautiful journey following Amélie Poulain, a quirky young woman full of child-like innocence and a strong sense of justice who decides it’s up to her to help the people around her and in the process discovers love. It’s a feel good, stunning shot, interesting tale from the mind of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. And Léon, is an incredible drama fuelled action from legendary filmmaker Luc Besson about a hitman who saves a young girl from corrupt DEA officers and reluctantly teaches her the craft to help her seek revenge for the death of her family. It’s cool, gripping and often touching.

What drew you to directing?

Visual storytelling. Growing up I was obsessed with film, comics, writing and drawing. I visualised stories that I created in my head so you could say I was always directing, it simply took me time to get hold of a camera in my teens to take it from my head to film.

Who is your favourite director?

Just one? Impossible! Here’s a handful: Luc Besson, Johnnie To, Jean Pierre Jeunet, John Woo and David Fincher.

What is your favourite part of directing?

There are so many processes of directing from development to delivery that I couldn’t narrow which aspect is my favourite. But working together with DoP and actors and seeing everything come together is an incredible feeling.

Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

Of course, the big thing for me in development is the feature of Express Delivery that we’re focusing heavily on at the moment. Additionally, acting wise, Avengement starring Scott Adkins and Craig Fairbrass comes out this year, as does Men in Black: International starring Chris Hemsworth. I also did some voiceover for the game Watchdogs 3 and waiting hear back from a few auditions so watch this space. As well as this I have a few projects in development as director, more to say on that later down the line.

When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Since forever. I was always messing around with characters and voices growing up and whenever I created stories in my head it was often a mix of first person perspective and cinematic shots.

What are your favourite types of roles to play?

Characters that interest and challenge me. I also love a character that goes through change and grows, something that’s super important.

What is your favourite part about acting?

Being the character in the moment.

Do you have any great audition stories?

Not specifically. I had an interesting audition for Marvel’s Doctor Strange. I went in and met Reg the casting director and his assistant, and before we even began, Reg gave me direction on the character which was almost the opposite of what I had prepared. Safe to say I had to adapt super fast. Then on my recall he asked if my brother was Max Fowler (also an actor). He said he could see it in the eyes!

What do you think makes a great actor?

Ultimately remaining truthful. Finding yourself completely in the moment is what it’s about. The process to get there with character, serving the scene and project to achieve the director’s vision is unique to the actor.

What is your history with martial arts?

I’ve studied for over 30 years. I started as a young child in Karate, grew up mimicking my heroes in Hong Kong cinema, dabbled in Capoeira, Bagua, Tai Chi, and study Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan (五祖拳).

How do you feel when you’re doing martial arts?

It depends. There are so many aspects to martial arts, and it very much depends which aspect of which system I am practicing. But generally, very good.

What’s your favourite stunt you’ve ever done?

I don’t do too many stunts unless it’s related to my character’s scene and I feel confident. I’ve done a lot of basic falls during action scenes. We did some wire work tests many years ago with stunt coordinator Dave Foreman which was a lot of fun.

What is the most challenging stunt you’ve ever done?

Not sure. Probably something not film related that I did in my spare time. I accidentally back flipped off a trampoline (at night) once and somehow managed to redirect my body to drop down (rather than over the neighbours fence where I was heading) landing on the metal rim with my shins.

Who are your favourite martial artists?

Depends on what you mean here. Favourite person? Favourite expression of martial arts? Best martial artist? I grew up watching Bruce Lee and reading his philosophy, learning how much he did for the world and action cinema, not just martial arts, so if I had to pick one it would probably be as cliche as that. However the best martial artist I’ve met is Grandmaster Han Kim Sen (Han Jin Yuan), I’ve met a lot of great martial artists but he’s on another level – one of the remaining masters of the older generations. Shout out also to Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen and Jet Li who inspired me through my teens. And of course worth noting that many friends around are also great martial artists and inspire me.

What do you see as the future of action/martial arts films?

My goal is to combine great filmmaking, scripts and characters with action. I never considered myself as making action films because I never saw it as a separate entity – one must understand story, structure and character as well as action (martial arts). The trick is having enough time to put towards action in both pre-production and production, this is often overlooked.

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What inspired you to make Express Delivery?

I’m always open to finding inspiration to create and make film. The concept of working with my brother Sonny Louis was the big inspiration to shoot a showdown of some sort. I had several ideas for bigger projects floating around and pitched him two ideas, Express being both our favourite. After that, honestly, the short pretty much wrote itself. I had intended this to be a pilot for a series, but after completion I changed direction to my first love; film.

What was your writing process for Express Delivery?

I had the basic synopsis, sat down with my laptop, opened final draft and began typing. It was a seven page script, a relatively simple scene and I had a clear understanding of the characters so it was a fairly speedy process.

What was your favourite part about filming Express Delivery?

So many great parts. From putting the fight scene together, to getting the cast and crew onboard, to every day on set being a gem of a gift, to completing it, to it getting picked up as part of the action anthology on ‘Blood, Sweat and Terrors’ to traveling around the world with festivals and coming away with 46 award wins, to in the last couple of years developing the feature and working alongside my amazing producer Eloise Carrow.

What was the most challenging part of filming Express Delivery?

I think maybe the action. As you know it’s action heavy and I began the shoot with a shoulder injury being told I shouldn’t do the film if I could avoid it. After shooting, it took a year of healing to get to 90% recovery! But after two and a half years feels great! Haha.

What was the biggest lesson you learned while working on  Express Delivery?

Work with people who trust your vision.

I’m all about teamwork and listening to my team, but what made this film different than my last was that everyone was so onboard with my vision that despite the crazy amount of shots and work that we needed to get, the shoot went smoothly and we found a way, making smart compromises based on what served the project and our vision.

What’s the best feedback you received for Express Delivery?

Too many to comment on. I feel blessed at how much love has been shown for Express and I feel that it’s a reflection of how much love was put in to it.

How has your experience been with Fighting Spirit Film Festival?

Great. Soo is incredibly passionate and supportive and believes in what she does. She and her team have helped create a wonderful festival with good vibes and a mission to spread her love of martial arts action films.

How has Fighting Spirit Film Festival helped your career?

Soo is very supportive and whilst building a community she has championed us, allowing people to see our work that otherwise may not have. This industry is about people and connections. One particular opportunity was when she passed our short on to Scott Adkins who then put me forward to his long time directing partner Jesse V. Johnson who cast me in their latest film Avengement.

We hoped you enjoyed the interview.

Thank you so much to Beau Fowler.

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