Interview: Ed Skrein talks Transporter Refueled
Playing major roles in big studio productions, taking on iconic parts beloved by fans, and being forced to learn on the fly would prove daunting to any young actor. Ed Skrein, though, remains a sea of calm.
“I’m in the eye of the storm; everything whips around me like in The Wizard of Oz, but I’m focused on what I need to do.,” says Skrein sitting down for an interview in Toronto. “When I say I have this ferocious appetite for growth and learning, I’m not hard on myself, I don’t kick myself. I just need to improve.”
Skrein stars in Transporter Refueled, a stylish action-adventure that has become a franchise, with superstar Jason Statham playing the role of Frank Martin across the first three films. While it may not exactly be James Bond, Skrein is still taking over a role that in part helped Statham to become a global star. Skrein doesn’t have a great many credits to his name, though he did have a stint on Game of Thrones, but he is on the verge of breaking big with Transporter and then Marvel’s Deadpool due out next year.
“Here was the opportunity for personal growth and development,” says Skrein about Transporter. “I’ve only done a handful of films and a little TV, so I need to learn, need to grow, need time on screen, need to be able to learn the craft on set. To be number one on call sheet, I need to test myself with the pressures involved, and past that test.”
With so much to take in, especially learning martial arts, which Skrein admitted would be the biggest challenge, he holds on to a singular focus.
“A friend of mine, my acting guru Martin Ledwith, would always repeat to me: ‘honest human emotion is always interesting,’” explains Skrein. “It sounds like a simple thing, but all I’m trying to do is convey emotion. Every job I do, it’s how can I do that better, how can I be more honest?”
With Transporter, Skrein was excited to spend time in France and work with people like Luc Besson and director Camille Delamarre. In the past Skrein has worked in Morocco, England, Serbia, South Africa, among other countries, and each does things slightly differently. It’s all part of a learning process for the 32-year-old British actor whose dedication and passion, not to mention innate charm and good looks, should propel his rise.
“All of this is an experience, I’m just preoccupied with soaking things in,” he says. “Every day its like, how can I learn. It’s a constant state of improving every side.”