Ed Hogg stars in Tom Hardy's Taboo. So to celebrate, here's an extract from our classic interview with him in BLAG Vol.3 Nø 1 along with some unseen polaroids from the shoot...
Interview by Sally A. Edwards
Photography by Sarah J. Edwards
Ed Hogg is a remarkably versatile actor. He's gone from a vast majority of roles on stage – performing many internationally, to two lead roles in features: White Lightnin' in which Ed plays Jesco White – an Appalachian Mountain dancer and a totally contrary role as Stephen, an agoraphobic in Bunny and the Bull – directed by Paul King of The Mighty Boosh fame. Industry insiders are heralding Ed as "the next Daniel Day Lewis".
We meet him when he arrives for his shoot. His highly expressive face is full of smiles and he's charmingly laid back. Ed Hogg owns the spot lit area of the studio when being photographed. He gives me a big grin and shouts, "Have you got any punk?" in his Yorkshire accent. I find the closest I have, put it on and turn it up. He channels the sounds and lets rip, jumping and dancing literally all over the place – really giving it some. Can I have some of that, please?
Once Sarah has the shots, we run upstairs for an outfit change. Everything is set out for each look as our stylist – Charlie has had to make a dash for it. Ed pulls on the black sweater and trousers and I root around for the bow tie. As I'm standing adjusting the length to make sure it fits, he says to me via the mirror – hairdresser style, "Do you think it looks OK?" Having recently had his locks sheared at the request of his latest film producers, Ed is feeling a touch out of his comfort zone. "Well, it's entirely up to you. You have to feel right," I tell him. "Alright, let's go for it." And he does, with gusto.
You went from school to a band to RADA. What provoked the transitions, and how did you feel along the way?
"I was in a band called Porno King. We gigged all around the North of England and just once in London. I was 15 when the band started and we were together for four years. It was all I wanted to do at the time. Like every other teenager playing in a band, I truly believed we were on the verge of greatness. Unfortunately the band split when the guitarist, Simon, my best friend, left for London to study fine art. I had joined an amateur theatre group called M.I.S.T. Co and somebody there suggested I should maybe try to turn acting into a career. An opportunity to continue to show off had presented itself and I went from there. It took me two years to get into Drama school, working with my drama teacher, Jude Cole, and a lot of auditioning, but by the time I was accepted into RADA, I knew I really wanted to be an actor."
You’ve done stacks of theatre since graduating including Woyzeck, which saw you nominated for an Ian Charleson Award. Please pick three plays and tell us where you performed them, the storyline, your character and the most memorable audience reaction to each.
"King Lear in Rome with the RSC academy. The amazing Nonso Anosie was playing Lear and I was his Fool. I had a great time on that job. We were all graduates, just out of drama school, all looking to make an impression. We began in Stratford and then did a lovely tour to London and all around Europe. The reason I pick Rome, is that on one particular night, we had a problem with the curtain going up, and the longer the audience had to sit and wait, the more impatient they became. They began a slow handclap, which continued throughout the first scene accompanied with shouting and booing. I’d never experienced anything like it before, but it was pretty exciting.
"Measure for Measure at the Globe theatre in London. I was playing Isabella in an all male production. Obviously I was wearing a beautiful dress and getting in touch with my feminine side. I thought I looked great, however one student who came down to see the play with the rest of his class, had a different verdict. As I walked on for my opening scene, taking small, delicate steps, I arrived at the front of the stage, lifted my head to speak, and from the crowd, a clipped, youthful, cockney voice sang out, 'Alright, Gay Boy!'
"Woyzeck at the St Anns Warehouse in New York. I was playing Woyzeck in a production that had transferred from London. I’m very proud of this production. We had a wonderful director and a top cast. I’ve chosen New York because of the kind of people who make it to the theatre over there. After one show we went front of house and met Lou Reed who had been watching. He invited me and my mate Roger to go and watch him rehearse “Berlin” at the same venue after Woyzeck was over. Amazing!"