Actor Michael Hirst has had an unlikely route into the industry. Here the 35-year-old from Studd Hill discusses his career and future
Tell us about yourself
I’m Herne Bay through and through and have lived here all my life. I still get to come here when I’m not filming in Essex and London. I went to Hampton Primary School then to Herne Bay High School during the 1990s. I’ve got two children, a son who is 19 and a daughter who is 10. I’ve helped my son by taking him on sets and helping him to get work as an extra. My daughter has been asking to do drama, so we’re looking at a drama school in Canterbury at the Marlowe Theatre. I would like her to go down that road because I think she’d make a great actress.
How did you get started in showbiz?
I’ve been acting since 1999. I first got involved and really started as an extra on the Big Breakfast show on television. I knew a former Sergeant Major who was the head of the building security who got me looking after celebrities backstage on the live shows. I got to meet lots of different people, including Mystique, Danny Dyer, the So Solid Crew, Brad Pitt and Johnny Vegas. Before that I was involved with music and in my younger days was in a hip hop group for five years. It was something I was into from a very young age, with poetry and writing. We got signed in London and did a tour out in Africa. But It didn’t work out. I moved forward because I didn’t want to stay doing that. I always had the dream of being an actor. Then I went into shows like Bad Lads Army, where I was a corporal, and as an extra in The Real Hustle. I also then acted on a Channel 4 show called Swag.
Tell us about your early roles
In Swag it was a prank and hoax TV show. I would often be dressed up as a Ninja, or playing a part with hidden cameras. We would create scenanos to see how far ordinary people would go, like with doing a bank job for example. Over the years I did different auditions for low budget films and have started to get a bit of recognition. I was a supporting artist in films like Bonded by Blood and Dead Cert.
What does the future hold?
I’m going to be in The Hit, a film about the Essex Boys and the rise of gangster Patrick Tate. It’s a real character role and a lead role so I’m quite excited about it. Work on production starts later this month. I’m also looking at doing two films, Wide Boys the movie, where I’ve filmed the trailer, which features Danny Dyer in a cameo role, and I’ve had an audition for In Despair. In Despair is about the story between Joe Calzaghe and his father Enzo. I’ve had the screen tests for that. Between acting jobs I’ve always had to work and make sacrifices. Now I’m hoping that this year won’t have to do that anymore.
Herne Bay Gazette, February 5th 2015