|PHOTO CREDIT: Bobby Quillard|
Either way, every once in awhile someone ambles through the door and makes enough of an impression for us to sit up and take notice. Alexander Newton is one of those people.
The multi-talented actor and musician will star alongside the late great Roy Scheider this spring in what turned out to be his last film role as well as release his single "Lost In Forever" which hits ITunes on April 18, 2012.
We spoke to him about music, movies, and the pitfalls of being dubbed the next Robert Pattinson. (Not that I think that hurt.)
Okay, let's preface this with the fact that at the tender age of 19 you are already ringing all the bells with the film and the music. Now when I took a look at this movie you are in, IMDB had changed the title close to three times. So can you tell me officially what we will be calling it when it hits theatres?
Yes, confusing I know. Iron Cross is the working title and Justice Vengence is the big billboard title.
Another fascinating tidbit about this whole thing: it's Roy Scheider's last film. And the performances are getting a LOT of buzz.
Yes, I know. Are you a big Roy Scheider fan?
Huge fan of the man. So sorry when he passed away. One thing that not many people know is that your father Joshua Newton wrote and directed this movie.
He did. He's the writer-director and he edited it too. A pretty talented guy all around.
You also star with Sarah Bolger whom I have loved since her turn in Jim Sheridan's In America. What was it like working alongside both Roy Scheider AND Sarah Bolger?
They were both great. Obviously I worked with them separately but Roy was fantastic. I spent a lot of time with him learning about the character we were playing and he gave me many tips on acting. Just a great guy. And Sarah sort of joined the cast last minute and she flew over with her mom and we had a great time. It was incredibly easy to work with her and obviously she is a huge talent. Amazingly talented girl. Well, she's a woman now.
I know, it's so weird. I think of her as the little girl from In America and next thing you know I'm watching her portrayal of Henry the VIII's daughter Mary on The Tudors and she's so grown up now. But Roy Scheider, man. Chief Brody was my childhood hero. I don't think I could've uttered a coherent sentence around that guy.
He was such a funny normal guy, it made things so relaxed and easy.
This film has some sensitive subject matter with regards to World War II and some of the atrocities committed during that war in Europe. Your character, who is the younger Roy Scheider, sees some terrible things in his youth. How did you handle that?
It was very surreal. It just felt so odd. I was always lightheaded during certain scenes and I would kind of have to take breaks in between to remind myself that this stuff really isn't happening.
It must have been very intense considering what happens to the character's family and what happened in real life to all those millions of people.
It was really hard to hold back tears when thinking about stuff like that. Especially being there filming in Poland where so many of those soldiers walked around in the forests where we were however many years ago.
So there is much discussion about your performance in this and lots of the other magazines have picked you up as the next "It" guy. A few even went so far as to tout you as the next Robert Pattinson. Aside from both being musically inclined, theatrically talented, and British, I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison to make. How do you feel about it?
You know, I'm very much an individual person and he is too and I kind of feel that the type of movies that I'm doing right now might be slightly different than the way he came up or the kind he does currently. And the kind of music I'm doing is very very different. Right now I'm actually putting together a band and that should be interesting.
I was going to ask you a little more about that. Your single "Lost In Forever" is going to come out on iTunes on April 18th.
Do you consider yourself primarily an actor or are you going to go the distance with the even split between the movies and the music?
I found a really good balance. I get so much pleasure from doing the work that I do. Performing in front of people and working with great people and if I'm on set for a couple of months it doesn't stop me from doing music for the rest of the year or whatever. A movie is a really big thing and for an actor it really doesn't take a long time to make a movie. I could be on set for eight to twelve weeks and I've got so much time left to write, produce, and sing a song. It works out. So I found this good band and I've just finished my first draft of my first script, literally just the other day so I guess I'm just a student of all of this and I'm just finding my feet really with the balance. I think I've found it.
Right now you've got the advantage of some extra time and being able to do it all. Sometimes if you get uberfamous doing one or the other, then it's a huge stretch to go back to all the things you enjoy. Think of the Sting syndrome. He was a musician trying to act. Little did they all know he wanted to be an actor first. Are you going to release a whole album or just the single for now and a tour?
Yeah, actually I am and that's what I'm working on right now. We're putting the shows together at the same time trying to figure out what everyone can do. We'll see how it works out.
Smart people will tell you not to believe everything you read but I came across the information that you were a huge Beatles fan. Is that true?
Where did you get that from?
I've got "insider information" on you. I'm very thorough and leave no stone unturned. No, actually it was some website with factoids on you and I took that one and ran.
Actually I am [a Beatles fan]. I mean, who isn't?
I'm going to admit to being impressed. Usually when I ask someone who's nineteen about influences or favorites I get ready to talk about why they need a good education in rock and roll 101. Favorite Beatles album? I'll assume it's Sgt. Pepper's but you go ahead.
You know Sgt. Pepper's is a great album but I'm going to go with the White Album. So many songs on it are not just fantastic but so incredibly funny. What a diverse and wonderful album. It really is hard to pick a favorite they are all just that good. iTunes has the whole anthology, I downloaded it.
Okay, let's talk more musical influences. Who else would you name?
Awesome. Can you do the "Immigrant Song" battle cry? I do that at parties I'll have you know.
Actually yes! I even scream a little bit like that in the movie. Let's see who else for influences besides Led Zep... Queen, David Bowie. I grew up on this kind of music, this classic rock in a way. Maybe Elvis and Sinatra. And then I'm a huge fan of all the music that's coming out today. I can listen to Kiss as easily as I can listen to all the pop stations and really get my teeth into it and really appreciate it. I like everything really. Classical, R&B, whatever.
Just out of curiosity what concert would you pay any price to sit front row center at right now?
Wow, lets' see. Any band throughout history?
Yeah, okay let's say throughout history. Dead, alive, defunct, too old.
Probably Led Zeppelin. They actually just got back together in some capacity recently but to see a guitar played with a violin bow? They are something.
I'd like to go on record here and say that I'm old enough to have seen them back in the dark ages, before indoor plumbing. Are you primarily based over here in the States now or are you still mostly in England?
I just got my work visa, but I'm going to go back to see my mom.
I don't blame you, you need to get your laundry done. Let's do the Culture Brats 3. I'm curious if your age will be a factor in this. Pretty In Pink or Sixteen Candles? Do you know either movie?
Can't say that I do.
I think I actually heard crickets before you said that. Next, Purple Rain or Thriller?
Wow, that's a good one. They are both great but more recently I've started listening to a lot of Prince's stuff. He's amazing. I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and I'm sure at that point Prince was playing somewhere but he wasn't what I was hearing at that moment. But now I hear Prince and I'm just like, "Wow." That's a tough one.
You chose well. I think. If you ever get a chance to see Prince live make sure you do it. He blows the roof off the joint. Tiffany or Debbie Gibson?
Okay, that one was a stretch. Thank you for talking with us today. We'll be keeping a look out for your movie and your single. Good luck!
Thank you so much and have a great day. It was great speaking with you.