Interview with Wayne Burns of Blackbird!

I recently got the chance to start interacting with Wayne Burns, who plays Danny in BLACKBIRD, on Twitter. This was a really interesting interview to do. Because of Wayne’s intense schooling schedule we discarded my usual method of interviewing, the telephone. I ended up e-mailing him the questions. I tried to leave it loose, because in phone interviews I usually have a set of questions that may be ignored and allow the conversation to veer it where it may organically. I think the end result was very positive, and I am glad to have the opportunity to bring some more info on BLACKBIRD and the very real people who made it a reality. Danny was one of my favorite characters in BLACKBIRD.

Blog: Can you give us some background on yourself? 

WB: I was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada and have been acting since the ripe age of 7. I have always loved film; it is a big part of my family (in the watching sense) and it is ultimately what inspired me to act and perform. Truro is a small town of about 20,000 people so there wasn’t any film or television opportunities available. I found myself getting into any and every production that the town had available. It was through these performances all through school and within the theatre community that I found what I loved to do that has lead me to what I am pursuing today!

I am an award winning actor in theatre, specifically in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area. I have been involved in many productions over the years and my theatre resume continues to grow. I have been blessed with meeting some amazing artists in Halifax who have helped me immensely in landing great roles that I am very proud to have on my resume.

Blog: Describe your experience with BLACKBIRD a little?

WB:  Blackbird was a truly amazing experience; Jason Buxton is an “actor’s director”. He knows how to make you feel comfortable on set, which in turn, allows you to put forward your best work. Many of the viewers of the film, that I have had the opportunity to meet after the screenings, gushed about how natural everything seemed, and that is all Jason’s doing. I feel so blessed to have been part of such a wonderful project and I know how much time and consideration he took to make the film, which only adds to the amount of respect I have for him as an artist. I would work with him again in a heartbeat.

The West 7 boys [the detention unit where Connor Jessup’s character, Sean, is sent in the film -Greg] were a blast to work with, Jason was all about us having a brotherhood and I truly felt connected to each one of the guys after the shoot. The chemistry between us was something crucial to Jason and he did his absolute best to provide us with a comfortable environment to play with each other, which I feel only benefited us and the isolation Sean needed to feel.

Blog: Can you describe your role in BLACKBIRD, any research or something else you did to prepare for it?

WB: I play Danny in the film (The Bald Guy) and I am Trevor’s (Alex Ozerov) right hand man but also his “bitch”.  I always felt that out of all the boys Trevor had shared the most with me so I do deeply care for him, which adds to my need to please him and do what he asks. A lot of my inspiration between Danny and Trevor came from the image of the old Loony Tunes cartoon with the Bulldog and the little dog yapping around him; guess which one I was… I was also obsessed with the movie Bronson, starring Tom Hardy, at the time and I drew from him for some of my physicality choices. As an actor I tend to draw from people or images that inspire me and transform them into my own personal interpretation, a portion of me, rather than a mask of someone I admire.

Ironically I was cast in the film while I was on tour playing a young offender in a show called Tough Case by David S. Craig, so I felt like a lot of my back story was established in my journey as Dane (the character in Tough case). It was a truly serendipitous occurrence and prepared me a lot for the world that the West 7 boys live in.

Blog: Any roles you may have upcoming or where people may be able to see you again?

WB: Most recently, I was in a film called All The Wrong Reason’s by Gia Milani. It stars Cory Monteith, Kevin [Zegers] and a slew of other great actors. It was really inspiring to meet and talk to Cory about his journey within the industry and how he feels as a young actor. He was very inspiring and we are still in contact. I also have a reoccurring character on Mr. D, a show starring Gerry Dee and airs on CBC in Canada, as the Teenage Referee.

I have done several commercials and will most likely be doing some more things this summer when I head back to Halifax. 

Blog: Anything else you would like to say about yourself, BLACKBIRD, or really about anything else?

WB: In relation to the previous answer, I am currently studying at The National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. I am one of 11 chosen from over 400 applicants across the world. The chance to study acting at the prestigious school is an amazing opportunity for a young actor. The school is a conservatory program and has a classical spine; we do not delve much into film because the concentration is on Theatre. The reason I chose to attend the school was due to the fact that some many of today’s timeless actors are trained in theatre (Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman…etc.) and so I felt that if I want to create unforgettable characters and have the means of supporting them along with fully understanding the directors vision I should be trained classically. I feel like theatre artists get a lot of guff, and I feel this is unfair because here in Canada we have phenomenal actors gracing our stages and screens and most likely they have been trained, and theatre is that principle form. Film would not exist if it were not for theatre. So, I feel I must understand the base before I venture outward.

Fun Fact: Most of the adult characters in the film are amazing actors who have worked on many of Canada’s biggest stages. I encourage the readers to do some research on them.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to have my voice cast out along Connor’s and Alex’s. This film is accomplishing great things as I feel truly blessed to have been part of it and to have met the people involved.

There you have it folks. Wayne Burns is definitely a talented young actor to keep your eye on, we will be seeing a lot of him I am confident of that. 

For more perspective on Blackbirdalso check out my interviews with Alex Ozerov and Connor Jessup! As well as my review of Blackbird.


~ by The Falling Skies Blog on October 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “Interview with Wayne Burns of Blackbird!”

  1. Certainly not a novice but a very skilled actor. Reflects well on the overall quality of the film. Good interview.

  2. […] Check out my previous interview with Alex, and my interview with cast mates Connor Jessup and Wayne Burns! […]

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