Jon-Paul Gates , a veteran of over 70 international feature films, latest role is as the evil Prince Favian in medieval fantasy film “Dragon Kingdom” released in Tesco, Asda,  SkyStore, Virgin Movies and Amazon on the 7th January 2019.

Prince Favian, is the antagonist and is a power mad, zealot. Because his father, the King, prefers his sister to rule the Kingdom, Favian makes a pact with a magister (magician) by stealing Dragon eggs and turns the villagers into “zombies” while at the same time sending his best Knights to kill what is usually a tame Dragon,  weakening his forces so he can create a coup d’etat.
His sister, the Princess, escapes and so Favian sends more Dragons and monsters to kill her and the brave Knights. Dragon Kingdom is the 2nd in a medieval fantasy trilogy after “Knights of the Damned”, distributed also by High Fliers in 2017,  and is comparable to “Game of Thrones” meets “The Walking Dead” coupled with “Excalibur”.
Behind the Scenes Photos: https://www.facebook.com/OrderOfKings/

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE ROLE?

This is the 2nd time I’ve played Prince Favian who is a power mad zealot and I preferred this outing because he got to lock horns with the King- his Father who has betrayed his birthright but galvanised his burning ambition to rule. Last 5 years  I’ve been fortunate to have made a living playing antagonists and Favian was highly intelligent and conniving-perfect traits to explore.

Interview With Jon-Paul Gates: 

WHAT RESEARCH DID YOU DO?

Fundamentally, I drew inspiration from Jacquin Phoenix’s jilted Ceasar in ‘Gladiator’. Then researched the demeanour and traits of Royals in medieval times.  My character made a pact with a magician, just as  King Utha did with Merlin in the legend of ‘King Arthur’, so looked at what magical practices were  available in his time. Its amazing just donning the period costume automatically alters one’s posture and one becomes the character. 

 

YOU SHOT YOUR FIRST FEATURE FILM IN 1998. WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY? 

My first film was shot on Super 16 whereas most independent films now shoot on HD. Saving time and  cost, increasing actor freedom, via improvisation. No dreaded calls of ‘hairs in the gate’, more efficient lighting set ups and sets needing less labour to operate. Because of the digital cost savings, there is less rehearsal time as more takes can be done to create the perfect shot. Indeed, sometimes you and your co-stars meet for the first time on set. Physical auditions are somewhat of a bygone era as self taping is the new phenomenon. Indeed, I started self taping 15 years ago for USA castings and now much prefer the process as one can work on the character whereas with live auditions there are too many obstacles which preclude you getting the ‘role’.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ASPIRING ACTORS?

Always have something to fall back on. As each year passes, it becomes  more difficult to survive. With digital technology cost savings, there is a proliferation of product in  marketplace but conversely buyers are paying less. Films are being shot in days, never mind weeks so an actor has to be very lucky  to make a living. DVD is almost dead + the conglomerate VOD platforms,especially Amazon,  have been cutting rates. I don’t envy actors coming into the profession now. Actors MUST create a social networking presence-indeed even studio films are insisting their stars be active otherwise they will withhold fees. 

WHAT PROJECTS YOU GOT COMING UP?

I’m shooting a political thriller  and then back to USA to do shoot a gangster film,  horror comedy and a sci-fi. 

 

Social Media Links: 
https://store.hmv.com/film-tv/dvd/the-dark-kingdom?

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07KBBZ62J?

www.imdb.com/name/nm0309575/

www.twitter.com/jpgates

www.jonpaulgates.com

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