Written by Vaughn Stewart
Micheal Ward is like Superman of the acting world. He’s recently won the BAFTA award, worked with icon Steve McQueen, is in major demand, and even in a Pandemic has built a stronger relationship with God. Cool America Magazine caught up with him to find out more about this tremendous, unstoppable and down-to-Earth actor.
Photography – Joseph Sinclair
Styling – Callum Vincent
Grooming – Nadia Altinbas @ The Only Agency using Sisley Paris & Pat McGrath
Micheal, how did you get involved in acting?
I used to play football when I was young and when I realized that wasn’t a part of my dream anymore, I looked into myself to see what I loved and enjoyed and acting was one of those things. So, I decided to peruse acting and knew however long it took, I would continue to work to make this a career as well as my lifestyle.
Did you know in your heart that you had a strong talent for acting or did people around you express how talented you were?
To be honest it was a bit of both, I knew that I was good at it and I really enjoyed it in school. But also, my friends and teachers expressed that it was definitely something that I had a talent in so when I decided to go to college to study performing arts — it was a no brainer.
“I knew that I was good at acting and I really enjoyed it.”
What was your first leading role and how did it feel when you got the call saying you got that role?
My first leading role was the role of Jamie in ‘Top Boy’ and I had no words, I didn’t know what to say, Top Boy was something I always wanted to be apart of so when they told me I got the role all emotions and feelings were washing over me at once.
Most of the characters you portray are very intense, how do you go about connecting with who they are?
As a person I feel as if I am quite intense, so for me it’s really a genuine connection with the characters I’ve played thus far. Communicating emotion and being as authentic as possible are key elements for me as an actor.
What character kept you up at night and why?
Lykon in The Old Guard, although it was a brief moment in the film playing a character dying and it feeling so real, when I had done prosthetics and rehearsals, it really did keep me up at night before filming the scene.
Tell us about Lovers Rock and your role in the film?
Lovers Rock is one of five films in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe, giving you a real experience of a 1980s blues party. Franklin is the love interest of Martha and he is charismatic, sharp and knows what he wants, even though the film is short Franklin goes through a lot of emotions when he tries to love, protect and caress Martha. It really was a dream to play such as striking Jamaican man.
“I love that America has shown me nothing but love.”
How did it feel when you were cast in Small Axe?
I felt blessed really, to think I was going to be working with one of the greatest directors alive and to play a character so close to my culture with themes of love, music and dance. I couldn’t think of anything better in this part of my career.
What was it like working with Steve McQueen?
Working with Steve was an amazing experience to say the least. To see someone, work so meticulously and to take their art so serious was so inspiring. He’s a great craftsman and taught me a lot about myself. To be around that energy on set was an insight at the levels you need to operate at to be one of the best at what you do.
Any tips for aspiring actors?
I’d say just recognize that there are many opportunities out there and to be in those opportunities you have to seek them, they won’t come to you. So, keep training and having a drive and vision for what you want to achieve in the industry, and in life to be honest.
What are you currently working on and what new projects are coming out?
I’m currently gearing up for Top Boy season 2 and I’ve got my first American movie coming out in the very near future, you guys are going to love it but I can’t say anything about it so when you do see it… just enjoy.
Congrats on all the recent acting awards including a BAFTA. How does it feel to be recognized by the industry and your peers?
It’s a tremendous feeling, it’s something I never expected so early on this journey that I’m navigating my way through.
How are you dealing with COVID-19? How has it changed your life?
It has been for me yet another blessing in disguise. I’ve had the time to learn so much about myself and develop my mind spiritually, recover from an injury without feeling like I’ve fallen behind everyone but and most importantly I’ve been able to build a deeper relationship with God.
What do you feel about all the changes that are going on around the world? Which one has had the biggest impact on you?
In this moment in time, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed but I personally feel like progress is being made. We live in a world now where people can speak up about an issue, although this isn’t something new, but people are now so passionate about what they believe in that they’re willing to risk it all.
“We live in a world now where people can speak up about an issue.”
Our magazine is called Cool America. What do you find cool about America?
Man, I love America. I love the accent, the people, the food and I also love the fact that they’ve shown me nothing but love.
Lovers Rock will premiere on 11/27 on Prime Video