(Written for Boolean Flix)
Thomas Mitchell speaks to film extra Steven Powell about his appearance in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and his sudden rise to a ‘Hollywood’ lifestyle.
Dressed as the mad hatter for the interview, and at just twenty-one-years-old the pathway to building a career has only just begun for the majority of British teenagers.
However for Steven Powell life in front of the camera is where his dream of becoming an actor has found him, working alongside Tim Burton and Dominic West in recent years.
“My first foot in the door was back in 2008, when I heard auditions were being held in Plymouth for Tim Burton’s latest project Alice in Wonderland. Previous experience or skills weren’t needed, and I was told I only had to ‘look’ the part. On attending the audition I later found I had been accepted.”
Shortly after filming begun for his on-screen début: “It was a fantastic experience, and I didn’t really know how to behave around Tim Burton and the cast. I remember watching one girl take a fly off Burton’s shoulder. He didn’t look too happy, and the girl ended up offering the fly to him!”
Facing a dip in work, Steven’s luck started to change. After failing to grab a part in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Captain America and TV film Treasure Island, Steven’s determination and hope of a life behind the silver screen started to deteriorate.
“I remember telling myself this was it. I registered with another casting agency, but didn’t get any work. I had experienced life on-screen, and I was lucky enough to even achieve this. If I were to never step in front of the camera again, I’d be pleased with what I had achieved.”
Almost twelve months had passed, and Steven found himself working two jobs. However, a glimpse of hope emerged when Steven joined the Cornwall Youth Theatre in September 2010.
“I heard about it from a friend. I was thrown straight into the deep end. Rehearsals had begun for Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, and I found myself cast as Sir Andrew. I soon returned to doing what I did best.”
Working long hours in preparation for his performance, Steven signed up with a London casting agency, Landing himself his first on-screen shoot in two years, as an extra in BBC2’s 1950’s drama The Hour.
Eager to fulfil his acting dream, Steven has already begun planning his future. “I have plans to move to London to join a theatre school this autumn, but nothing is set in stone yet”.
Since the interview, Steven has gone on to feature in up-coming gothic horror Dark Shadows. Due for release in May 2012, this latest outing by director Tim Burton stars companion Johnny Depp in a tale cantering the life of vampire Barnabas Collins and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts .
Catch a glimpse of Steven in the theatrical trailer below: