5 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Features & Interviews

IFTA Q&A Series: Ollie West on Acting
2023-05-02 13:00 : Luke Shanahan
Ollie West
To mark the 20th anniversary of the IFTA awards, we are showcasing Irish talent who are blazing a trail across our industry, working in front of and behind the camera.

Hosted in association with IFTA, this Q&A Series connects with Irish talent who represent a range of disciplines across our industry. 

We find out what they look out for in the projects they take on, what their approach is to filmmaking and collaboration; what inspires them; and what recent work in the industry they most admire.

Ollie West is nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Film for The Sparrow. This is his first screen role. He started his acting career at age 12 in Dead Centre’s Hamnet, a play about the death of Shakespeare’s son, written and directed by Bush Moukarezel. He was nominated for Best Actor for the role at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2018.

IFTN: What do you look out for in a script?

OLLIE: “Just a connection with the characters or the story.”

IFTN: How do you prepare for auditions, and what advice would you give to younger actors?

OLLIE: “I’m only 18 so a bit of advice would be nice.”

IFTN: How did you approach playing your character in this film, and how much rehearsal was involved?

OLLIE: “The film was delayed about a year so I had a lot of time to think about my character. I kept a notebook where I sketched little doodles and wrote down things I thought my character would, listened to songs and watched movies that I thought my character would like.”

IFTN: What Irish Actor/s have you been most impressed by recently?

OLLIE: “Éanna Hardwicke who played my brother in The Sparrow. Friendliest dude you’ll ever meet. The times I’ve loved acting the most were the scenes I did with him.”

IFTN: What Director or Actor would you most like to work with and why (Irish or international)?

OLLIE: “Taika Waititi! He’s directed some of my favorite movies and has made me laugh in almost every interview I’ve seen him in.”

IFTN: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

OLLIE: “Know your lines and relax.”

The 20th anniversary of the IFTA Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 7th.

IFTN Festive Q&A with director Luke McManus
Casting Directors share insights at Casting Conversations hosted by IFTA
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