Chris Robson is a famous actor who has worked in several movies including Doomsday (2008), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)  and Dog Soldiers (2002). As he teaches German at Sutton Grammar School, I had the pleasure to talk about his exciting acting career.

Born in the northeast of England in New Castle upon Tyne, Chris studied languages at Cambridge University and then carried on to study acting at drama school. Most of Chris’s acting in drama school was about playing Geordies or Germans. This helped Chris in his career later when he used his Geordie accent to play roles of working-class soldiers.

Whilst interviewing Chris, I asked him what interested him in the first place: “It was the notion of storytelling. On Saturdays I used to go to a theatre in Newcastle called The People’s Theatre in youth groups. This got me into a group of likeminded people all interested in drama and theatre. We went there frequently and learned together. Whilst studying languages at Cambridge, they had lots of good, well-funded theatre groups and so I was able to carry on my passion. That’s what led me to go to drama school.”

After studying acting at drama school, Chris did a mix of theatre, films and TV. The most interesting part about Chris’s career was acting in theatre. To him theatre is all about acting live and creating a world for the audience in which they must believe in. In comparison to film and TV where you are just a part of something bigger, the directors already have the power to manipulate you in order to tell the story in a different way.

After asking Chris a bit about his acting career, I asked him about the important life skills he learned from his roles. “Resilience. Think of it this way. You are selling something, but the marketable product is yourself, so you have to be resilient about going to audition after audition and you have got to be really strong to grab the job and if you don’t get it then not be too upset about it. Sometimes there isn’t a proper reason for rejection. People have literally said to me that you were the best actor we have auditioned today but we can’t give you the role since your hair colour doesn’t match with all the other characters. It is fundamentally all about the drive to do it, whether it’s a big-budget film or a pub theatre where you aren’t paid anything, it's all about sharing stories to people.”

After acting in a couple of movies, theatre and TV Chris is now a teacher at Sutton Grammar School. I further asked him what made him change from an acting career to a teacher. “In the same way when I woke up every day and wanted to do it, one day I woke up and I didn’t want to do it and I changed my mind since I didn’t have the drive anymore. I felt I had achieved a lot of things that I wanted to achieve. Believe it or not standing in a classroom of students and helping put my passion across for languages and that notion of communication, which was the key of what I wanted to do in acting, I am still doing today in a classroom so the skills are still carrying on”.