Celebrity Interview: Alex Roe Talks Forever My Girl

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British actor Alex Roe, currently starring as Liam Page in Forever My Girl, the heartwarming story of love lost and rekindled, recently discussed the role and the work in creating the sound that propels his character into international stardom.

Janet Walker: Congratulations on the film. I really enjoyed it. It is a nice wholesome story and has something for everyone.

JW: So tell me a little about Liam.

Alex Roe: Liam. When we find Liam he has been away from his hometown and is encased in stardom and has kind of been swallowed up by fame. He's like one of the most successful Country Music Artists out there. He's had a lot of "Yes" people around him; he's kind of lost his connection to his roots and kind of his idea of himself. He appears to have everything. He's got the wealth; he's got the fame; he's got the success but you can see he's not every happy.

And it takes a bad thing to happen back home and he needs to go a funeral and he goes back and he realizes he has this eight year old daughter and to the woman he left when he left town and he has this journey of self-discovery, he reconnects to his roots and goes from being a little man-child initially to kind of learning what it is to be a man. So that's kind of Liam's journey.

Casting and Finding The Sound

JW: So describe the casting process.

AR: The casting process? I never sung. . . 

JW: Oh. You've never sung before, I was going to ask you that. So no singing in your background.


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AR: No singing in my background. I picked up a guitar a few times, in my teens, no lessons, just fiddling around. I had never go for an audition where I'd sung before but this one came along and the opportunity to play a country musician and the arch that he kind of has was really interesting for me so I decided to suck it up and actually have a go at singing in this audition.

And after the scenes I think I connected with the character in a way the casting director and Bethany the director were in tears and I was like I need to do well on the singing side of it. It seems to being going well so far.

I was really surprised when I looked up after and saw they were also impressed by that. It was after that initial meeting, audition, I had another meeting with Bethany, and talked through the character and I think she liked my take on it and I think we had a good working rapport straight away. And then I found out I got the part after that.

JW: So I thinking, did they throw you right into the deep end with the singing or did they give you some lessons? How did you work that out?

AR: We had a music producer by the name of Brett Boyett who's been involved in the country scene for a very long time. He like lives and breathes Country Music and is and songwriter and a producer. He kind of took me under his wing and we listened to Country Artists and tried to develop what Liam's sound was going to be.

The process started pretty much straight away because I felt it was important this country scene this country industry I wanted to represent as best I could.

JW: Right. And that's a big challenge.

AR: Yes.

JW: So how did you meet the challenge?

AR: I definitely worked as hard as I could. I trained every day. I played the guitar every day. I sung every day. Once we figured out what we wanted Liam's sound to be we kind of worked on getting rid of my accent (British) when I sang. And worked on pitch the songs were going to be in, changed some of the melodies, all of the process helped me get into playing the Liam character.

It wasn't too dissimilar to how a team would start working with a country artist, to develop a sound and an initial album. So it really gave me an insight into the country industry. And then I went an saw some country artists and saw them live and spoke to them afterwards to get an idea of what that feels like to be in front of 50,000 people and have them all singing the words to the song that you wrote. And that helped me understand how Liam get sucked into fame and it could be the band aid for all his problems but only a temporary one.

And just listened to a lot of interviews with country singers, hour and hours, and hours, take in some of their vibes or some of their accents. So it was a lot of work.


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JW: It sounds like it and it paid off. I didn't know you were British until I did some research and so I didn't know the character wasn't really a C&W singer. So it really did pay off.

AR: I really appreciate that. That's cool to hear.

The Family Trio

JW: Now, tell me a little about working with your cast mates Jessica Rothe (Josie) and Abby Ryder Fortson (Billy).

AR: Jessica Rothe is like, It's very important you feel as though these two characters are meant to be in some way because there is so much baggage there and need to believe in the trio as a family. So Jess and I, luckily she is incredibly beautiful and really cool, and charming and smart and funny, so we kind of developed a rapport really quickly we just went and hung out together and we'd go to baseball games and we'd go to blues bars where I imagined Liam would have taken Josie to and us getting to know each other I felt was enough chemistry to build luckily. We could have maybe not liked each other and that wouldn't have worked but luckily it worked for my side anyway.

And then Abby is such a talent and I so glad that we managed to get here and a proper scene stealer and incredibly intelligent and really down to improvise. So we'd improvise and a lot of stuff that made it into the movie was us messing around and improvising and I think was really was really good for the chemistry between Liam and Billy. And she is really great talent.

Forever My Girl is playing theaters everywhere. With both great music and a good story this is one film that has something for everyone. See it.

 

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