'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' star Kevin Guthrie has a great way of dealing with social media trolls
The 'Dunkirk' star does not see himself as famous as yet and reveals that he stays grounded by prioritizing family over fame and money.
Kevin Guthrie, who will be seen reprising his role as Abernathy in the upcoming 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,' has been in showbiz since he was a young boy and has experienced the highs and lows of what it means to be a celebrity.
If anyone knows how to nurture a healthy competitiveness while prioritizing your family above the fame and fortune, it is him and he is sharing his life mantras with Meaww.
Kevin, who acknowledges that balancing his work life with personal life can be extremely difficult, says that he combats the pressure of the spotlight by surrounding himself with good people.
"I am very fortunate to be part of an extremely close family, all of whom support me through my life choices or decisions that affect more than just myself," he quips before adding, "Also my girlfriend, who is not only a brilliant confidant and support network, also helps bring an enormous sense of perspective as to how much I have already achieved and will hopefully go on to achieve."
His family and his girlfriend - whose identity he strives to keep anonymous as she is not from the world of showbiz - also happen to be his number one priorities in his life. The closeness that Kevin enjoys with his family is what give him the strength to get ahead in the industry without getting bogged down by the trolls of the world. It also helps that he steers clear of them online by redacting himself from most social media.
"I understand that social media is a very positive tool for a self-employed actor. Personally, it is not something I revel in doing and have recently backed away from all social media outlets. I found myself using it very effectively for charity work and or making connections in the industry that I otherwise may not have been able to do," Kevin reveals. "However, more and more I was becoming disgruntled with the constant stream of negativity and had to recognize that it was having a huge impact on my decision making and mood level."
Ultimately, he realized that social media just isn't for him, especially considering Kevin calls "sitting inside my own head a little too much about where I 'should' be in comparison to my peers in the industry" as pitfall of being a celebrity. However, he is supportive of anyone who is actually able to use it proficiently.
Kevin personally finds the joys of actually acting more seductive than everything else that comes with it. "Money, since acting at-least, has never been a driving force for me. Yes, I love what I do and it gives me a lovely life. You are always being persuaded and at times your head will turn but I think you want to stay strong to your principles and priorities in life," he says.
The 'Dunkirk' actor also does not see himself as famous yet and calls the whole notion a bit "odd." He elaborates, "I only have to do the 'skip cap and sunglasses' guise in certain areas. It can be a lovely thing when someone has responded to your work in a positive way, but also difficult when people feel they have the right to say anything they like without filter. The truth is both are fair and you have to be prepared to handle both equally."
The grounded star finds happiness in the simple pleasures in life and calls "an early(ish) rise, a strong pot of coffee, a run around the park, blue skies, good food and a game of 5-a-side football in the evening" as his ideal day.
With roles in huge projects such as 'Dunkirk,' 'Fantastic Beasts' and 'Edie,' Kevin does have quite a bit of reason to feel settled in his career. It also helps to have the heroes you grew up admiring as your close friends. That is when you know you have truly made truly made it!
"James McAvoy and Robert Carlyle have been my inspiration throughout my career, I am delighted now to consider both James and Robert amongst my closest friends in the industry as a result of developing a working relationship with them ('Macbeth', 'The Legend of Barney Thomson')," Kevin reveals, before elaborating on exactly why he thinks they were the perfect role models for him. "They have harnessed where they have come from and they are able to set themselves apart from many actors in their respective peer groups. There is a dogged determination and an innate ability to not be defeated by the rejection that rings true for many an actor."
What James and Robert were to Kevin, he is now to many aspiring actors and this is advice to those young men and women: "I would say go and have as much life experience as you can, make a point of taking yourself out of your comfort zone and get used to how that feels, as an actor your entire career will exist without any kind of comfort zone. Stay strong and be ready for daily rejection, it is just the way it is and every actor goes through it."
Kevin alludes to his own ability to handle a surprise or curveball in any given situation and working through it and enjoying that process rather than be intimidated as one of his strengths.
His own advice is not too far off from the best advice he received, from one of the best directors he has worked with. This director – would it be fair to speculate Christopher Nolan? - told him, "You don't know how good you are. You have to understand that a lot of people don't have what you have," which Kevin claims gave him the belief to dig deeper and strive on for the achievements that he knows are awaiting him when things get tough for him.
So, how exactly does he dig deeper for a spectacular performance? "I am at my creative best when I have absorbed myself in the world I am entering into. By that I mean I have allowed myself to disconnect from my personal life to a point, and have harnessed my focus and concentration on the work and the day ahead. This often comes with a strong (decaff!) coffee first thing in the morning."
It also helps to be inspired by the role. "I am at my best or my strongest when I have a strong reason to tell the story that I am telling. Being passionate about the character, the story and the consequences of not getting that particular story out there offers me my drive and direction," he reveals.
He also thinks healthy competition can be a great driving force for great delivery. "Competition is a highly significant factor in my day to day life. I work hard at managing unrealistic expectations or comparisons. I have friends in the industry at a similar level to myself and we encourage one another and always have," he says, adding that he has also found competition helpful in pushing him to achieve greater levels of success in every avenue of life – be it in the gym, an audition room or on the sets.
This great sense of ethics and willingness to go the extra mile is what allows Kevin to have no regrets in his career. "Yes, there are always jobs that you think you could've passed up on or performances that you want to make better. But I am confident in the choices that I make, with the support of my agent and my family," he says, adding that he looks at all his choices as opportunities to learn and grow. Even if something did not turn out exactly as he had hoped it had become a springboard to other opportunities.
Here is wishing the springboards of his career so far would take him to his aspirations for 10 years down the line. In his own words: "I see myself consolidating from the work I have already achieved, hopefully going on to have a recognizable portfolio of all kinds of work, indie film, hi-end television and blockbusters. But ultimately with a CV where people look on it and respect my choices and my performances. That's the dream!"
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