Accent on the pos­i­tive

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Jes­sica Nico

AT 21, James Ha­gan was pack­ing Weet-Bix into boxes at a fac­tory in North Fre­man­tle.

The Fre­man­tle res­i­dent’s life changed for­ever just a few short months later, but lit­tle did he know that the peo­ple he met do­ing this work would con­tinue to help him 40 years on.

It was while work­ing at the fac­tory that Ha­gan, fol­low­ing his sis­ter Jen­nifer into act­ing, de­cided to start act­ing in am­a­teur theatre pro­duc­tions, where he was tal­ent-spot­ted and in­vited to start act­ing pro­fes­sion­ally.

Having acted on stage and screen ever since, Ha­gan said his hum­ble be­gin­nings al­ways came in handy.

“If you just as­so­ciate with ac­tors, all you can play is ac­tors,” he said.

“I can do mil­lions of ac­cents; I can do Ger­man and Ital­ian ac­cents be­cause these were the peo­ple I worked with.”

With a plethora of roles un­der his belt, in­clud­ing Win­ston Churchill, King Lear, C.Y. O’Con­nor and even lend­ing his voice to ad­ver­tise­ments such as the De­part­ment of Health’s ‘every cig­a­rette is do­ing you dam­age’ 90s TV cam­paign, Ha­gan said act­ing in WA al­lowed him to be what­ever he wanted to be.

“Act­ing is a de­sire to be some­body else and I’ve never lost that de­sire to get away from my­self,” he said.

“Ac­tors are of­ten con­sid­ered ego­tists and self­ish but of­ten it’s a de­sire to get away from your­self that makes us into ac­tors.

“The great thing about be­ing an ac­tor in Aus­tralia and es­pe­cially WA is you have to do ev­ery­thing.

“If I was an ac­tor in Bri­tain I’d prob­a­bly just be a Shake­spearean ac­tor; here I get to act in big bold mu­si­cals and sing songs, I get to ad­ver­tise, I also get to be a stand up co­me­dian.

“If I had just been do­ing Shake­speare, I would be dy­ing of bore­dom.”

With a CV more than 80 items long and a string of awards un­der his belt, Ha­gan shows no signs of slow­ing down, again tak­ing to the stage in The Blue Room Theatre’s up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of Hobo from July 5 to 16.

He is also ap­pear­ing in an up­com­ing movie along­side a big-named Hol­ly­wood star but so far is tight-lipped on the de­tails.

Picture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d453757

James Ha­gan.

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