Christopher Woodward’s latest radio drama production One-Sided Love is getting closer by the week. The casting of the character Jasper King comes soon after that of the casting of the character Iris who is to be played by Kate Chappell. I spoke to Grant Ryan Lenton about how he made the journey into the world of performing and about how he’s getting into the role of Jasper.
Why did you decide to get involved with One Sided Love?
Social media played a part in it, for sure. But I like to think of it as things lining up as they’re supposed to. The day I saw the Facebook post that you were still looking for an actor to play the role of Jasper King I’d been encouraged by my friend and acting coach, Anthony Montes, to give voice work more consideration. So I guess I saw it as a sign.
What do you think of your character?
I see a lot of myself in Jasper. I see aspects of myself in most of the characters, but Jasper for sure. We have a guy who’s bored in his day job and needs a lift. That’s relatable to a lot of people and I’ve been there. He wants to know and understand people - which is something I make efforts to do, but he’s also judgmental of people which I’m conscious of not doing. Jasper’s quite open and honest, generally - he says what he thinks. But not when it counts. He has layers, I’m excited about getting to know him.
Is this your first step into radio drama?
The short of it - yes. I’d tried some things out in College and I’ve tested for voice over work recently, but in terms of a full radio drama, yes.
How did you get involved in performing?
I have to credit my Mum, really. After watching ‘Lost in Translation’ many years ago I had a heart-to-heart with her and she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told her I wanted to be an actor and she encouraged me to go and do it. So from there I did two years at College and three years at University. Those five years were kind of a mixed bag so I took a break from acting and went to China for four years. When I came back I spent some time at Rose Bruford. Things carried on from there and I’ve been working professionally since. There’s a broader answer but really it comes down to being encouraged and supported at a time when I needed it most.
How do you relate yourself to the drama?
I think the dynamics of the characters is how I would relate myself to the drama. There’s the workmate who you gossip with but don’t really have much else to do with outside of work. There’s the colleague who’s maybe in a higher position than you are and you don’t really get along. Then there’s the girl you like, or even just someone new, who seems to lift the place - at least for a while. I’ve worked in these environments before. They can be a great laugh and really enjoyable but they can also be very toxic and bring out the very worst in people. So I think the drama stems from the dynamics in a lot of ways.
One-Sided Love was released for free last month and can be Downloaded here.
Listen out for Grant in the role of Jasper in the radio drama due to be released mid August early September.
Words by Meg Kay
Photo by Danny Burns