LEO SUTER [BEECHAM HOUSE]
British actor, Leo Suter currently stars as the leading role as Daniel Beecham in Gurinder Chadha’s new series BEECHAM HOUSE for ITV.
Leo won the Radio Times Reader’s Breakout Talent Award for his much-loved role of Edward Drummond in ITV and PBS’ VICTORIA.
In this interview, Leo gives us a glimpse into his life as an actor and what the job entails. Get to know one of London’s hottest rising stars as he talks about acting, Beecham House and his other lead role in the film, I’ll Find You.
Tell us a little about your story. Who is Leo Suter?
I’m an actor based in London - I’ve lived here my whole life
What’s your favorite thing about being an actor?
I love the variety that the job affords you, and the people you get to meet along the way. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in some really special places across the world. Most recently I was filming in some incredible Mughal palaces in Northern India which were genuinely breathtaking. I also really enjoy the dynamic on a film set. It’s a whole family who gets to know each other really well over the course of a shoot. I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way. And getting paid to dress up and play make-believe is pretty cool.
As an actor, what type of roles and genres do you normally gravitate towards?
Actually, I’ve just finished shooting my first comedy with David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed. I’d played in comedies on stage before, but filming a comedy is a fresh and different experience compared to the dramas I am usually involved with. It seems the aim of the game is to make the other people in the scene crack up. David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed are very good at that. But more generally I’d like to try to avoid gravitating towards one particular genre or role, per se. Part of the joy of this job is its variety and I’d like to maintain that.
How do you normally prepare and get yourself into the headspace for the characters that you play?
Well, I’ll tend to trawl through the script as thoroughly as I can before getting started. I then do really enjoy the research stage where you get to investigate the period and the given circumstances of a story. On a more day to day basis, I usually make a playlist or have a particular song that can help me tap into the character. So I can often be spotted on a film set, wandering around with a large pair of headphones on my head.
What can you tell us about your character, Daniel Beecham from Beecham House? Are you guys anything alike?
Daniel's an injured soldier who rocks up at his brother’s mansion to recuperate. He’s not the best behaved of younger brother’s and takes a few liberties during his stay at Beecham House - namely by ‘courting' one of the maids. He’s actually quite a playful character though; he seems to be able to get away with more things than he should because of his devilish grin. I suppose in that respect we might be a little similar. I’ve maybe gotten out of a few scrapes with a big smile.
Tell us about your upcoming lead role in the film, I’ll Find You and what it’s about?
It's an epic film set in Poland in the run-up to the Second World War. I play an opera singer who falls in love with a Jewish violinist. It's a love story set within the context of Nazi occupation. Music is what draws the lovers together in the first place and what keeps them alive through the war. This was my first time playing a lead and I landed the role straight after university. It was a fantastic experience to film in Poland and learn from some brilliant actors like Stellen Skarsgaard and Connie Nielsen. It was a long shoot and training to be an opera singer was not easy. But I learnt so much on that job - I feel it was a very formative experience for me as an actor.
What’s your dream project?
That’s a hard question and I wouldn’t want to be too prescriptive at this point. But in general, I think most actors would agree - we want to play great characters in great scripts. Finding good writing is so important and I think over the years I’ve honed my skills at figuring out which scripts work and which scripts don’t.
Aside from acting, what do you normally enjoy doing in your free time?
The job can often take you far afield, so when I get free time I like to try and catch up with old friends who are busy doing other things in London. And my family is pretty important to me too, so I like to spend time with them when I can. I’m quite good at relaxing and being very unproductive in my free time.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
I wouldn’t try! That’s not me trying to be clever, I genuinely wouldn’t know what to say.
If you were a book, what kind of book would you be and why?
If you had the chance to help any specific charity / organization, which one would it be?
There’s a cancer immunology research centre at Southhampton University which is doing some incredible research into cures for certain cancers. It’s doing some amazing science and is a cause close to my heart - they’d get my vote.
See Leo Suter as Daniel Beecham in the new British drama, Beecham House on ITV.