Pride Month 2020
Writer / Actor
Two Heads Creek
For Pride Month The New Current new series featuring interviews with LGBTQ creatives from across the arts and from around the world.
Jordan Waller is an actor and writer who made his Edinburgh Fringe debut with Son of Dyke in 2019 and appeared as Lord Alfred Paget in Victoria. Most recently he wrote and starred in the feature film Two Heads Creek directed by Jesse O'Brien.
Hi Jordan thank you for talking to TNC, how have you been holding up during the lockdown, has it offered you any creative inspiration?
I've moved back in to look after my mum - so I'm a big baby again. And, though it's unfashionable to say, I've loved every minute I've spent with her. I've written a lot - whether any of it will see the light of day is another question. It's probably just going to be acted out in my living room for my mother.
Back in 2019 you premiered The D Word at VAULTS Festival in Waterloo, what was that experience like for you?
It's the first time I'd ever performed my own material and it was petrifying - mainly because there was nowhere to hide. I felt like an imposter for most of it.
Did you have any apprehensions about creating a show that was so personal?
Someone told me when I was starting out to write what I know - I took that very literally and because I'm a psychopath who has forgotten how to feel, I find it unnervingly easy to create the emotional distance to turn my own experience into a narrative.
The response you got for The D Word was amazing, did you imagine you would get such a positive reaction to your show?
No. Never. I was always surprised when the audience clapped at the end - then I'd remember it's just customary to do so.
The D Word became Son of Dyke and you had a short run at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, what was your time in at the fringe like, is it something you will do again?
The Fringe was scary, but also an adrenaline thrill. I was going to do it again this year, but alas Wuhan got in the way.
Can you tell me a little bit about Two Head Creek, how did this film come about?
It was an idea cooked up in the kitchen of the producer, Jayne Chard. I wanted to write something about inbreeding in Norfolk originally, and the long and winding path of development, money and logistics grew the thing into what it is - a heavy-handed satire of Australian-style immigration.
Had you always intended to appear as Norman?
I wrote it first, and then things happened organically...It was thanks to the brilliant producers that I got a chance to lead - which was a dream come true.
What do you think is the most valuable lesson you have taken away from making Two Heads Creek?
Films are never finished.
The humour in Two Heads Creek is dark with the ‘dinner scene’ with Eric (David Adlam) being one of the darkest and funniest, what was your favourite scene to write and to film?
Funnily enough that was one of the funnest scenes to film because I had to come round the corner and see David's face as he was dining with this corpse, and of course, I would then corpse. Also, any scene with Gary Sweet was excruciatingly funny, and a nightmare to get through because he's so naughty.
You’re also known for playing Lord Alfred Paget in Victoria, as an out gay actor how important has it been for you to play a historical gay figure?
I don't believe he was historically gay - but who knows, most people probably were. And that's sort of the point that Daisy Goodwin, the writer and creator of the series, was trying to make with him - we have such a sketchy history of the LGBT community because affairs so often had to be conducted incognito. The consequence of this is that it limits access to our history and forces it through an often negative lens - so we learn about gay history in the 19th century, for example, through fluctuations in the sodomy laws in the UK, which brutally ended the careers of great figures like Wilde. We don't get access to the stories of love, humanity and family - because they weren't documented.
So it was an honour to play a character who championed the hitherto unsung gay experience in the period.
For some gay actors their road to coming out isn’t as clear as we might thing giving the times, is there any advice you would offer an actor who is finding it hard to come out?
Actors want to be able to work. The sad reality is that gay actors still get pigeonholed, so the work becomes limited. It's mainly by producers, whose thinking goes something like this: a gay man can't play a romantic lead because women won't find them attractive and believe in the film. But you think - have you seen Luke Evans? Women, men and dogs froth after that - and producers need to wake up to the fact that they're just wrong in thinking you can't fancy someone of a different sexuality than you. Because my god I've fancied straight men and gay women just like everyone else has.
"...we have such a sketchy history of the LGBT community because affairs so often had to be conducted incognito."
Do you think more productions, film, TV and theatre, should aim to use out actors from the LGBTQ community?
Where did your passion for acting and writing come from?
I'm a narcissist.
Is there anything you can tell me about your next project Off The Rails?
It's about three fifty-year old women who recreate an interrailing trip from their youth following the death of their best friend. And Judi Dench is in it!
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Two Heads Creek?
I hope they might laugh, and maybe a few discussions about immigration policy. Lord knows it's how I spend my free time.