When he was visiting Stockholm, we had the chance to chat with British actor, model and author Tommy Hatto, who talked about his latest movie role and upcoming book, and about finding a healthier and happier balance in life.
23-year-old Tommy Hatto got into acting in a rather unexpected way. He had just left college and moved from his small hometown to London to pursue journalism. He landed an internship at a PR company, which took him to the London Film Festival. Dustin Hoffman was doing a press conference for his movie and Tommy got to meet him afterwards. Hoffman commented “Hey, you’ve got a face for camera. Have you ever thought about acting?” Well, he had not… But as things turned out, a casting director approached him afterwards and signed him for a movie. That first movie part was a small role in the film Thor: The Dark World.
– Going through the casting process was completely new to me and it was a crazy experience. I was going up against people who had gone to acting school and I was completely out of my depth, Tommy explains.
Through hard work, getting an acting coach and putting in the time and effort to film his own things with his friends, he became more comfortable with the process over time. He says he’s faced countless rejections from auditions, but each time has given him more strength to keep going on in this tough industry.
– You realize you are competing against so many people in that field, that you really have to do something that stands out.
We asked Tommy what other advice he would give to other young people who are interested in getting into acting.
– My advice would be to never give up! Just to follow your heart and to follow your gut. Only we know what we can achieve, that is the best piece of advice I’ve been given and I think it works for any profession.
The latest movie Tommy is acting in is The Last Full Measure, starring the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris and William Hurt. The movie is about the Vietnam War and a US Air Force rescue pilot called William Pitsenbarger who saved hundreds of lives. He gave his life rescuing others and was initially not given a medal of honour, but his fellow servicemen campaigned for him to get the recognition.
– We shot the movie in the jungles of Thailand, which was the craziest experience. Being out in the jungle, carrying guns and army gear, you are against the elements, fighting mosquitoes and fighting the heat. We had an intense training regime led by a US Marine.
Tommy says his dream role would be to play somebody in a biographical film.
– If you get to depict somebody in real life, I think that will be the most challenging and most rewarding type of acting role.
Tommy is currently writing his first book, which he wants to call a ‘lifestyle book’. It’s not so much focused on just health and fitness, but encompasses a broader range of topics.
– I really believe a good lifestyle leads to a good life. And that means everything from having a positive attitude to keeping your mind and body healthy, and it all comes together.
The book is about what Tommy has learned from his own health journey from being a kid who ate very unhealthy food and then going into movies and modelling and being surrounded by people who eat very clean. At that point he took it to the other extreme and only ate salad and became underweight and had an eating disorder. So it has really been a journey to get into a happier and healthier body and mind.
– What I have learned about myself along the way is about resilience and believing in yourself. I think a lot of people tend to underestimate themselves in the current society. So the book is about saying it’s OK to think you are amazing, and having that attitude with a confident rather than arrogant way. I always say I’m a work in progress and I’m not perfect, nobody is! But we can all strive to be a little bit better each day.
– Going after this career that I never even dreamed of, I feel like if you want things in life, you kinda have to go out and get them. Nobody’s going to hand you anything. If you want to be better, the first step starts with you.
I’m a big supporter of always saying ‘Why not?’ when opportunities present themselves. I don’t want to limit myself. I want to do everything and I’m always learning.
Tommy is half-British, half-Thai and says his multicultural background has made it a bit harder getting work, especially when it comes to roles typically played by the stereotypical Caucasian people. He doesn’t see his ethnicity represented on screen very much in America or in England. So he would really like to push to try to get into those roles.
– I grew up watching Jackie Chan and Jet Li films and idolizing these heroes of a similar ethnicity to mine. If I could break down those barriers and try to get more Asian actors to the forefront, or people of ethnic minorities in general, that would be great.
We also asked Tommy about his impressions of Stockholm, as he was visiting for the first time. He says he loves the city and was excited to experience the it when there was so much snow.
– The Swedish people are great! They are so friendly and their English is probably better than mine… And I would love to work with Swedish people. I worked with Stellan Skarsgård on Thor, and you have Alicia Vikander… The talent here in Sweden is incomparable!
– Also in terms of the music industry, there’s so many great producers here and some of my biggest favorite artists have always come to Sweden to record. I’m also a big fan of the Swedish singer Benjamin Ingrosso.
So if the opportunity came up to work with Swedish artists, actors or directors, I’d fully take it on board!