YEM catches up with Harry Jarvis

Harry Jarvis is best known for his role in High Strung Free Dance. The film was given new life as it was recently added to Netflix! When the movie first premiered, YEM spoke with Harry Jarvis about his role. (You can read Harry’s interview here!) While Netflix users are enjoying the film, we got back in touch with Harry Jarvis to talk about his career. And, we learned about one of his newer projects that is benefiting the LGBT+ community.

Young Entertainment Mag: Hey, nice being able to chat with you again Harry and thank you for taking the time. How have you been keeping your craft alive during this time and where are you currently bound to?

Harry Jarvis: Of course! Well the acting industry has been hit hard as no sets can function as they generally require people to be within 6 feet of each other and actors in front of the camera have to act without masks. Also acting classes have closed so I haven’t been able to attend those. However I’ve taken to doing a lot of script writing. I am developing a few different projects that I am looking to getting out there. And I am also practicing my acting in front of the camera at home, Los Angeles, where I have been quarantining. However recently increased testing and better regulations mean productions are beginning to film. So I am excited to start working on some new projects.

YEM: You mentioned last time that you took up piano for your role in High Strung Free Dance. How have your piano skills developed since then? Have you had a chance to compose any music of your own? Any new projects we’ll be seeing those piano skills in? Maybe another High Strung?

Harry: I did and yes I completely fell in love with the piano. During lockdown I ordered a Yamaha Synthesiser and have been practicing most days. I think I’m definitely developing and have been writing a lot of my own songs. Also I have been working with my roommates who are excellent guitarists from the UK (just like myself) on songs that we compose together. I would love to work on another project where I am able to play the piano! I’m not sure if there will be a High Strung 3 but I’d jump on board in a second if I got a chance to play!

YEM: Since we last spoke you had done the Christmas film The Knight Before Christmas with Vanessa Hudgens. What was it like working on that set? Did you have any scenes with Vanessa, what was it like working with her? Is there going to be a second one?

Harry: The set itself was great! The director Monika Mitchel is amazing and we’ve stayed very close since. I had most of my scenes with Joshua Whitehouse who was a lot of fun to film with but I didn’t act with Vanessa. I met her at the screening after and she was really lovely. So down to earth and extremely fun to talk to. I’m not at liberty to say anything about a second one but fingers crossed!

YEM: What’s it like entering the LGBT+ scene with The Male Gaze: Strikers & Defenders? Has that changed anything in the way you approach roles? Was there anything in that film that you were able to walk away with in terms of your acting?

Harry: The interesting thing about “The Male Gaze: Strikers and Defenders” is that it is a collection of short films dealing with issues prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community such as homophobia or transphobia and an unwillingness to intervene in the face of discrimination. All of the short films deal with this very real issue, which is something the LGBTQ+ community deals with regularly.

Although it was only released this year, our short film “colours” was shot in 2014. Having the privilege to tell a story like this at such a young age was such a blessing. Ever since the film I have been even more aware of both issues that occur on a daily basis in the world around me and also within the acting/film community. Ensuring fair representation on screen is paramount to ensuring that everyone has a voice. And after hearing such positive things from supporters of the film it made me aware of how important it is to tell these stories.

“Colours” deals with homophobia in the world of soccer which I think is an important conversation as only 2 players in over 5000 professional soccer players in English soccer have ‘come out’ as openly gay, a scenario which has odds of over 1 million to 1. Sharing stories like “Colours” hopefully will reach out to people involved in sporting teams who struggle with the pressure of “coming out” or people who are struggling with their sexuality generally in life.

YEM: You mentioned you had just watched Hamilton in your last interview. How are you with playing musical theater, have you learned to play any songs from Hamilton?

Harry: Hamilton is amazing and I know many of the raps by heart! However I haven’t learnt to play any of the songs on piano as the music I play is a variety of music spanning from indie to alt pop.

YEM: Were there any scenes in High Strung Free Dance that were difficult to film? Any that you look back now and say how easy it was in comparison to other things you’re currently working on? What was it and how did you overcome it and what’s the new challenge that you’re trying to overcome?

Harry: Every film you do, you come across challenges that you later look back on and cannot comprehend why you found it so difficult. One of these for me in High Strung was a scene which was ultimately cut from the film. Charlie and Barlow share an intense moment which they play off as casual. Sometimes striking a balance between two different tones can be very hard. Now I feel as though a scene like that would be easy for me to act. But at the time I had a real mental block. So in a strange way that may have been a challenge I did not overcome but it made me re-examine my acting tools. And now I have encountered similar scenes in films and have been able to overcome the challenge!

I’m not sure if there will be a High Strung 3 but I’d jump on board in a second if I got a chance to play!

YEM: What’s the process like in creating the American accent?

Harry: Forming a new accent is always tricky. But, having said that, I have been performing with an American accent for years now. So it feels like second nature. When I first started practicing over 10 years ago, I found that the key in any accent is isolating specific vowel sounds and that is still where I begin when rehearsing for a new accent. I love trying lots of new accents alongside American as I feel the voice is so central in creating a convincing and authentic character. Plus they can be fun to mess around with. At this point in my career, I sometimes find it odd acting in my own accent as I have been in LA for so long and find myself auditioning for and playing many American roles.

Follow Harry on Twitter @HarryJarv and on Instagram @harryjarvisofficial!

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