Actor Toby Jones meets Oxford Brookes Drama students

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Toby Jones with students

Distinguished actor Toby Jones visited Oxford Brookes University on Friday 25 November for a Q&A session with undergraduate Drama and English Literature students.

Toby, whose extensive career has spanned stage, television and film, was interviewed by Head of the Department of English and Modern Languages Professor Simon Kövesi. Toby talked about his origins and influences, and how he learnt his craft, and offered advice on the dos and don’ts of the industry, with insights into invaluable lessons learnt throughout his career.

Toby’s life as an actor began with studying Drama at the University of Manchester and at the famous ‘Lecoq’ theatre school in Paris. Speaking after the event, Toby commented about the value of taking Drama as a subject at university: “Drama is a vast and growing subject because it feeds so many areas of life. 

Everyone in the world has access to making their own movie and they can make it anytime and anywhere they are, so that is a fantastic tool for young actors.

Toby Jones.

“Modes of drama are increasingly used in so many different fields because it is the way we understand ourselves in the world, we tell the story of our lives in that way so it’s not just about plays and movies it’s also about perception and self and understanding and I suppose, orientation.”

Toby’s film and television roles came after completing his studies. Some of his notable film credits include Infamous (2006)Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and The Hunger Games (2012). He was also the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter series. His television credits include Agent CarterDetectorists and Doctor Who. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl (2012), and for a British Television Award for his lead in the acclaimed BBC drama Marvellous. He played the poet John Clare in the feature film By Our Selves (2015), part of which was filmed at Oxford Brookes. 

Toby Jones talking to Drama students

Drama students relished the chance to ask Toby questions, and gleaned advice about getting started in the industry, dealing with auditions and agents, and adapting to different roles. Commenting on how the industry has changed for aspiring actors breaking into the business, Toby said: “Everyone in the world has access to making their own movie and they can make it anytime and anywhere they are, so that is a fantastic tool for young actors. 

“Everyone is more camera literate than we were because they’ve spent their lives photographing themselves and other people.”

More information about studying Drama at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the Department of English and Modern Languages webpages.