BELLO It Guy
Tell me more about the role you played of Evan “Buck” Buckley, in the hit TV show “9-1-1.” How was it having to play an American firefighter? What kind of training did you do to put yourself in the mindset of the character? Were you looking forward to this role?
It was, and is, such an honor to get to play a firefighter. Firefighters are everyday heroes who I think are often overlooked – so to get to play one as a part of a show that is doing a huge amount to try and pay tribute to them… I feel very lucky! We didn’t get too much time to actually train before we started shooting, but we have amazing consultants on set with us who are active firefighters when they aren’t at work with us so they help make it feel very real! As soon as I found out I got the part I was very excited to start and right now I can’t wait to go back to start shooting Season 2!
How different was this role compared to others you have played in the US, such as “Ryder” in AMC’s “Into the Badlands”?
Funnily enough I actually think I was a little more similar to Ryder than I am to Buck… minus the evil. I think people often think I’m probably a lot like Buck in my real life, but the truth is I’m a lot more introverted than he is. So it was a lot of fun getting to explore a side of myself, through Buck, that I don’t really have the confidence to bring out in Oliver. Also, it feels like Buck has already gone through such growth as a character, which is a delight to get to perform, and I look forward to that continuing to happen.
Many viewers may know there is a difference between American television and that of the UK, what are some differences you’ve experienced as an actor.
The scale is much bigger here. We are able to create incredible set-pieces here in the US that TV shows often don’t have the resources to create in the UK. In episode 4 of 9-1-1 we bought a plane and cut it in half to create the plane crash sequence and that’s just one example! But I’ve always found that once you’re there doing the work, all sets tend to feel similar. I was very nervous when I first started work in the US – but once I arrived I realized it all works the same in the end!
What made you want to move to the US to pursue your career? Do you travel back and forth between England and the US for work?
I felt like I had hit a ceiling in the UK. I wasn’t having many opportunities to audition back home and I felt like my career was coming to a halt. So I came to the US to be a fresh face and start over. It felt amazing to come here and start to be given the chance to audition for really great parts and really feel myself become invigorated by the possibilities in LA!
Your original name is “Oliver Leon Jones,” so where did Oliver “Stark” come from?
Stark was my late Grandmother’s maiden name. When I joined the acting union in the UK ‘Oliver Jones’ was taken so I had to come up with something else!
Do you have a motivational word or phrase that pushes you forward? Or advice you have for others.
When I was going through a bad time before getting 9-1-1, I was brought a lot of comfort by the saying,’ You’re not going through it, it is going through you’. The idea that whatever I’m experiencing will pass through me and I will be stronger for it.
If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
I would tell myself that it’s only once you start to accept yourself that you’ll start climbing the ladder to happiness and, hopefully, success. I spent a long time trying to be something I’m not. It’s a constant battle, but I’m working on just being me.. and knowing that’s enough.
Photography ARTHUR GALVAO @artgphoto
Styling LUKE FUNTECHA & TIFFANY YEHUDA @official_lukatonic & @tiffanyehuda
Grooming GRACE PHILLIPS @grace_phillips
production Maison Privée x BELLO Media Group
Featured in Bello Mag issue #169