Ben Hardy: Soap is a great place to learn your screen craft

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent
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Ben Hardy: Soap is a great place to learn your screen craft

Ben played Peter Beale on EastEnders before being cast as Archangel in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Former EastEnders actor Ben Hardy has said his transition to Hollywood movies was smooth because there is less of a stigma around soap actors these days.

The actor, 27, played Peter Beale in Albert Square from 2013 to 2015 and a year later was cast as Archangel in X-Men: Apocalypse.

He said: “I was very fortunate to get that and that helped me a lot to get other things.

“The transition, I do feel that there is less of a stigma about soap actors these days and you see a lot more soap actors working on British television and American television and film.

“I think that’s great as I like to think of soap as the rep theatre – it’s a great place to actually learn your screen craft.”

Hardy, who returns to our screens this Sunday in a BBC1 adaption of Wilkie Collins’ novel The Woman In White, said he does not particularly have his sights set on Hollywood as he just wants to follow the “best work”.

And he said he could not see himself relocating to Los Angeles.

“There are lovely little pockets of LA, but it’s just so industry-orientated,” he said.

“And just everyone is an actor and you get an Uber and there is someone selling you a script or like telling you how they are just driving for research, and you’re just like, ‘Ugh I don’t care. I just want to go from A to B.’

“And you’ll be at an event or something and everyone in the room is doing that thing where they are talking to you but looking over your shoulder to see who else is around. That’s not really my kind of scene.”

He added: “I know a lot of actors go over there because they think, ‘If I go to LA it’s going to make my career’. Maybe it does, I don’t know, but I just don’t think I could live there.”

The Woman In White premieres on BBC1 on April 22.

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