Exclusive: For Life's Nicholas Pinnock on the hardest part of filming

Rianne Houghton, Jo Berry
·3-min read
Photo credit: ABC - YouTube
Photo credit: ABC - YouTube

From Digital Spy

Inspired by the true story of Isaac Wright Jr, new legal drama For Life distils what it means for the human spirit to triumph over adversity and injustice. Understandably, then, filming for the series wasn't always easy.

Nicholas Pinnock, who plays the lead in the fictionalised series, spoke exclusively to Digital Spy about the experience ahead of For Life's premiere on Sky Witness and NOW TV, admitting that some days it was "f**king exhausting" stepping into the role.

Produced by 50 Cent and airing on ABC in the US, For Life follows an imprisoned man, Aaron Wallace, who becomes a lawyer and litigates cases for other inmates – all while trying to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit.

Photo credit: Giovanni Rufino - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Giovanni Rufino - Sony Pictures

Related: For Life's Nicholas Pinnock recalls incident with correction officers while filming in real prison

Opening up about the sheer "emotional content" of Aaron's story, Pinnock explained: "It's f**king exhausting! You know, dealing with all of his emotional content...

"The first episode where he trashes his cell and he ends up on the floor, that day in particular, I said, 'Listen I'll give you two of those because I'm feeling a lot of what he's going through right now' and they said fine, so we set it up, we did two [takes]."

Recalling one gruelling moment, and for him one of the hardest parts of filming For Life, Pinnock shared an intense physical reaction he had to one scene.

"After the second [take], I was in a heap on the floor, hyperventilating," he told us. "I then managed to step out of the cell and [after] three or four steps I collapsed on the floor in a heap. I was bawling my eyes out for 25 minutes because I could feel the injustice, the pain, the suffering, the loss, of everything that he was going through.

Photo credit: ABC - YouTube
Photo credit: ABC - YouTube

"Because subconsciously, my body as an actor doesn't know that this isn't real life, so it releases the very same chemicals. It's just my mind that knows that this is my job, that this is my creative outlet."

Pinnock went on to add that while Aaron Wallace's journey wasn't "easy", neither was his as an actor. "I was feeling all the things that he's feeling," he said.

"When you tap into everything that he's feeling, which sometimes offsets everything that I'm going through personally in my own life, it's exhausting. It's really, really hard. He doesn't have an easy journey. At all.

"That is, by far for me, the hardest aspect of it all – the work and actually exploring him, and finding all of the elements of him that make him not only entertaining but believable and interesting and complex and visually something that people want to invest in watching."

For Life launches on Friday, November 20 on Sky Witness and NOW TV.

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