Interviews - Connor Lee Dye

Connor Lee Dye
Role: Soldier II

What's the best Shakespeare performance you've seen?

RSC's performance of "Henry V". Alex Hassell playing the title role. His ability to bring such emotional depth at the height of battle, and truth behind the character, made the show and his performance was unforgettable. He took such a demanding role and forge his own character interpretation, making it captivating for all who watched. Magnificent.

What Shakespeare role (which you haven't played) would you love to do?

My dream role in any Shakespeare play would probably be Brutus, "Julius Caesar". The conflict and the decisions that he makes throughout the play are challenging, thoughtful, and deeply emotional. It would test my range and enable me to find a compelling journey. "Julius Caesar" is one of my favourite plays by Shakespeare.

The role of ritual is key in this film, how do you feel your character is part of/or away from such ceremonies?

Soldier II and Soldier I work in complete harmony throughout this film, leading to their own rituals, making them seem ethereal or to be considered as one mind in two bodies. Soldier II is constantly surrounded by the rituals of war.

Similar to Timandra and Phrynia, you have to work (sometimes in unison) with Soldier I (played by Jack Westgate). How has that experience been? Is there added pressure having to mirror someone's rhyme in delivering Shakespeare?

I love playing a high commanding soldier. It is quite a challenge for me to process the concept of rhythm into Soldier II, leading to the role being difficult for me. I have never shied away from a challenge and haven't with this role either. The more Jack and I worked together the easier it was to define the intentions and motives; and the more I gained confidence in the rhythm of both soldiers. The working relationship with Jack and myself has been exceptional, we seem to correct each other's mistakes with ease and a friendly attitude, it is an honour to work with talented actors and Jack has been my saving grace. Working in tandem so well, we have come close to mirroring each other's rhythm beautifully. It has brought many rewards that I will be able to apply to all of my future roles.

Was there any expectation you had about your character that has changed?

I found that the role demands for my character to be the pinnacle of Athenian training, this was not what I was expecting initially, after doing my preliminary research. I started learning a lot about the fighting styles of soldiers used throughout ancient Athens. I soon realised that my character was born into the 'soldier lifestyle' so would be much more advanced and respected as a result of this.

Have you worked with CGI before?

I have worked with CGI (computer-generated imagery) in post and with ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) but this is my first experience with performing on a green screen. By that, I have worked on CGI projects doing post-production voice over but never actually stepped on to a green screen before. Working with the green screen brings new fantastic challenges and helps me look to my scene partners for inspiration, rather than taking my inspiration from the surroundings, as there is none.

Have you ever filmed abroad before?

I haven’t done any work outside of the UK up until this project, so "Misanthropos" will always have a special place in my heart.

What do you expect from a Director?

The most important role I expect from a director is to teach the cast how to achieve a united vision. It is vital that everyone is aware of what is expected of them and to learn new lessons and skills along the way.

How are you related to your character in Misanthropos?

There are very few personality traits I share with Soldier II. His concept of being a half of a full coin is something that is most jarring to me as a person. I like to think I'm friendly and compassionate, which completely contrast the absolute professionalism of Soldier II.

Lastly, what will happen to your character after? Do you feel there is hope for your character/for the world, by the end of the film?

Punishment for failing to stand by our post before Timon's untimely end will be an inevitability, but I think both soldiers will regain a premium title in the newly ruled Athens, alongside Alcibiades. Possibly, becoming joint commanders of the new Athenian army?