interview by JANA LETONJA

Actor Tom Burke will next be seen as a lead in the highly anticipated ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ opposite Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, which released globally on 24th May. Most recently, he was seen in Season 2 of Sky Original sci-fi thriller ‘The Lazarus Project’.

Tom, we’ll be seeing you in the highly anticipated feature ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’. What can we expect from this post-apocalyptic action adventure film?
An epic tale about survival and humanity in an incredibly hostile world, but in terms of this movie in particular, revenge and freedom, survival and humanity, the cost of each on the other.

How exciting was it being cast in the fifth instalment of  the popular ‘Mad Max’ franchise?
George is like Goya. There’s such breadth, so much light in the dark. To be working with an imagination like that and within something on this scale is such a privilege, and such an extraordinary level of skill and talent and inventiveness in every department.

In the film, you portray Praetorian Jack. What excited you creatively the most about this role?
His journey, the shift in dynamic with those around him and particularly Furiosa, and discovering the journey of that with Anya. George and Nico want that kind of specificity so that something isn’t just an exercise in style. 

The film just had it’s world premiere at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. How special is having your film premiere at the iconic Cannes Film Festival?
It’s a first for me and it was the first film festival I ever remember hearing about. Its roots are a celebration of the avant-garde and while this movie is an action movie, I think it’s also undeniably a work of art, a created and mythic world, but one that has such a strong sense of its own reality.

How was the wholesome experience of Cannes Film Festival for you?
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t at times a little nerve wracking, just the size of it. I couldn’t help but think of the heads rolling down the steps in Apocalypto as we made the legendary climb towards the auditorium. But the scale of enthusiasm for cinema was wonderful to be immersed in.

When and how did your passion for acting and performing develop?
Rather seamlessly from dressing up as pirates, knights and vampires as a child. I don’t think those were things I ever felt ready to let go of, although of course other themes become equally as fascinating as you get older, and not all of them involve the great quest, the biting of neck or the buckling of swash. 

What kind of projects and roles challenge you the most creatively?
There is such a thing as the right kind of challenge. If I don’t feel curious, I’m lost. It’s hard to outline what sort of thing might inspire that at any given moment, but there’s always a combination of recognition and intrigue. It keeps the cogs moving.  

Which role you’ve portrayed so far has left the biggest mark on you, both creatively and personally?

Probably both times I’ve worked with the theatre director Gadi Roll. One was von Horváth’s ‘Don Juan’ and the other was Rodrigo in Schiller’s ‘Don Carlos’. And Gadi was an almighty part of both.  

shirt and tie PAUL SMITH

What are some of your other passions in life, besides of course acting?
I’m a much more social animal than I used to be and I find I’m much more reliant on music as a consumer. Although I keep promising myself I’ll learn to play something. I’m very relieved to have fallen into that dependance, or the realisation of that dependance. I don’t know how I coped before. I probably wasn’t really coping at all.

What can you share with us about your next, upcoming projects you’re currently working on?
A spy thing with Steven Soderberg, a brilliantly interesting and original take on that genre. And then a play, but I can’t say what it is yet.

talent TOM BURKE
photography RHYS FRAMPTON
styling JAIME JARVIS at Stella Creative Artists
grooming CHAD MAXWELL at Stella Creative Artists using Bumble & Bumble and Elemis
editor-in-chief TIMOTEJ LETONJA
editorial director and interview JANA LETONJA