UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 26 OCTOBER
Acting alumnus Nigel Boyle delivered an on-campus masterclass to Acting students this week. The famous alumnus, who is well known for his role as ‘H’ in Line of Duty, offered guidance to students on how to be successful in the industry.
Nigel provided tips on breaking into the industry and securing roles in anything from adverts, plays and on screen. He has featured in numerous adverts and accepts that this is where he cut his teeth and still enjoys working on them now, mainly in Scandinavia.
Nigel has appeared on our screens in a number of hit BBC drama series, from Line of Duty and Silent Witness, to Peaky Blinders and Coronation Street. He has also played six different characters in more than 14 episodes in the recently cancelled Doctors, aired between 2006 − 2019.
He said: “It’s a genuine shame about Doctors, especially with it being filmed locally and providing RBC actors and BCU students with placement opportunities. I’ve spent a lot of time working on the show, as have lots of prestigious actors. It’s a loss.”
Despite his love for advert work, Nigel is best known for his role as ‘H’ in Line of Duty. He said: “When I first walked onto the set [of Line of Duty], I couldn’t believe it. Working with such big actors, but you can’t be starstruck or get imposter syndrome. You’re there for a reason, own it.”
Throughout the masterclass Nigel repeated an important message for students: Be positive.
“It’s important to be positive, be a positive person. Don’t badmouth people or their work, as you’ll end up with a bad reputation.
“After an audition, forget about it. Be positive. You can’t change history, only the future. Move onto the next one,” he added.
On the back of a successful acting career, Nigel still has challenges finding work, as all actors do in the current climate.
“You have to be persistent, keep your mind open and don’t give up. If you believe in yourself, eventually other people will too. Actors are athletes of the imagination.”
When asked by a student who his acting idol was when growing up, he said: “It has to be Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Robert Carlyle.”
Nigel also emphasised the importance of learning lines, stating that these are the basics for any actor.
He said: “You have to learn your lines, it’s muscle memory. A great piece of advice I received was rehearsals start outside of the rehearsal rooms.”
Nigel studied and lived with School of Acting alumna Hester Ruoff and auditioned for Boiling Point, which Hester co-produced. However, Nigel couldn’t commit due to Line of Duty filming.
Nigel also features in Chancellor Sir Lenny Henry’s new drama series for ITV, Three Little Birds, which aired on 22 October. Starring Rochelle Neil, Saffron Coomber and Yazmin Belo, the show is based on stories Lenny’s mother and aunt told him about coming to Britain in the 1950s.
Pictured: Nigel Boyle and Head of Undergraduate Studies for Acting Danièle Sanderson.