Oliver Stark: Interview with Oliver Stark of the tv series 9-1-1
She throws herself into the flames for script needs, yet in reality she can hardly look you in the eye. 28-year-old Londoner Oliver Stark (the surname in “Game of Thrones style” replaces the less incisive Jones) gives the impression of one who needs a pinch a day to realize that from a perfect stranger he has turned into the hero next door. All thanks to King Midas Ryan Murphy, creator who turns any creation into gold (from Glee to the brand new Hollywood, on Netflix). In the 9-1-1 franchise (a spin-off with Liv Tyler entitled 9-1-1: Lone Star is already coming on June 1st) the actor plays Buck, the “hot head” of the 118 Los Angeles fire station led by Bobby Nash (Peter Krause of Parenthood).
From May 19 back in action at 9 pm on FOX (channel 112 of Sky) with the new episodes of the third season, more fit than ever but also with a broken heart. Just to pretend, obviously, because in reality for five years he has been partnering with the model Hannah Harlow (also seen fleetingly in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 as an actress). At the Monte-Carlo TV Festival he showed himself very excited not only for the photo with the royals of Monaco, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, during the private cocktail at the palace, but also for the meeting with the fans and the international press. Not even the shadow of Buck’s bravado, but has instead revealed the fragile, emotional, tender side of a man who does not need to pose as an alpha male to attract attention. At a time when the health emergency brought the great effort of law enforcement to attention, Stark could not be more proud to wear his uniform on the set.
In dark times like these, be part of the fire department, even if only for fiction, what does that mean for you?
It is crucial for me to pay tribute to the 911 operators, who are the first to respond to emergencies and are trained to keep you alive before help arrives. And the courage of firefighters like Buck inspires me even though in reality I’m not quite as fearless as he is. This profession has always fascinated me and when for a year I didn’t find a job as an actor I lived in front of the fire station … at the time I made a little thought about the possibility of enrolling.
The uniform is said to give at least 10% more charm. Does flattery be the object of so much attention?
I have many insecurities, like everyone else, because our world, whether we like it or not, bases its first impression on the image. On the other hand, is it difficult not to take staff criticism?
Buck is a very devoted younger brother and you?
Even in reality I have an older brother, but we have not grown very close because we do not look alike and have nothing in common. Jennifer Love-Hewitt, who plays my sister in 9-1-1, instead behaves with me in a very protective way and together we have great laughs on the set.
Don’t tell me he’s a shy …
I was really the youngest on the cast, some kind of mascot. As a boy, however, I had many anxieties and I always looked for masks to hide them. Now I use them in my work and I have found a way to close the circle. But it doesn’t depend on attention.
What do you mean?
I am happy if the public appreciates my work but I am not comfortable in being put on a pedestal, even if I have an idol and I understand what it means to feel admiration for someone. For me it’s Jon Bernthal, the protagonist of The Punisher, a crazy actor.
Buck is light years away from the toxic masculinity we’re used to on TV. What do you think?
I am proud that you see a man who is physically strong but also capable of being moved to tears. For example, I am someone who cries often, I have always been a sensitive boy and I consider him a strong point. The last time it happened to me last night when a fan gave me a compliment.
Online there are comments from her fans who say that her desire on the left eye makes her even sexier. Was it a source of insecurity in the past?
To tell the truth no, there were other things that made me feel fragile, but I am very careful with what I write on my social networks to be sure to use the showcase they offer me wisely. My parents taught me that. When I no longer believed in myself in a sad period of my past, it was they who pushed me to do it. Daddy said to me, “Hold on, my boy, and soon things will work out.” Even when I told him I wanted to be an actor, he encouraged me to try, telling me that if it didn’t work, I would still have had a roof over my head.
What job do your parents do?
Mum works as a teacher, while dad deals with financial consultancy. They have always given me a great work ethic, telling me that perseverance is needed to get results.
It is evident that fatigue does not frighten her. In the past, he did the cleaning, the door-to-door salesman and also the call center operator. Is there anything you can’t do?
I can be distracted and sometimes inconstant in friendships.
What you are particularly proud of, work aside?
I am vegan and I learned many recipes during my various trips to Tuscany so I am happy to prepare them for myself and when they are good for me I am really satisfied.
With Charlene and Alberto of Monaco
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© Richard Foreman Jr. SMPSP