When Anthony Hopkins said that actors ‘needed to stay hungry’, he appealed to those who had both tasted success and those who still strove to obtain it. Those who were literally trying to find their next meal.
After filming concluded on the set of The Wolfman in 2010, Hopkins walked up to his stand in and handed him an envelope, offering thanks and words of encouragement alongside the money contained within. The person who had guided Hopkins through his movements in front of camera before every scene was James Payton.
For over twenty years, James has worked as an actor. During this time he has gained great respect within the industry as he stood in for household names such as Robert Downey Jnr on Sherlock Holmes, and Ryan Reynolds in Life. It’s a strange position to be in, so close to being able to smell the fruit, but not quite in a position to eat it yourself.
Nevertheless James has found his way onto the screen as well. In Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake he appeared as a court reporter. Then three years later he was asked to play Frank Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In 2011, he can be seen playing a caricature of Adolf Hitler in Marvel’s Captain America.
This film will follow James thought-out 2019 as he continues this journey. We will discuss his career, his hopes for the future, the decisions of his past and how difficult the pursuit of something can be.
Directed by Oliver Guy-Watkins
Produced by Orly Nurany & Oliver Guy-Watkins
Cinematography – John Schofield
Filming 2019 – Release Summer 2020