Jamie Harris was born in England in 1963 and has had a distinguished career as an actor, writer, and director spanning over three decades. Harris has portrayed a range of characters in theater, movies, and television. He has acted in a variety of well-known films, including “The Prestige,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” and “The New World,” as well as popular TV shows, including “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “NYPD Blue,” and “The Magicians.”
Harris’ appreciation of acting skills and training is one of the significant factors contributing to his success. Harris underlined the importance of both talent and training for a successful acting career. While talent is important, training is equally vital in advancing skills. In his opinion, no amount of training will improve someone’s abilities if they lack the right talent.
Jamie Harris has three quick tips that can be shared with aspiring actors – “be passionate about acting.”, “know your lines, as it is very disrespectful to the rest of the crew if you do not.”, and “It is important to do background work, as most of the work is done before you ever get to set. If you haven’t done that work, you will be lost on set, and you will get eaten up by everybody else. It is essential to do your background work to avoid feeling awkward and out of place and to ensure that you do not look awkward and out of place.”
Harris fell in love with acting through acting classes and participating in scenes. He compares his epiphanic experience to the premiere of a theatrical show. Despite Harris’ stage fright, he found his calling due to the audience’s reaction after the show, whether it was a chuckle or gasp.
Harris has portrayed many complex characters over his storied career, pushing him to his physical and mental boundaries. One of his most difficult sequences involved performing alongside a tiger while playing a drug dealer on a TV show. He had to be careful to avoid making sudden movements or looking the animal in the eye. However, he faced the most difficulty in his role as a character with no eyes and could not speak in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Harris has had the good fortune to collaborate with many outstanding performers and directors throughout his career. He views Dealer’s Choice, a play by Patrick Marber that was successful in the West End before moving to off-Broadway, as his finest achievement. Being cast in a significant part and successfully carrying it out was a rewarding experience for him.
The turning point in Harris’s career came when he was cast as the main character in the television series Carnival Row, moving from a supporting part to a lead. In Lovecraft Country, he played a character different from the script’s original intention, which was another crucial occasion. Again, the director was charmed by Harris’ imaginative portrayal of the role and gave him high marks for his performance.
Harris emphasizes the significance of comprehending the character and the scenario, asking seven crucial questions, and being utterly familiar with the lines regarding audition preparation. Since an actor only has a short period to prepare for an audition, it is imperative to present what is requested.
When asked about upcoming projects, Harris said he frequently speaks with his English agency. “There’s a good chance I’m going to be going back to England to do some work over there. And actually, there are two possible things that we’re in discussions about now.”
With the arrival of his two children, Harris’s personal life has changed, making his day off feeling more like a day on. Harris nevertheless keeps honing his craft and looks forward to working with brilliant performers and directors who put storytelling first.