‘Billy Elliot’ star Alexander Loxton has managed to do what few performers do: master skills across different mediums in stage and screen. The combination, he says, has actually helped him excel in both areas because he’s constantly challenging his craft and ensures that he does not become complacent in one area.
“There’s a tendency sometimes as an actor to get a little lazy, because there’s a perception you need to be natural on camera, or just say words, but I think I’ve been lucky with my background and training as a dancer as I feel that it has helped to give me a foundation and structure for staying disciplined,” he offers in our interview.
Indeed, Alexander has been working on his skills as a performer since a very young age. In a path ironically similar to Billy Elliot himself, Alexander hails from a working class background and ended up training at the Royal Ballet School. These life experiences clearly offered Alexander inspiration to draw from when it came to performing as a dancer and actor onstage for over a year, calling on the highest degree of discipline. The production, performed at The Victorian Palace Theatre on London’s West End, was sold-out on a regular basis and received rave reviews in The Sun Newspaper and Guardian.
Indeed, sources advised our editors that dancers and performers in a high-profile production like Billy Elliot have to be of the highest standard as they are intended to show the greatness of what Billy can be one day potentially become. As Alexander played the role of older Billy, he was tasked with carrying the show on his literal and proverbial shoulders in showcasing to the audience how masterful a dancer Billy turns into.
“It was daunting to say the least, but I was definitely up for the challenge. There is a long routine with only young Billy and Older Billy on stage with an incredible aerial acrobatic section. The role requires very advanced classical ballet ability as well as highly skilled acting and singing skills throughout the rest of the show.”
Alexander speaks with affection when discussion how the show was a rewarding experience for him, not only professionally and commercially – as he was able to command a high-salary for the privilege – but personally too.
“It’s very rewarding to inspire a younger generation. And the whole show felt very close to home for me because it was obviously a role that I related to – I felt pulled towards dancing as a youngster but not many people understood my interests because of the town I grew up in. Now that I’m also an actor working in TV shows and films people sort of understand and love it more even if they don’t understand the industry completely’ he adds with a laugh.
The other bonus of performing in such an acclaimed production was the audience who would would enjoy Alexander’s performances on a nightly basis.
“It was pretty cool – Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher came to watch once, as well as members of the Royal Family.
The high-profile success of Alexander’s role in Billy Elliot helped reinforce his reputation as an in-demand performer known for a compelling screen presence as much as he is employed for his athletic stage presence. The by-product of having such a positive name in the industry, and being a master of multiple skills, is that Alexander has been selected for huge commercial campaigns.
For a Marks and Spencers special Christmas campaign, Alexander was selected from over 500 auditionees.
Alexander explains. “This is a huge event as every year all the major supermarket chains release very high budget Christmas commercials. I was featured on TV and online for my dancing and acting. We were lucky enough to film at Warner Bros studios in London (in the same studio they shoot the biggest productions such as Harry Potter.)”
“British artists should support each other, especially as we continue to make headway in the United States – I feel lucky to be considered a valuable part of a small and supportive community of working artists, performers and dancers.”