While 2020 has been a year characterised by people being forced to pivot, Australian actor Grant Lyndon has been used to doing just that on a regular basis since the beginnings of his career in Sydney for quite some time.
As he, and any other prominent studio executive or producer would attest, actors need not just be malleable and versatile in their screen abilities, but their dexterity with life too.
The life of an actor calls for flexibility and frequent change. It’s to be expected that, in the case of an expert on the matter like Grant is, he boasts prominent experience across all different mediums and genres.
The Shane-Abbess-directed feature The Osiris Child, where Grant is listed amongst other cast members such as The Mummy franchise star Luke Ford and Transformers actress Isabel Lucas, represented a pivot in a medium after Grant had spent years in television and voice work.
In his role as Dr Curruthers, Lyndon stands out especially in the penultimate scene counseling Sy (played by Twilight star Kellan Lutz) through the loss of his wife in the futuristic world’s emergency room.
The gritty realism infused with a metallic energy reminiscent of the best George Lucas movies formed a fitting backdrop for the compelling energy of Grant’s time on screen in character, underscoring the notion how he is a true cinematic actor deserving of a close-up.
Grant’s pitch-perfect embodiment of an American character was also a notable feature of the stand-out role, which is an effective juxtaposition to the father-of-four’s memorable appearance in Home and Away.
The iconic and long-running TV series could not be more different from the futuristic world in Shane Abbess’ feature, serving as another strong example for how Grant – in his dexterity as a trained actor – effortlessly jumps from world to world.
There was one similarity between the roles however, as Grant was asked by Home and Away producers to embody the senior academic authority of his Osiris Doctor character when playing the part of Professor Calabra. While the storyline was crucial to viewer interest, involving the development of Pia Miller’s Katarina Chapman’s career changes, the performance gives any viewer insight into the skills and talents that set Grant apart from other Australian TV actors.
For one, echoing the words of notable producers, Lyndon’s handling of the material and dialogue encapsulates a masculine credibility as conflated with an understated sensitivity. This duality, seen throughout exchanges between Grant’s character and others as well as in private moments and close-ups, embodies a masculine credibility more reminiscent of old-style Hollywood than modern television.
If that proven versatility wasn’t enough, Grant also is well-known for his voice work. In Motown Magic, Grant voices the character of Johnny in a role well-received by viewers of the hit children’s series all over the world on none other than streaming giant, Netflix.
In one notable moment, Grant brings the tender tones that are available in one’s voice when using a US accent, to console his daughter. Less is definitely more in this case. The subtleties that are required to really nail a convincing performance so the accent is as natural as possible & doesn’t get in the way, can only come from an artist who has carefully fine tuned his craft over years of development and work.
The role in Motown Magic solidified a relationship Lyndon has proven with the streaming platform, as he also made a memorable appearance in the popular Netflix series Chosen, alongside Sam Hayden Smith and AACTA-nominated actor Fayssal Bazzi (who stars alongside Cate Blanchett in Stateless).
Playing another surgeon, Grant clearly solidified his place as the ‘go-to’ doctor in the Australian film and television industry.
When asked about the secret to carving out places in different pockets of the industry, Grant speaks from a humble place.
“You just need to be yourself. Ultimately there is something in the essence of each character in all of us. Locating the likeness (sometimes it may be something we don’t necessarily like about ourselves!) in your character allows you to really walk in the shoes of your character.”
The spirit echoed in Grant’s words speak to the balance between focus and relaxation needed for people during a stressful year like 2020.
If there was any advice to aspiring actors, Grant’s would be: Be patient, and use all of the experiences in your life, good and bad, to allow you to deepen your empathy, and ultimately give life to any character you play with authenticity and truth.”
Grant also adds something someone once told him: “the best advice I was ever given was, “Be the kind of actor that gets booked twice”, meaning be humble, generous, and a team player.”
If dominating the feature, television and animated corners of the industry wasn’t enough for the accomplished actor, however, Grant boasts a career as the undisputed ‘voice over king’ of Australia.
Grant is not just the voice of one, not two, not three, but 6 major household name companies in Australia, ranging from Toyota, bank ING, Qantas, Channel Seven and none other than McDonalds.
“Putting in the hard work on your technique, really getting used to hearing yourself in a studio environment, and knowing your strengths are all super beneficial to becoming a working voice artist…It’s also great to be able to work remotely. It’s a saving grace in a world where human contact has been very limited. Most voice artists have a home studio set up of some description.”
Suffice to say, Grant’s capable of giving valuable advice but doesn’t stray away from continuing to evolve himself, as 2020 has shown.