While his roots are in theatre, Edward Gist is winning the hearts as Gabriel Oak in Away From It All. He's performed in numerous musicals and is gearing up for another! Learn more about the actor, his role in the web series and more.
netTVnow: How did you get involved with the series?
Edward Gist: I was contacted by the DoP, Ellie Hilton, who I was at college with. She suggested that I audition and the rest, as they say, is history.
NTN: Were you familiar with the original novel?
EG: Not the novel itself, but quite by chance I had been to see the recent film adaptation only a few months prior, so I was definitely familiar with the story.
NTN: What was preparation like for you, for your role as Gabriel Oak?
EG: Well, watching the film had given me a good insight into the original time period character, so I had something to base him on. Obviously his younger age in AFitA was a great boon for me, as I am only 19 myself. With the character being only a year older, it was a lot easier to inhabit him in his day to day life.
NTN: Describe your character in three words.
EG: Loyal, naïve, impulsive.
NTN: Why do you think Gabriel decides to uproot his life and basically live out of a camper?
EG: The student life and the stress that brings, is clearly weighing him down. For an impulsive person like Gabriel, that could be all he needed to ditch everything he had going. Also Sheepgate; but you have to watch the series to find out about that!
NTN: What’s something you hope audiences take away from Gabriel and the series?
EG: If you persevere, eventually you’ll find your destination, no matter how long it takes you, no matter where you go to get there. Also, for most of the series, Gabriel is a perfect example of how NOT to get over a relationship. The series is a lesson in perseverance and loyalty, but also a lesson in moving on. I hope that the audience can learn from Gabriel’s mistakes, and take good advice from them to help them in their own lives.
NTN: I know you have quite an extensive background in theater, I’ve often heard that filming for web series is very similar to theater, would you agree?
EG: From my experience, I wouldn’t say so. In the theatre work that I’ve done, you have a good month or two of rehearsals before the audience sees anything. You have plenty of time to consider how your character will behave when certain stimuli is presented to them. With filming for a web series it is very different. You get the script only a day or two before the scene is to be filmed. You have to make quick decisions about your character and put them into practice at an alarming pace. Another aspect is that theatre rehearsals are generally sequential, scene 1 followed by scene 2 etc. but a web series can be filmed in any order at all. You could film the beginning half way through, and the end even before the first episode. It’s more difficult to get the complete storyline into your head, but once you have it, everything works very nicely.
NTN: What do you think of the web series community?
EG: So far, the web series community has been fantastic. The transmedia sites that have been set up have been really well done. Whilst looking at the pages set up for the series, it is clear that we have a really supportive and appreciative following. It makes it all worthwhile, really.
NTN: Do you have any favorite web series of your own?
EG: I do indeed. It is a fan story from the Fallout Universe called Fallout: Nuka Break by Wayside Creations. The story is a league away from AFitA, but the acting is fantastic and it’s got some brilliant nods to the games for fans like myself.
NTN: Do you have any upcoming projects we can share or anything else to add?
EG: I’m in rehearsals for a local theatre production of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad in the end of May/early June, where you will see beardless Gabriel in a fat suit and heels! Other than that I’d like to say a really big thank you to all the people watching the series, its means so much as an actor to know that our work is appreciated.