Bourke Floyd is an actor with a resume that includes modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch, a recurring role on the hit Dawson’s Creek, and even a role on Broadway in the Tony award winning musical RENT. While he has a resume most actors only dream about, Bourke has stayed humble through it all and considers himself blessed beyond belief. His schedule is hectic to say the least but he was able to find time for this interview telling us a little more about himself and his plans for the future.
What drew you into acting?
Performing and entertaining has always been a natural passion of mine and I had taken drama throughout high school and participated in some of my school’s plays and musicals but in college I was focused on playing football and my studies. After college I was offered a job in finance and moved to New York and thought my performing days would be limited to a night of karaoke and maybe some community theater. One day, on the way home from the gym, I was approached on the street in lower Manhattan by an Agent from a modeling agency and ended up shooting for Abercrombie & Fitch only two weeks later. From there I was incredibly blessed to have been able to build a career through which I could very comfortably support myself and a family. I would still be acting and performing no matter what because it is something I truly love but I count myself so incredibly fortunate that I have been able to make a career from it.
What is your process for breaking down a character?
Every character starts with the words on the page, that is one of the reasons I stand in unity with my friends in the WGA and their ongoing negotiations. I read the entire script multiple times to determine an overall tone for the piece and where my character fits in both the story and in service to the audience. There are often so many hints about who the character is via scenes in which that character may not even appear. Once I know the universe of the story and have an idea of where my character fits in it, I look for who my character is as a person, beyond just the script. Human beings are so layered but, unless explicitly necessary to the story, I fill in those layers with my own personal history and details. I AM the character after all, so I fill in any random blanks with my own personal information. Any elements that differ from my own life and integral to the story I make as direct and complete as possible. I like to work organically on character development. I also remember that, in our own stories, we are only the Victim or the Hero, we almost never tell our own stories with us as the villain. To that end I try to find SOMETHING in the character to like or in which to relate even when they are the absolute villain of the story.
What do you look for in a film role?
I love films, I love the art and craft of films. I also love the escape and entertainment of a great movie too. When I am considering accepting a role, I look at the script and the team involved as whole first and try to determine, as best I can, if this is a project that will entertain an audience. I try not to focus on how large that audience may be although, I have had or been close to having roles in some larger films that were hard NOT to at least consider the potential size of the audience. I also consider the creative team I would be working with for the next several weeks or months as well as the practical aspects of the production like how much time I may have with my family or if it shoots on location etc. I look for roles that elicit some sort of a response from me when I’m reading the script. The role doesn’t have to be the funniest or the best, not the hero or the villain, just interesting and create some sort of mental response for me which could include loving or loathing the person on the page.
Tell us about your newest film, The Locksmith.
The Locksmith is an absolute blast, a 90-minute, thriller-noir “popcorn” movie starring Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth and Ving Rhames. After a limited theatrical release, The Locksmith stayed on the top-rentals list on AppleTV for several weeks and has now been the top thriller on HULU since being made available on the platform three weeks ago. The director, Nicolas Harvard, is a true student of film and working with him was an incredible pleasure both professionally and personally. I count him as one of my close friends and I am so excited to watch his journey as his career continues to flourish.
Photo Credit: Brian Doherty
You play very intense characters. Have you ever played any comedic roles?
I have been so happy to have played dramatic characters that can be a challenge to me in the preparation and performance and sometimes a challenge to the audience as well because most people are not just one thing, all good or all bad. I try to portray that in the characters I bring to the screen. I have played a few comedic roles in the last couple of years in the independent films Prankster, Peace Cobbler and Night at the Arcade and it can be so much being a part of delivering laughs to the audience.
What is your advice for keeping a healthy work/life balance?
A healthy work life balance is so key to building a successful career in almost any industry but definitely the entertainment industry. There are so many ups and downs and so much inconsistency as well as constant rejection and if you don’t have a string support system at home it only becomes more difficult. I am often guilty of falling into the trap of pushing too hard professionally to the detriment of my family time and so I try to set very specific time to spend with them. Vacations or just days off, I try to be as present as possible during those times that we are together especially because, in this industry, I could book something and be on a flight at a moment’s notice. Listening, being open and clearly communicating with your friends and family is the key in my life to maintaining a balance.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
People who have followed my career and longtime friends know this, but I am still humbly surprised every time I hear it mentioned, I played Roger Davis in RENT on Broadway. Having been on Broadway was never something I even dared to dream, and it is incredibly humbling.
What are your goals for 2023?
The first part of 2023 has been incredible with The Locksmith releasing as well as the premiere of Love in Zion National on the Hallmark Channel and Waco: The Aftermath on Showtime. The second half is going to be interesting due, in part, to the ongoing WGA strike as well as the possibility of a SAG-AFTRA strike. I still have projects to which I am attached that are on hiatus but will pick up once the strike is resolved.
Any upcoming projects you can share?
I have a role in a Lifetime series, As Luck Would Have It that will release on the network in the fall, a supporting role in the as yet untitled Nina Conti directed/starring film executive produced by Christopher Guest and a horror anthology from The Mooncats playing opposite Eva Hamilton entitled The 12th House.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Photo Credit: Brian Doherty