The actor Tim Bentinck - otherwise the 12th Earl of Portland but best known as David Archer in Radio 4's long-running radio soap The Archers - is the star of Wyndham Richardson's latest moc-doc, titled Don - Major Project. Tim plays the ghastly proprietor of "Dorset's 14th biggest import/export business of Chinese plastic toys", such as plastic farm animals, looking to hire a No 2.
I asked Wyndham - who's Duncan Fallowell's godson and director of the Duncan Fallowell movie (see labels) - what Don's all about ...
How did you get hold of Tim?
Tim has a personal website. I sent him a message through that with a link to Duncan's film. I explained this project and he kindly agreed to play the part of Don.
What have you got against plastic farm animals?
On the whole plastic animals are great actually, but not the ones in the film. I still can't believe I managed to find those terrible toys on eBay and had to pay £5 for them, they don't even stand up?! I wanted to play on the issue that there is so much useless rubbish around, yet people are able to make a living on it, or not, as in Don's case.
Is he sending up the Archers role a bit?
I wouldn't say so, no. Tim actually spends most of his time doing voice-over work for television commercials. He can do every accent in the book. We went through loads of different roles, all of which were great fun. Eventually we settled on Dorset which I think worked quite well.
What inspired your movie?
I'm a huge fan of Armando Iannucci who directed The Thick of It in which Tim also stars. I love the confrontations that take place in that series. People are always screwing each other. I wanted Don to get screwed over by someone who didn't even realise he was screwing him.
Was Tim in any way diva-ish? He's a star after all ...
Not for a second. He's a very down-to-earth and friendly bloke. He always offered advice and created a great atmosphere on set.
How goes with your course ... and career ambition ... ?
My course is over, Don was my graduation film. I now hope to concentrate on creating a body of work that can some day hit TV. Me and Duncan will most definitely be doing some more projects so look out for that! Duncan has some ideas up his sleeve which will make very interesting viewing.
Excellent. Keep in touch with Arcati. MAx
Tim Bentinck's website, click here