【Cover Story】Tom Prior Knows How To Feel Great LOVE/ Tom Prior 大膽體驗最偉大的愛
Every film is about another person's life. For me, it is very precious to know different lives through films, because it is the time that we can become a blank canvas and allow our senses to be imprinted upon by actors, directors, screenwriters, etc.
FIREBIRD is a film that adapted a novel set in the Soviet Union. The storyline is not only touching, but also makes people want to continue to explore how many forbidden love stories existed in the conservative era. Many people catalogued the film as a romantic kind, but the leading actor Tom Prior thinks it is more of a romance and thriller film.
When a film enters the market, there are always many people looking forward to audiences’ feedback, what critics will say, and what the actors and directors feel about it. For Tom Prior, it's easier to ask people giving direct feedback to discuss this work. Tom said " I'm really interested to know how people actually describe it 'cause this is obviously my perception of how it can be described and then in every scene there's the collective decision about how people describe it. You know, but people have said that it's sort of a bit like Brokeback Mountain meets Top Gun or Call Me By Your Name set in like the Soviet Army. I'm like OK, well, they're not bad comparisons of films to have."
Continuing to ask Tom how it feels because of the film being compared to other work, he said "I hope so. I can't really do anything about that. I mean I've done my best now so it really is down to how people interpret and receive the film but I would love it that people considered us to be, as equal as those really magnificent films have been.”
The Impact Of A True Story
While filming FIREBIRD, Tom and the entire crew flew to Moscow to film the set. This was Tom's first trip to Russia, and this trip became his most unforgettable memory. ”When we were researching the film and we got to meet the real Sergey Fetisov in person. And it was my first time going to Russia and we had arrived just a couple of days before the Victory Day parade. Which is, you know, when they pull all the tanks and the soldiers and the missiles and the plane fly overs and everything going in Moscow in this crazy celebration for “winning” the Second World War. I mean that's a whole other thing. But it was so amazing to see that and how much of an amazing performance it is and then also meeting Sergey and he was so humble. And you know he and Billy followed love through such difficult times and such difficult circumstances and had such terrific loss in his life. Those two experiences for me will probably be some of the highlights. Getting to truly experience the military side of it and also the very heartfelt real man behind the story.”
Although it is a film adaptation, Tom still believes in the story of the original work, and unlike most films which now use green screen to recreate the original scene, FIREBIRD recreates memories of the past, through deep stories and real events. The narration makes people feel heartbroken after watching this film.
Don't Go Back To History Because Of Fear
Love should be a natural thing but it has become a taboo due to various factors. When Tom knew that Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, he thought it was a remarkable act. "I think it's amazing and I honestly still can't.. Like it still is completely incomprehensible to me that there are so many countries in the world that are just holding on to the past. That's all it is. Like that's just one thing. It's like ‘this is the way that stuff is done, this is not acceptable.’ But does anybody actually ever ask the question of why? So yeah, it's incredible to see that in Taiwan and you know I am just astonished as well that there were even countries who have gone so far in their progression and are now trying to kind of bring back restrictions. Like Hungary for example. Like here in Europe it's just like let's start putting restrictions on speaking about like sexuality in schools and stuff and just like come on! Like what is this actually about? The end of the day it comes down to fear and so unfortunately through history the LGBTQ plus community has just been used as a scapegoat for dissatisfied citizens of a country and just being like ‘blame them there blame them'. It's like Enough, Enough!”
Love Is What We Have In Common
FIREBIRD crosses different generations. When Tom Prior did the interview in Estonia we not only discussed his thoughts on film, but his fashion. "I do really love Tom Ford stuff I have to say. Like particularly his much more daring stuff. He gets fit and cut so good that he just really nails that. But sometimes I'm almost like ‘come on,’ like, ‘let's go like a little bit bolder in colour.’ Like this dinner jacket suit which like Daniel Craig wore. I think at the opening of the last James Bond film. This really amazing pink was just like wow and I was like ‘yes!’ Like more of that! Like we wanna see more men daring to wear those colours because why not?”
Tom Prior has seen all kinds of situations in the ten years since his debut. For him, everything that happens has its cause and effect. The so-called FAITH is an important element that needs both independence and connection in this society. "I think I'd say believing in something more than just you. Like we can be very easily disillusioned into believing that we all live very separate lives that we're all very individual and that we're not connected to each other. Whereas like I really believe that you know what faith does and what belief does is actually something that unites us and brings us back together and actually we have a collective commonality and that is feeling emotions like love. And love is a very connective emotion and so you know, I think that for me, faith really can be like a reassurance, a comfort, an assurity that we're not alone.”
PHOTOGRAPHY/ Jemima Marriott
STYLIST/ James Yardley
GROOMING/ Brooke Simons
GRAPHIC DESIGN/ Zen Yun Zon
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/ Dylan Tang
STYLIST ASSISTANT/ Ollie Last