For many, acting is only a pipe dream, but for Hayden Frost this was never the case. “I always thought of acting as something I would do because I had to, because it is what I do. If I am not acting I feel like something is missing from my day-to-day life.”
It was early 2008 when Hayden’s dreams became reality, when he got called out of the blue for the lead role in the feature film Predicament. From this point things started to happen, and Hayden found himself immersed in the industry, including 24 episodes of the well-known fantasy series The Almighty Johnsons. Hayden took some time to relax and speak to FishHead at one of his favourite cafés, Espressoholic.
When I dine out… it’s usually anywhere cheap! It is amazing that there are so many places where you can get a really fantastic meal for under $10. Places like the Vietnamese Mekong Café restaurant on Vivian Street are terrific. I have always been very fond of Satay Kajang on Dixon Street, even though it is slightly out of my price range these days.
For a decent coffee and to unwind… I will usually hook onto a local depending where I am working. There are so many good local places everywhere that wherever I am doing plays there will always be a great coffee place nearby. I do love Espressoholic and Midnight Espresso, and I particularly adore the Deluxe Espresso Bar, which is next to the Embassy.
For a slice of culture… I will always default back to Bats Theatre. If I feel like going out to see something, I will always look at what is on at Bats because it is warm, friendly and vibrant. It is one of those places you can check out something you are unfamiliar with and you will never be disappointed or feel like you have wasted money.
My favourite place in Wellington is… the Central Library and Civic Square. There is something so calming and relaxing about this area. For me there is nothing more relaxing then going and finding a quiet area at the library and browsing through things you have never heard of before. The general vibe of libraries has always appealed to me.
I became a professional actor… by accident. I happened to know someone who worked for an agent and someone who worked for a casting director. I didn’t have an agent myself, but they gave me a call when the auditions for Predicament came up. All of a sudden I had just fallen into the industry.
My favourite aspect of Timon of Athens is… the sheer challenge of it. This play is not performed very often and it requires more work to beat it into a watchable shape. It is the first time in quite a while that I have been really scared, but in a good way! It is awful to be so terrified, but at the same time it is invigorating to be doing something that is so challenging.
Timon of Athens reflects today’s society… because the play is very connected to today’s financial crisis. It is based around the way people deal with money. The first half is something of a social satire, which you can read as being about how awful and selfish extremely rich people are. Which feels very relevant. The play is about the consequences of unchecked excess, which seems to be something of a theme of the past decade.
The best place I have performed is… the old Whitireia New Zealand performing arts centre on Vivian Street. It wasn’t an amazing performance space, the acoustics weren’t great, it was sometimes too big and the technical desks were falling apart, but I have so many amazing memories. I think I will have very special memories associated with that place for the rest of my life. It significantly shaped who I am today.
Catch Hayden in Timon of Athens at The Dell, Wellington Botanical Gardens, from 13 to 28 February.