During this global pandemic which demands seclusion for the vast majority of the world, many of us have turned to film and television to occupy ourselves. It’s without question that the essential workers who keep the world operating are the most important but it’s also undeniable that the entertainment industry allows us all some respite from these types of health challenges unseen in a century. For actor Aaron Deakins, like so many of his peers, the question is how to make best use of his time while being restricted from actually working at his job. Known for his work in a host of films best described as Science Fiction/Action but not limited to this genre, Aaron’s niche demands that he stays in top condition both as an actor and as one known for his physicality and physique. Calculated, committed, and disciplined, this actor’s approach for staying engaged mentally, physically, and creatively is something many of us can use to springboard our own progress in this Covid-19 period.
Persevering through years of theater and film work, Aaron Deakins gained international notoriety for his riveting performances in films like The Lost Isle, Shadow Division, Alien Outbreak as the protagonist battling everything from dinosaurs to extraterrestrials. Working with director Neil Rowe (recognized for his work on theaward-winning science-fiction film Robot Wars which received Best feature film at the Unreal Film Festival and Best Feature VFX at the Other Worlds AustinSciFi Film Festival) and other lauded filmmakers, Aaron has established himself as one of the most exciting and captivating actors of the genre in recent times; that is, before a global pandemic forced him and nearly every other actor in the world to press pause. There’s an endearing trait found in actors like Deakins who attain their career goals by constantly pushing their limits; they embrace the chaos and punishment in a way that forces more growth. Aaron communicates, “In this pandemic, I find myself being presented with an interesting challenge; this challenge being that of a complete standstill. I have used this as a potential goal in itself, the fact that the industry has been given an unpleasant break. This was something that I myself was always feeling at the start of this pandemic and lockdown in the UK. Not being someone who rests for any sort of period of time, I realized that this could be a way to take myself to new places in my career and my communication. This itself could be somewhat of a ‘pitstop’ for me and a time to recharge the batteries and allow the last few years to completely sink in.”
A lack of physical fitness is more the norm than the exception these days for most people. When you’re an actor who has gained notoriety for his physical prowess and appearance like Deakins, it’s as much a professional obstacle as a personal one. Ever proactive and vigilant, Aaron has adopted a Spartan approach that incorporates body exercises on any of nature’s equipment he found available, from tree pull ups to literally hundreds and hundreds of push-ups. The MMA and hand-to-hand combat training he utilized in preparing for films like The Lost Isle and others has been replaced by group social-distancing workouts. Far from discouraging, Aaron finds this inspirational as he shares, “I have been training with other people in the industry in a responsible manner. The determination everyone has to be prepared and at their best even when it’s challenging like this is a sign that there are some really incredible things that will happen once the lockdown is over.”
While he’s widely known for being a physical actor, Deakins is careful to emphasize the importance of the mind’s effect on the body during this “entertainment pitstop.” Continually setting new challenges and goals for himself has led to the completion and upcoming release of his first novel titled Unidentified. Staying true to the professional ethos of “write what you know”, Unidentified is set in the same SciFi/Action genre for which Aaron is so well-known. He confirms, “Being able to keep my writing going after such a lull in the ability to be on a film set, to experience the cameras rolling and stories being made, to talk to and perform with other actors, has been a complete creative savior. Before the lockdown, my writing always took a second step in my life and mind to acting but now I have been given the chance to allow it to take center stage.” Rebuking a free-range diet and countless night on the couch with Netflix, Aaron Deakins is as inspirational as many of his most famous roles in that he refuses to take the path of least resistance. The same staunch work ethic and commitment which made him one of the most praised actors of the UK Indie film scene is now fueling what is yet an even bolder and more creative reinvention of the actor for a post pandemic film industry.