Grant Gillespie’s an actor, novelist, and screenwriter living in the West End of London.
Though he didn’t create this website, he wrote the content and – though it’s ‘form’ to write in the third person – it’s unnerving, and he can’t sustain it for more than a paragraph…
There, that’s over. From now on, it’s my love-it or hate-it, authorial voice. Disclaimer: the content will be a tad listy for the sake of expediency (not wit) to avoid anyone’s TLDR (too long didn’t read) switch. So, to make a much longer, more rambling resume somewhat shorter… I’m the child of an Irish dancer and Italian father (that’s all I know) and was adopted in the 70s by a Cheshire couple with good intentions. I was raised in a small Lancashire village before studying English Literature at Glasgow University (MA). My parents – perhaps wisely – wouldn’t consider drama school as an option, so I spent most of my academic years avoiding lectures to be in plays. I worked with brilliant director/writers, including Victoria Beattie and Nicola McCartney and was lucky enough to go on international festivals throughout Europe, Mexico and Morocco. While in Scotland I performed at the Citizens, the Tron, the Tramway, the CCA and the Traverse.
On securing professional representation I moved to London, and worked in numerous productions with the ETT, directed by Stephen Unwin. I’ve also worked with other theatre greats including Jamie Lloyd, Michael Grandage and Erica Whyman. On-screen, I’ve been numerous film and TV productions, including Living, the Kingsman, Florence Foster Jenkins, Catastrophe, Siblings, The Crown, George Gently, Victoria and Cast Offs. Voice-wise I’ve been in BBC radio plays, done a stint of MOCAP work at The Imaginarium (who doesn’t want to wear a grey leotard and have Velcro balls stuck to them?) and have given life to the voices of both sinister and surprisingly heroic characters in the computer games Bloodborne and Dark Souls.
Aside from treading boards and shouting into the dark, to stay slightly saner, I’ve always written.
My novel, The Cuckoo Boy, was described as ‘an emotionally visceral debut,’ (Guardian), which is pithy and pleasing. And the Observer said that ‘through James and David, Gillespie explores the chasm between how children and adults perceive the world, and the devastating consequences of falling through this gap. The Cuckoo Boy is a savage indictment of hypocrisy and forced social convention.’
My short story, The Upper Hand, was published by Simon Schuster in: He Played For His Wife and Other Stories, sidled in beside heavyweights including the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, DBC Pierre and Jennifer Tilly (who stars in Bullets Over Broadway and Bride of Chucky AND is a professional gambler no less. Beat that. I can’t.)
I’ve just completed my next novel, Nothing Dies, a coming-of-age ghost story set at the end of WW2.
I’m part of the production company 100 Names with Laurence Dobiesz, Lisa Kerr, Antonia Kinlay, Olivia Poulet, Sam Swainsbury. Our first short Deliver Me, can be watched here. I wrote the screenplay for our second film, a satire, Just Do It, which is currently doing the festival circuit (placing for Best Screenwriter at GenreBlast, Bolton International, FilmFest Bremen, Short.Sweet Festival, YoFi Fest). I’m also regular contributor to the drama series, The Other 1%.
My writing for the screen, includes the pilot, Harvest – co-written with Kate Ashfield – that’s on the slate at Kate Lewis and Julia Walsh’s production company; my pilot, The Name of Action, made the semi-finals for the US, Shore Scripts pilot competition, placing it in the top 4% from 1000 entries; my pilot, Splinter, was a quarter-finalist in the SWN Awards and the screenplay of my novel co-written with Kate Ashfield won Bronze in the Let’s Make It Screenwriting Contest.
Deep breath. Humble brag over and out.