INTERVIEW WITH ACTOR JOSEPH GATT

From a cannibal in “Game of Thrones,” to a cybernetically augmented Starfleet officer in “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” to the Ghost of Sparta in “God of War,” Joseph Gatt has brought fascinating and complex characters to life in film, television, and video games over the last several years. Born and raised in Ladbroke Grove, London, Gatt grew up an avid movie fan, but it wasn’t until he enrolled in a drama class on a whim at 15 years old that he found his true passion for acting.

Gatt can next be seen starring in Tim Burton’s highly anticipated Walt Disney Pictures’ live action feature “Dumbo” opposite Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito. The film follows a young elephant whose oversized ears enable him to fly, and who helps save a struggling circus. Gatt is a scene stealer as Neils Skellig, a South African big game hunter who works for villain V.A. Vandevere (Keaton). The film is slated for release on March 29, 2019.

Upon graduating from a prestigious London drama school, he went on to find work in the West End, starring in productions including “Miss Saigon” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” During that time Gatt landed his first TV role in the long running British police drama series “The Bill” on ITV. He then made the move to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue his dreams of acting in Hollywood.

Photo credit: The Riker Brothers

Gatt immediately booked a lead role in the thriller “Pulse” opposite Kristen Bell. He went on to land roles in the Marvel box-office smash “Thor” opposite Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman; Paramount Pictures “Star Trek: Into Darkness” opposite Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana; and HBO’s Award winning series “Game of Thrones.”
In addition to Gatt’s acting credits, he is also the lead motion capture and voice actor for hundreds of video games. He is best known as the motion capture performer and likeness for Kratos from the acclaimed “God of War” video game franchise, as well as the voice of Lord Scourge in the hugely popular “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

On the charity front, Gatt is extremely active with Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP), a charity that is near and dear to his heart. The organisation is designed to help, inspire, and supports kids of all ages who develop Alopecia. Gatt is very connected to CAP, as he was diagnosed with Alopecia when just 12 years old.

When Gatt isn’t on set, you can find him in the gym, practising martial arts, doing yoga, and recording music. He is also a massive automobile and aircraft enthusiast, with a wide and extensive knowledge of vehicles and aircraft from various eras. Gatt also enjoys travelling as often as possible and thrives on experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and eating tasty food from around the world.

Gatt currently resides in Los Angeles with his partner Mercy Malick, their two cats “The People” and “Montezuma,” and their ball python, “Mr. Sully.”

Eve: What’s your real connection to Malta? Do you visit Malta frequently?

Joseph Gatt: I’m Maltese. It doesn’t get any more real than that! I was born in London, but both my parents and their families are 100% Maltese, and I am a Maltese citizen. My mum is from Lija and my father from Paola. We spent all of our summers in Malta when I was growing up. We would stay with our grandmother in Paola, the home my father grew up in. Later on we had our own house in Paola and then Tarxien. I used to speak fluent Maltese. I’m not fluent anymore, but can still hold conversations. After moving to the US it became much more difficult to get to Malta, but I was very proud to take my partner, Mercy, there for the first time several years ago and show her the Malta of my family and youth, and teach her the history of the island.

Near father’s childhood home. Photo credit: Peacemaker Photography

Eve: You’ve started your career in London, but then moved to Los Angeles, where you immediately booked various roles. Can you mention some, and what were all these experiences like?

JG: I did some theatre after graduating from Drama School in London, but found it very difficult finding film and TV work. When I moved to the US I booked three movies in my first summer, one of which was “Pulse”. That shot in Romania, and it was a truly blessed first experience of a studio feature film. It was like being part of a small family. Then there was a little bit of a gap before my next studio feature, “Thor.” That was a truly amazing and eye-opening adventure of epic proportions.

Eve: You’re also famous for your voice and motion capture on the huge franchise video games – Star Trek Online, The God of War series, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls, and Elder Scrolls Online. Can you tell us more about these roles?

JG: I’ve been doing motion capture and voice over work for over 20 years. It’s so much fun, and most of my characters are pretty epic. I’m incredibly proud to have been the motion capture actor for “Kratos” from the “God of War” series of games. Also, voicing “Lord Scrourge” in “SWTOR” was such a privilege. Who wouldn’t want to play a Sith Lord and speak the lines associated with such a role? Later in the game development they even made Scourge romance-able, because fans were asking for it!

Eve: Currently you’re filming a major role in Disney’s live action ‘Dumbo’. Can you reveal some more information?

JG: I can’t reveal any more than what’s already out there. I play “Neils Skellig,” who is Vandevere’s (Keaton’s) right hand man. A South African hunter who loves his job and enjoys the pursuit and capture of animals, and sometimes worse. He’s a bully and generally not a nice guy! A true Disney villain who kids are going to love to hate!

Eve: Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

JG: I think every performer does. But that comes from simply always wanting to do my best job. I always strive to push myself to find interesting and different places to take the characters I play.

Eve: What do you enjoy doing during your time off?

JG: I love watching movies and TV shows. I love to drive and enjoy car events. I love air shows and am hugely interested in aircraft. I love to do work with charities, especially charities that involve children and/or animals. I spend a lot of time working out, lifting weights, practising martial arts, and other sports activities. Eating good food is also an interest, and Mercy and I love to travel as often as possible.

But my favourite thing to do when I’m not on set is cuddle on the couch with Mercy, my partner of almost 10 years, our two cats, “The People” and “Montezuma,” and our ball python “Mr. Sully.”

Cover photo credit: Disney Studios