Every generation has its own film stars; the personalities who are as indicative of a period in time as its technology and fashion. The Drama, Comedy, and Action stars of these films become so endeared to the public that they often produce the most enduring and beloved bodies of work. When it comes to Action stories, Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, and others are globally recognized stars which prove that America does not hold exclusive rights to the names that become synonymous with action. Though British actors have dominated the 007 franchise, UK actors like Jason Statham have broken from the idea that the UK only produces James Bond action stars. The latest version of this appears to be Plymouth native Aaron Deakins who shares the same charisma, physicality, and propensity for action acting as his fellow countryman Statham. Aaron’s early years of training as a body builder and martial artist made it an easy transition when a television series offered him his first role at age eighteen. A lover of Sylvester Stallone films and Jurassic Park for as long as he can remember, Aaron relented and followed the career course he seemed destined for. These days he has starring roles in feature films and independent productions which combine action and horror for both the silver screen and streaming services. Aaron Deakins truly seems to be ordained as the current iteration of the Action Star.
Director Neil Rowe, known for the award-winning film Robot World (Best Feature VFX at the Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival and Best Feature Film at the Unreal Film Festival) cast Aaron as Robbie in the Feature Film Alien Outbreak. The character is a stark contrast to the affable Deakins. The actor concedes that the troubled and aggressive Robbie is likely someone whom we all have the potential to become under bad circumstances, noting that his martial arts training from an early age allowed the actor to channel his angst in a positive direction. Alien Outbreak portrays the events that transpire when an extraterrestrial presence descends on a rural community and panic erupts. Robbie is not a character who cultivates good feelings in the other characters or the audience for that matter; which is precisely what Deakins enjoyed about the experience. He relates, “I wanted to truly make the character someone who was despised and annoying to be around. Robbie is someone who has become somewhat of an alcoholic. He’s a teenage delinquent; someone whose aggression has turned him into a shadow of his former self. The seriousness of the situation is something my character almost mocks.” Following the film’s UK release, Alien Outbreak is now available for pre-order on Amazon in the United States.
Action roles are most certainly their own subset of acting. For an individual like Aaron who thrives on discipline and challenges, these roles present the opportunity to continually expand his skill set. For the upcoming film release The Lost Isle, Deakins spent an extensive period of time training with individuals from military backgrounds in weapons training and hand to hand combat to manifest complete authenticity in his role. The Lost Isle spans from 1984 to current day and depicts the existence of an island which harbors a deadly and prehistoric secret. The U.S. and U.K. governments send a unified group of mercenaries for hire to the island on an explorative mission. What they find is their worst nightmare. In the lead role of Jack, Aaron is present in nearly every scene of this SciFi Action tale. In and out of favor with the Russian mercenary Vadik, strategizing against dinosaurs, or battling the elements themselves, Jack is a role which gave Aaron ample opportunity to explore the alpha male hero archetype. The location for filming presented its own dangers as Deakins informs, “We filmed a ‘hill stunt’ scene in which myself and a number of other actors fall down a steep huge hill; a real dangerous undertaking in its own right but we were all committed to doing the stunt ourselves rather than using stunt double to get it. It took about ten takes to get it right, thankfully no one was hurt but there were some precarious moments. Filming in the jungle always bring a threat element with it.”
Roles like David in Tape 51, with its UFO’s and Monster’s at a secret military base, have made Aaron a celebrity with aficionados of these cult films; fans who follow Deakins to somewhat more mainstream themed films like Shadow Division. As Captain Walker in Shadow Division, Deakins is the leader of an anti-bio terror group set in a very possible near future reality. It’s his ability to seem completely plausible in a variety of roles like this that continue to bring so many opportunities to this actor. Aaron effortlessly grounds the viewing audience into his struggles regardless of whether his foe is a hidden sniper, a zombie, or a prehistoric beast. That believability is the glue which holds these stories together. Aaron Deakins seems unflinching on the big screen as he is attacked by nearly every manner of threat, human and inhuman. One wonders, what is it that is most troubling for the man behind such characters. Aaron reveals, “My frequent professional partner, actor/director/writer Adam Nancholas and I have overcome a lot of challenging moments on camera but off-camera is certainly the most difficult. I’ve been in many films created by other people but being a part of making our own productions is something Adam and I do well together and we are very passionate about. When you create a movie you pour everything you have into it and the toughest part is often obtaining the investors/financers. That process is much more tiring than warding off the undead or a Raptor.”