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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

Radek Lord of HBO’s ‘Ballers’ Talks the Art of Being an Actor

{Image Credit: Colin Stark}

Whether they’re fresh faces or indie darlings, audiences are introduced to new and gifted young actors every season in Hollywood. While some young actors have solidified their Hollywood stardom, landing coveted roles and turning studio projects into blockbusters, others are on the verge of achieving it, like Radek Lord — one of industry’s freshest new faces.

Starring alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on this season’s hit HBO series, Ballers, the Costa Rica native has had quite the career in his two decades of life.

“When I was about 5 years old, my mom took me to a recording studio where I had to read some lines,” Lord exclusively tells The Hudsucker. “I thought nothing of this experience until three months later, when I was on my way to school and heard my voice on the radio advertising the National Bank of Costa Rica — I thought this is the coolest thing as a 5 year old.”

At such a young age, the 21-year-old says it was then that he found something he was really good at and reveals after radio he got into theatre.

“I really got my acting chops up because whenever there was a play, I was the lead,” he said. “I did theatre from Costa Rica to Belgium and finally Cincinnati.”

All that moving about has also given Lord perspective in how location has the power to influence his passion for the arts and acting, but that doesn’t mean they are in any facet similar for him.

Radek Lord, right, pictured with actors Eddie Marsan and Patrick Wilson on the red carpet of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival for A Kind of Murder. (Image Credit: Radek Lord / Instagram)

“To me, the arts and acting are separate,” he said. “Acting is a career choice, [while] the arts are something I thoroughly enjoy.”

Lord goes on to reveal that his time in Belgium gave him an appreciation for the arts, thanks in part to being surrounded by a culture saturated with art no matter where you turn. But it was when he moved to the States, specifically Kentucky, Ohio and California, that he felt his passion for acting evolve into something far greater.

“You can’t get better entertainment, and it is just so accessible,” he said. “I was the kid who would go down to Blockbuster — rest in peace — and rent different movies.”

While Lord’s actions as a kid were similar to so many across the country, his steadfast drive set him apart from others, ultimately helping him turn the tables and star in movies audiences would pick up for their night in.

In 2016, Lord starred in the period piece, A Kind of Murder, a film touted by critics as “a smart thriller” that would “make Hitchcock proud.” And it was no doubt one of his greatest crowning achievements into Hollywood.

“This was my first major movie, so I felt like I was just soaking in the wisdom from everyone else,” Lord said of that film, which stars Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel and Eddie Marsan.

While most of his scenes were with acclaimed English actor, Marsan — a talent Lord calls “one of the best and most underrated actors of our time” — he reveals his co-star helped make his foray into movies a memorable one.

“[Eddie] took me under his wing on day one and gave me acting advice, on top of industry advice,” he said. “I learned to be subtle with performance — [his] character gave me the creeps, but not because he was overtly creepy, but because he was very subtle in the way he said and did things.”

Following his role in the indie thriller, Lord had the chance to star in the Netflix Original Movie, Girlfriends Day, starring Amber Tamblyn and Better Call Saul lead, Bob Odenkirk.

Lord, right, with actor Bob Odenkirk on the red carpet for Netflix’s Girlfriends Day. (Photo Credit: Radek Lord / Instagram)

When working with Odenkirk, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Lord says everything that came out of his mouth was “comedy gold.”

“Five minutes didn’t go by before he said something that had the whole cast and crew rolling in laughter,” Lord said. “One shot that the director wanted to get was a close-up of me reacting to something Bob’s character said, so Bob wanted to get a genuine reaction from me.”

Lord goes on to say that instead of reading the scripted lines that he knew, his co-star went off on an improvised tangent.

“It was the funniest thing I had ever heard,” he recalls with a laugh. “Even after they called cut, I could not stop laughing.”

The smooth-talking, fresh-faced Lord has a penchant for laughs though — after all, he is currently studying at the Groundlings School of Improvisation in California. Boasting an impressive alumni with Saturday Night Live stars Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph and the late Phil Hartman, Lord says learning comedy, specifically sketch at the school has helped him to “stay in the moment.”

“It sounds really cliché, but the whole point of improvised comedy is to truly be in the scene 100 percent with your partners and not plan ahead,” he said. “Groundlings also helps you with commitment in a scene, and to give it all you’ve got.”

Lord makes it known that improv is all about taking whatever someone throws at you and building on it to create something incredible. But he adds that although the school specializes in improv, they’re also a lot of life lessons learned along the way.

But some of the most recent lessons Lord has learned while acting with some of the greats comes from someone Tinseltown calls one of the kindest, coolest guys — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“It was absolutely unforgettable and surreal actually working with the biggest actor in Hollywood, given that just 15 years ago, I was playing with his WWE action figure.”

Lord goes on to say that working with Johnson was exactly what everyone says about him.

“You always hear about how nice and humble these guys are, but it’s hard to believe sometimes,” Lord said with a smile. “He is 100 percent exactly what you think he is like — nice, talented, humble, caring and HUGE.”

Lord, right, pictured with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on the set of HBO’s Ballers. (Image Credit: Radek Lord / Instagram}

He adds that the two talked and joked around about almost everything, but the best piece of advice Johnson shared was harnessing the power of social media.

“He told me to focus a lot of energy on that because people will look at your followers when casting you,” Lord said. “An actor might be very talented, but they will cast a less talented actor if he has a bigger following.”

In HBO’s third season of the hit series, Ballers, Lord stars as Jimmy Burns, a high school student in Miami who gets swept into the world of professional football players when Ricky Jerett (played by John David Washington) mistakenly walks into Jimmy’s house, thinking it’s his own and punches the teenager. Subsequently, the security footage is leaked and young Jimmy gets unwanted attention and stardom.

While Lord got a chance to work with Washington too, a rising talent and the son of Denzel Washington, he shares one of the coolest memories on set was meeting his stunt-double.

“He was a professional stunt driver and was about 35 years old, but we had the same build,” he said. “At the same time it was kind of a bummer because he got to drive the Lamborghini instead of me.”

With all the experiences Lord has gathered over the years, he reveals one of the greatest lessons an actor has to learn when it comes to the industry is that “you have to struggle.”

“[Dwayne and Bob] had their ups and downs in Hollywood and it’s a great way of becoming an amazing actor,” Lord said, adding that it creates character when you go through hardships.

Recalling his moments with Odenkirk and Johnson, Lord says the two taught him something very crucial when it comes to expanding his craft.

“Bob taught me that there isn’t a single thing you can’t accomplish in the industry — if you want to write something, you write; if you want to direct something, you direct,” he said. “The Rock taught me that there isn’t a single thing you can’t accomplish in this world without hard work and consistency.”

And work hard is something Lord has done consistently.

Over the years, his face has been one many have seen in the comfort of our homes thanks to a slew of commercials, including one of which aired during Super Bowl 51 this past February — you know, the one for Proactiv with Olivia Munn and that “towel drop”?

Seen by more than 113 million viewers around the world, Lord says it was a great experience where he and the “ridiculously funny” Munn immediately clicked.

Lord, right, stars in a Proactiv commercial for the 2017 Super Bowl with actress, Olivia Munn. (Image Credit: Proactiv / Radek Lord, Instagram)

“What’s cool is that Olivia and I got to improvise a lot on set, although none of it made it to the final cut,” he said. “There was one point where [she] and I are eating cake in front of the camera and I attempted to hit on her as this pimply 16-year-old, [and] after they yelled cut, she could not stop laughing because she thought that improvised line was so funny.”

He adds that spending 16 hours on set with someone blossoms into friendship, saying that the two would spend time just casually talking while they weren’t filming on set.

Another star Lord had the chance to share a commercial with was Jeff Goldblum for Apartments.com in 2016. Though the actor says Goldblum was an intimidating guy because of his height, he reveals the two shared a memorable moment on set.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘Give me a jazz song,’ so I told him ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and he started singing it for about five seconds before he asked for another one,” Lord said. “He kept asking me for jazz songs every five seconds for about a minute until he was needed on set and that was my first impression of him — he has a very quirky sense of humor and I really loved it.”

With a proclivity for humor, Lord says after his stint on Ballers he is looking to creating some internet sketches with his friend, Ray William Johnson, but wants to focus also on learning the back-end of the business.

“I have gotten interested in writing some original material and producing my own content,” Lord said. “In my experience, I feel some actors forget that Hollywood is a business. I feel that learning as much of [it] as I can will make me a better actor and more desirable in the business.”

Lord hopes his broad-based knowledge in the field will benefit him, as he dreams of working with directors he looks up to, like Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright.

“[Quentin] has a way to squeeze all the talent out of his actors… [He] writes the most fun, unique and intricate characters ever seen in movies,” Lord said. “Edgar Wright, who is my all-time favorite… has made three of my top 10 favorite movies and each of them is comedy gold.”

(Photo credit: Radek Lord / Facebook)

But through all these projects and dreams over the years that have catapulted Lord to a spot where he can blossom in the field, he says he learned one very crucial thing about himself.

“I still haven’t found myself as an actor,” he said. “I am not quite sure what my brand will be, or if I’m a comedic actor or a dramatic actor, but I don’t want to be tied down to one certain aspect of being an actor.”

Lord goes on to share that the whole industry is a learning process, but that the exciting part is not knowing what is coming next.

“The joy is in the learning, because the art of being an actor is bigger than me.”

Keep up with Radek Lord on social media and follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For more of his film and acting credits, check out his IMDb.

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