This evening sees Example make his short film debut in brand new online series Shield5 – and the singer has exclusively revealed that he’s now fully focused on acting.
The Londoner, who reached No 1 with Changed the Way You Kiss Me and Stay Awake, has very much got the acting bug.
Sitting in a central London PR office, Example – real name Elliot Gleave – has just landed in from Australia where he now spends four months of the year with model wife Erin McNaught and their 18-month-old son Evander.
The star has had a complete change of focus with both his family life, and what direction he wants his career to take.
“I still do some gigs to pay the bills, but acting is what I’m focusing on now,” says Gleave.
“I’m not fucking about with it. I’ve been going for some big roles and I want acting to be my career. I’m serious about this.”
Gleave made his film acting debut in Between Two Worlds in 2013. As far as he’s concerned, it’s not that different to acting in music videos.
“I’ve done over 40 music videos and there are some similarities,” says the 33-year-old. “It’s all performance. I’ve always been into acting, and wanted to give it a shot. I’m determined to do it properly.”
Shield 5, created and directed by Anthony Wilcox (Hello Carter), is a seven minute short-film divided into segments lasting just 15 seconds which will be shown on the production’s Instagram page throughout February.
Gleave plays a police officer on the hunt for culprits following a diamond heist in central London. The series sees security van driver John Swift (Christian Cooke, excellent in BBC2’s Iain Banks adaptation Stonemouth) play the prime suspect on the run from cops (Gleave and Kieran O’Brien) following the robbery. For Gleave, the fact that the film will be shown in a format never tried before grabbed him from the off.
“It makes sense when you think about it, putting short pieces of a film on Instagram,” he says.
“The fact that the segments are so short means that hopefully people will really want to come back the next day to see what happens.”
An avid Instagram user himself, Gleave is happy he got involved.
“We filmed over a period of a few days and, even though it’s divided into these segments, we didn’t really film it like that. For me, I’m just really interested to see how it works and I of course I wanted to work with Anthony Wilcox. So it just seemed like a good thing to do. It’s a good script.”
Although he stresses that he knows he’s very much starting off and still getting familiar with the acting world, Gleave is determined to succeed.
“I just want to learn from actors and directors because all of this is still very new to me,” he admits.
“I want to go to all of the auditions and be quiet and scared because I need to learn that way, I need to experience what everyone else does in order to get better. There’s still loads more I could do with music but, to be honest, I just need a new challenge.”
The first episode will go live on the official Shield 5 Instagram page @shieldfive tonight at 5pm.
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1