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Award Winning Actor Brandon Koen's Range On Screen is a Director's Dream

Entertainment News Today-- bringing you the latest articles and interviews from Hollywood's most established filmmakers & industry leaders.

Actor Brandon Koen - Photography by Yves Bright

Actor Brandon Koen - Photography by Yves Bright

For most actors, the goal is to embody their character to the fullest degree so that the line between who they are on and off screen is completely undetectable to the audience. Directors are often drawn to lead actors who can make bold character choices and who push beyond their comfort zone, so that the end result is a compelling performance which embodies both the actor’s depth and integrity, all while strengthening the filmmaker’s cinematic vision.

One lead actor in particular is the UK's Brandon Koen, whose extraordinary talent and diverse range of performances have not only turned heads, but garnered numerous awards, including the Best Actor in an Indie Film Award from the Actors Awards for “Benji,” the Indie Short Fest’s Best Actor Award for “Don’t Be Weird,” the Festival Award for “The Little Picture” and more.

Over the years Koen’s relentless desire to better his craft and hone his skills as an artist have led him to push himself to continually take on new and exciting roles, something that has in turn helped him to establish a repertoire of work that spans the gamut.

“In acting I try to reveal parts of myself through the character and that's really served me in this business by helping me to stand out,” says Brandon Koen. “What I love most about performing is the constant exploration, digging deeper and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.”

From portraying a mentally institutionalised patient in the 2016 drama “The Solipsist,” to a lovesick cowboy in American rapper T-Pain’s music video for “I Like Dat,” Koen’s on screen presence continues to lure viewers in and captivate them as if they were standing right there in the scene with him.

Taking his diversity one step further, Koen earned widespread industry praise after re-recording the voice of a doting Italian brother in the recent feature film “The Grand Bolero,” which began its film festival recently after premiering at the prestigious Austin Film Festival alongside the likes of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch.”

Brandon Koen being interviewed at the 2021 Austin Film Festival

Brandon Koen being interviewed at the 2021 Austin Film Festival

With an impressive list of skills to his name, that range from acting and directing to modeling and screenwriting, Koen’s natural charm and passion for storytelling ultimately shines both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

The 2018 comedy film “Benji,” which Koen wrote, directed and starred in, received numerous award wins including the Best Actor Award at renowned festivals such as the Los Angeles Film Awards, Actors Awards L.A. and New York Film Awards. Koen followed that up with a riveting performance as a troubled soldier in the film "The Little Picture," which was fundamental to the production taking home the Best Ensemble Award from the 2019 Los Angeles Film Awards.

“Any production would benefit from Brandon’s [Koen] participation as a magnetic and versatile actor who pivots effortlessly into any genre or project presented to him,” explained distinguished filmmaker Ricky Cruz (“Mixed Orders,” “Pigeon Hole”), who worked with Koen on the award winning films “Night Shift” and “Don’t Be Weird.”

Koen’s latest voiceover role in the Italian feature “The Grand Bolero,” had the film’s award winning director Gabriele Fabbro (“Two Steps Away,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”) praising his exceptional performance.

“We cast [Koen] because we knew that he would be able to elevate the actor’s performance by a significant amount,” explains the admired director. “He’s so impressively talented and it takes him very little direction to get to where the performance should be.”

Known for his daring ability to challenge himself as an actor, Koen was hired to re-record the dialogue of the original actor, as a way to improve the character’s dialect and enhance the audio quality of the romantic thriller.

“Every project has a different appeal case by case. I wanted to work on ‘The Grand Bolero’ because it was a unique experience where I got to watch the entire film and add the voice to a character,” says Koen.

Voicing the role of Luca; a devoted brother whose mission was to protect his mute sister Lucia from her dangerously obsessive older boss, Koen was able to heighten the film’s intense storyline by harnessing his vast emotional range to recreate the original performance.

“The Grand Bolero,” which was one of only six films to be screened at the Linea D’Ombra Film Festival on the Amalfi Coast, Italy, is now streaming online via Fox’s leading platform Tubi, which has over 33 million monthly active users.

Brandon Koen (right) with "The Grand Bolero" award winning director Gabriele Fabbro at the 2021 Austin Film Festival

Brandon Koen (right) with "The Grand Bolero" award winning director Gabriele Fabbro at the 2021 Austin Film Festival

Born in South Africa and raised in England, Koen has been an all-round entertainer from the very beginning. From performing on the hit variety series “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” to Disney’s teen sitcom “Shake it Up” starring Emmy Award winning actress Zendaya (“Dune”) and Bella Thorne (“The Duff”), it’s his potent mix of genuine talent and strong work ethic that continues to drive his momentous success across film, television and theatre.

Thanks to his affable on-camera appeal, Koen was cast as a spellbound cowboy who’s duped into buying a mystifying love potion from two-time Grammy Award winning rapper T-Pain in his music video for “I Like Dat,” which features fellow Grammy Award winning R&B artist Kehlani.

Koen shares, “I’m a fan of working on things that are unlike anything I’d worked on before, which is what attracted me to T-Pain and Kehlani’s music video.”

A satirical take on the Wild Wild West, the video was shot at the Veluzat Ranch in San Diego, home to many famed production sets including “Westworld” and “Friday The 13th.”

Since its release, the clip has garnered an astounding 20 million YouTube streams, along with the single peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts earlier this year.

“It’s amazing to see something that we all worked so hard on become such a huge success,” said Koen about working on the video.

After being recognised for his fan-favored performance on T-Pain’s “I Like Dat'' music video, Koen was recruited by IZZE; a popular sparkling juice brand who were in search of a fresh young talent to promote the latest range of flavors to their over 33,000 social media followers.

Shooting in downtown Los Angeles with fellow model Taylor Edgin, Koen displayed his natural capacity as a model as he morphed into an exciting and vibrant new look for IZZE, which is owned by PepsiCo.

Brandon Koen for IZZE - Photography by Ryan Feng

Brandon Koen for IZZE - Photography by Ryan Feng

Whichever genre or medium he immerses himself in, Koen understands that as an actor, he’s responsible for embodying the character to the fullest so that he can deliver a magnificent performance that honours both the film’s narrative and director’s moviemaking dreams.

“What drives me to continue to perform is my love of the work,” explains Koen. “I enjoy doing the research for the characters and telling their stories, and I continue to grow with each new role and I enjoy that process.”

What Brandon Koen manages to do as a performer cannot be taught, and there’s simply no denying the fact that he’ll continue to deliver remarkable work for years on end.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 EntertainmentNewsToday

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