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article imageMatthew Knowles talks 'Asura,' Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 10, 2018 in Entertainment
Actor Matthew Knowles chatted with Digital Journal about his work in the new film "Asura," and his education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Knowles also discussed the digital transformation of the entertainment business.
Regarding his experience on Asura, he said, "Being on the set was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had as an actor. Our huge sets filled up several studios all around Beijing with some of the most massive, intricately designed sets I have ever seen. They really created an entirely new world full of countless props, sculptures, and artwork for us to interact with."
Knowles continued, "Our amazing costumes were designed by Oscar winning costume designer, Ngila Dickson (Lord of the Rings). They were so carefully and intricately designed that it didn't feel like we were getting dressed each day to act but rather getting ready for battle. You can expect a visual and emotional feast similar to projects such as Avatar and Game of Thrones. Really, what excites me most about Asura is that it is the first Chinese film in a while that I think people will really be interested in outside of China."
On his future plans, he said, "I plan to continue to pursue opportunities for film projects in the U.S. and Europe. I think we will have some amazing news to release very soon. At the same time, I am excited by the progress and momentum of the Chinese film industry and I plan to continue to use my mandarin fluency and experience in China to be a part of the amazing films to come on a global stage."
Each day, Knowles is motivated by "the beauty of life and the possibilities of new experiences." "I believe that you must chase your dreams. I have big dreams and it excites me to take one step closer towards them everyday. I like to improve myself. Everyday if I have improved a part of myself just a little bit, I consider it a good day," he said.
For Knowles, attending and studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London has been a "phenomenal" experience. "They have really challenged and stretched me as an actor and artist. They have taught me to expand my range and potential in the choices I can make and characters I can play as an actor. They have also challenged me to explore the connection with the audience, learning different methods for impacting them and keeping them engaged. Although I get a big kick out of acting, in the end, we are doing it for the audience and to make them feel deeply, be engaged, and enjoy the ride. I feel like my time there has helped me to develop into an actor who has the tools to continually grow and create new, exciting, and challenging performances to entertain audiences throughout the rest of my career," he elaborated.
Digital transformation of entertainment
On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, Knowles said, "Technology is constantly changing the entertainment industry. It is changing the way that people consume content. For example, short form content is becoming more and more popular. People want to be entertained in a shorter amount of time then they did in the past. Shorts, TV series, shorter feature films are all very appealing to audiences because they can take it all in in one sitting. Services such as Amazon, Netflix, and the Chinese iQiyi are creating amazing, film quality content that people want to see, and quality filmmakers and actors want to be a part of."
Knowles continued, "Technology is making content from all over the world more accessible to the normal viewer. As international content continues to get better and better and people have more and more access to it, international content, especially that from China, is going to become more and more appetizing and interesting to worldwide audiences. I think it is a huge mistake to ignore how techology is changing the world, especially in entertainment."
Regarding his use of technology as an actor, Knowles said, "I have actually used apps on my phone to help me memorize lines or work on scenes when I have no one around to help me run lines. I do self tapes all the time and you have to stay on top of current technology to make sure your tapes are top notch. At RADA, we are also doing research and experimentation with technology such as projections and live streaming to create the future marriage of technology and theatre."
He listed Oscar winner Tom Hanks as his dream acting choice. "Tom has impacted me greatly through films such as Big and Turner & Hooch when I was a child," he said.
Knowles shared that he feels successful when he creates several pieces of art that he can someday show his grand-kids and be proud of.
For his fans, he concluded about Asura, "You want to see it. I want to see it. I've played fun and dramatic characters in the past, but if you liked me as a doctor, you will love me as a Demigod. I think Asura is the first film to come out of China in years that will really be adored by moviegoers worldwide. They have created an entirely new, fantastical world that will really be a visual feast for the eyes and imaginations. I think this one will go on the shelf to show my future grand-kids. You are going to love it."
To learn more about actor Matthew Knowles, follow him on Twitter.
More about matthew knowles, Tom hanks, Asura, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Actor
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