Peter Kowitz, our star tutor for the upcoming Intermediate Screen Acting Course answered a few of our questions for the Screenwise Spotlight! Peter Kowitz is one of Australia’s most versatile and accomplished actors. He has been nominated for AFI awards on four occasions; for drama (Bodysurfer, The Long Way Home, and GP) and comedy (Supernova), winning twice Best Actor for Bodysurfer and The Long Way Home. In 1989 He received the Variety Heart award for Television Actor of the Year.
When did you decide acting was for you?
At university I became involved in student theatre and managed to be cast in lead roles. I had no idea that it would be a profession like any other. I was fortunate to have encouragement from people in the profession who gave me work. For 4 years I was on contract with the Old Theatre Company from the age of 19 and worked from 10am-11pm. It gave me the structure I needed as an actor and a love of the work.
Who are your favourite actors?
My early influences were the Dynamic American Actors of the 60’s and 70’s. Brando, Pacino, Deniro, Hoffman and Streep. I think Cate Blanchett is a fabulous actress and I’ve been lucky enough to have been directed by her in a 2-hand play “Blackbird” at The Sydney Theatre Company. I also worked with Stephen Soderberg on the play “ToT Mom” at the Sydney Theatre Company and as an amusement we shot an improvised full-length film with him. That was once in a lifetime experience.
Your best advice for aspiring actors?
Look at better actors!
What’s the toughest part about acting?
Rejection – get used to it.