Jason Wong Interview | Dungeons & Dragons And Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

JASON WONG can currently be seen in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant.

We caught up with Jason to talk about his acting career.

AC: What can audiences expect from Dungeons & Dragons?

JASON WONG: Audiences can expect fun, adventure and a strong bond between friends and family. It’s essentially a heist movie with magical spells and creatures (not just dragons). Fans of the tabletop game will find little gems that they will understand and hopefully adore! But for those who have never experienced the game, there is an abundance for them to enjoy as well. It’s just a great family movie with plenty of laughs that everyone will enjoy. Dare I say it has similar humour to Faulty Towers or Blackadder? The story has archetypes that we will all recognise and love/hate. Especially with that hilarious, bloody-dashing Hugh Grant – he steals the scenes again! He’s utterly hilarious in this film.

What do you think is your character’s ultimate goal?

To destroy whoever he has his crosshairs on. He thrives on killing people but is there to appease the ‘Red Wizard’ and to ensure he completes the task that he was set out to do – stopping Edgin (Chris Pine) and his crew. However, he almost forgets his objective when he gets consumed by the presence of Xenk (Regé-Jean Page).

Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?
I mean, Hugh Grant’s a very funny man, so any moment on set with him. John and Johnathan, our directors, both have a wicked sense of humour too but I can’t repeat their jokes. What I can say is myself and Regé had very sore hands and fingers throughout – getting whacked with a rubber sword during stunt rehearsals was painful. 

We were always safe but occasionally we’d have a few injuries and get caught in the moment. There were a few times when we would mistime our actions in the fight choreography and you’d feel it. Lots of saying “ouch” and “sorry”. Our capes would also get tangled on each other which was always a fun one to deal with!

Photography: Lee Malone

As an actor, what are you still trying to learn?

What I attempt to strive for when I’m playing the antagonist is a sense of danger and unpredictability. My character DRALAS is a loose cannon, he can snap at any moment. Which is a characteristic I love from actors like Joe Pesci in Casino – that ability to just scare you with his eyes and stillness. He was always menacing on camera. Another is finding a moment of vulnerability on camera. That is something I would like to push and challenge myself as an actor. I see the more seasoned actors like Jake Gyllenhaal on camera and he just nails that all the time. I’ve hugged him so hopefully I’ve stolen some of that goodness from him!

How can you tell when you’re reading a great script?
The pages just merge into one and it’s just easy to understand. Everything is just seamless. I’m dyslexic, it can sometimes take me a while to get through a script but the good ones finish in an instant.

A great script can make you cry or provoke emotions – you can feel the energy that the location of the story is set in. Some examples of writers that have had that effect on me are Steven Knight, Guy Ritchie and Ivan Atkinson – I love their writing.

When did you begin to see acting as a potential career avenue?

Whilst I was in sixth form studying drama. My school in Central London had a fully functioning studio theatre that was opened to the public. Professional theatre productions would be in that space every week. Members of the public paid to watch our plays too. It was at that moment I thought this could be a career. I was very lucky during my sixth form days – my drama teacher taught a lot of great actors such as Johnny Lee Miller, Jude Law and Idris Elba. We used to watch their plays on video at school and analyse their performances as part of our coursework. It was great character analysis for me. It was at sixteen I made the decision that I was going to be an actor which was a big life commitment.

Photography: Lee Malone

How important is social media to you right now?
It’s a love-hate relationship really, isn’t it? I watch a lot of content on social media platforms that are related to my favourite hobbies, but then I’m stuck on it the whole time constantly on the apps, which has done nothing good for my eyesight. What I do like is being able to connect with people that I wouldn’t normally connect with via social media. Whether it be fans or people I’m a fan of. It has allowed me to form some great friendships. That is something I do like about it! How it’s connected me to people I may have never met. 

What’s the biggest realization you’ve had this past year?
To be more caring of my mind and body. I have this fear of being broke again, so I overwork a lot. It’s always go, go, go! Finding more moments of stillness and calm would be nice as filming schedules take their toll. 

This year I would like to take bigger leaps and begin the process of producing some stories I’ve created. Something I hope to bring to audiences in the next few years. I have a wine documentary that I’m currently working on which should be fun and educational too, as well as an American western and an investigative crime drama based in London. It will be my love letter to London where I was born and raised, although I know that sounds like a weird thing to say with the words ‘investigative crime’! You’ll just have to wait and see. 

Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
An app to help me understand what to watch. An app where I can type in my mood and how I’m feeling that day and it’ll recommend things for me to watch or listen to. For example, if I’m feeling a bit shit, it’ll recommend me something to cheer me up, or if I’m in the mood for action or something thrilling, then bam – here are your options. I spend so much time searching between different platforms that I just get fed up and turn it off. Then I just end up on my social media apps or watching re-runs of The Sopranos.

What makes you feel nostalgic?
I miss hanging out with my family – I have a huge family on both my Mum and Dad’s side. We laugh, we eat and we play Mahjong. Those are some of my happiest memories. Due to work commitments, I have been missing a lot of these family gatherings and don’t get to see them for those moments anymore. The food is always incredible and I get food envy whenever I get sent pictures. 

But I’m getting to that age where all my mates are getting married and having kids. Making movies and TV shows are fun but it’s sometimes hard to sustain a personal life. I hope to be able to have that one day and still maintain a creative career whilst balancing a family in between.