Practice English Using This Dialogue With a Famous Actor

65th Venice Film Festival - Opening Ceremony and 'Burn After Reading' Premiere
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Use this interview with a famous actor to practice speaking and pronunciation skills as well as review important grammar points on tense usage. Read, practice with a partner, and check your understanding of important vocabulary and grammar rules. Afterward, create your own dialogue using provided cues.

Vocabulary

  • take time off: to stop working in order to do something else
  • average day: a normal or typical day in someone's life
  • studio: the room(s) in which a movie is made
  • shoot some scenes: to record scenes being acted out on a video camera
  • script: the lines an actor needs to speak in a movie
  • career: the job you have for most of your life
  • future projects: the work that you will do in the future
  • focus on something: to try to do only one thing at a time
  • documentary: a type of film about something that happened in real life
  • retire: to stop working permanently

Present Simple and Present Continuous Tense

The first part of this interview dialogue concerns daily routines and other activities regularly/still taking place. The present simple tense is used to speak and ask about daily routines. The following sentences are examples of the present simple tense.

  • I usually get up early and go to the gym.
  • How often do you travel for work?
  • She doesn't work from home. 

The present continuous tense is used to speak about what is happening at a specific moment in time, usually at or around the moment that a conversation is taking place. The following sentences are examples of the present continuous tense.

  • I'm studying French for a test right now.
  • What are you working on this week?
  • They're getting ready to open the new store.

Part One of the Interview

Pay close attention to the use of the present simple and present continuous tense in the following interview excerpt.

Interviewer: Thank you for taking some time off from your busy schedule to answer a few questions about your life!
Tom: It's my pleasure.

Interviewer: Could you tell us about an average day in your life?
Tom: Sure. I get up early, at 7 in the morning, then I have breakfast. After breakfast, I go to the gym.

Interviewer: Are you studying anything now?
Tom: Yes, I'm learning dialogue for a new film called "The Man About Town".

Interviewer: What do you do in the afternoon?
Tom: First I have lunch, then I go to the studio and shoot some scenes.

Interviewer: Which scene are you working on today?
Tom: I'm acting out a scene about an angry lover.

Interviewer: That's very interesting. What do you do in the evening?
Tom: In the evening, I go home and have dinner and study my scripts.

Interviewer: Do you go out at night?
Tom: Not always, I like going out at weekends.

Present Perfect and Future Tenses

The second section of the interview focuses on the actors' experiences over time. The present perfect tense is used to speak about an event or experience that has already happened (from the past) in the present tense. The following sentences are examples of the present perfect tense.

  • I've visited many countries throughout the world.
  • He's made more than fifteen documentaries.
  • She's worked at that position since 1998.

The future tense is used to talk about the future and uses forms such as "going to" and "will" to do this. The future tense can be used to reference scheduled events, predictions, and even conditional events that depend on the occurrence of other conditions to take place. "Going to" is often used for future plans and "will" is often used to make predictions. The following sentences are examples of the future tense.

  • I'm going to visit my uncle next week.
  • They're going to open up a new store in Chicago.
  • I think I'll take a vacation in June but I'm not sure.
  • She thinks he will get married soon.

Part Two of the Interview

Pay close attention to the use of the present perfect and future tense in the following interview excerpt.

Interviewer: Let's talk about your career. How many films have you made?
Tom: That's a hard question. I think I've made more than 50 films!

Interviewer: Wow. That's a lot! How many years have you been an actor?
Tom: I've been an actor since I was ten years old. In other words, I've been an actor for twenty years.

Interviewer: That's impressive. Do you have any future projects?
Tom: Yes, I do. I'm going to focus on making a few documentaries next year.

Interviewer: That sounds great. Do you have any plans beyond that?
Tom: Well, I'm not sure. Maybe I will become a film director and maybe I'll just retire.

Interviewer: Oh, please don't retire! We love your films!
Tom: That's very kind of you. I'm sure I'll make a few more films.

Interviewer: That's good to hear. Thank you for the interview.
Tom: Thank you.

Practice Creating Your Own Dialogue

Use these sentence pieces to create your own dialogue with a famous actor. Pay careful attention to the time and context provided in order to choose the correct tense and don't forget to use correct punctuation and capitalization when writing your sentences. Try to come up with a few different possibilities for each response.

Interviewer: thank you/interview/know/busy
Actor: welcome/pleasure

Interviewer: work/new/film
Actor: yes/act/in/"Sun on My Face"/month

Interviewer: congratulations/ask/questions/about/life
Actor: yes/any/question

Interviewer: what/do/after/work
Actor: usually/relax/pool

Interviewer: what/do/today
Actor: have/interview/today

Interviewer: where/go/evening
Actor: usually/stay/home

Interviewer: stay/home/this/evening
Actor: no/go/movies

Interviewer: which/movie
Actor: not/say

Sample Solution

Interviewer: Thank you for letting me interview you today. I know how busy you are.
Actor: You're welcome. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Interviewer: Are you working on any new films these days?
Actor: Yes, I'm acting in "Sun in My Face" this month. It's a great film!

Interviewer: Congratulations! May I ask you some questions about your life?
Actor: Of course you can! I can answer almost any question!

Interviewer: Great. Acting is hard work. What do you like doing after work?
Actor: Yes, it is very hard work. I usually relax by my pool. 

Interviewer: What are you doing today for relaxation?
Actor: I'm having an interview today! 

Interviewer: That's very funny! Where do you enjoy going in the evening?
Actor: I usually just stay home! I'm boring!

Interviewer: Are you staying home this evening?
Actor: No, actually. This evening I'm going to the movies.

Interviewer: Which movie are you going to see?
Actor: I can't say, it's a secret!