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 points. Finally, create a dialog of your own with exercise cues.

Interview Part 1: Practice Using the Present Simple and Present Continuous

The first part of the dialog concerns daily routines, as well as current activities. Notice that the present simple is used to speak and ask about daily routines:

  • He usually gets up early and goes to the gym.
  • How often do you travel for work?
  • She doesn't work from home. 

The present continuous is used to speak about what is happening at this specific moment in time, as well as around the current moment in time:

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

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 dialog 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.

Interview Part 2: Practice Using the Present Perfect and Future Tenses

The second section of the interview focuses on the actors' experience from the past to the present. Use the present perfect when speaking about experience over time:

  • 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 forms going to and will are used to speak about the future. Notice that going to is used with future plans whereas will is used to predict the future.

  • 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'll get married soon.

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 Exercise: Create Your Own Dialogue

Use these cues to create your own dialogue with a famous actor. Pay careful attention to the time words and context to help you choose the correct tense. Try to come up with different possibilities. 

Interviewer: Thank you / interview. Know / busy
Actor: Welcome / Pleasure

Interviewer: work new film?
Actor: Yes / act in "Sun on My Face" this 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

Example 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 a new film 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. So, acting is hard work. What do you like doing after work?
Actor: I usually relax at 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. This evening I'm going to the movies.

Interviewer:  Which movie are you going to?
Actor: I can't say. It's a secret!

Key Vocabulary

  • take time off = 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 = act scenes from a movie for the camera
  • script = the lines the actor needs to speak in a movie
  • career = your job or work over a long period of time
  • future projects = work that you will do in the future
  • focus on something = try to do only one thing
  • documentary = a type of film about something that happened in real life
  • retire = stop working