05/23/2014 05:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Actor Henry Hereford of NBC's 'Crossbones' Talks About His New Role and Family History


Henry Hereford's new project is the upcoming NBC adventure series "Crossbones" starring John Malkovich. Henry takes on the role of Frederick Nightingale. Henry has also appeared on both the big and small screen in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Daniel Craig and Lifetime's Liz & Dick. He most recently guest starred on HBO's hit series True Blood and TV Land's Happily Divorced. Henry's Twitter: @MrHereford

Henry Hereford is a modern mixed breed of all the right stuff -- England, Germany, Australia, the United States.

The Hereford family dates back to 11th century England, when they were given permission to take the name of the town of Hereford, and the family have lived in the same house since the 13th century. Furthermore, Henry believes that William Shakespeare based the character of Henry, the Duke of Hereford in "Richard II," on one of his ancestors.

The Hereford family dates back to 11th century England. Why were you born in Germany? At what point did you move to England?

My father was in the British army and was stationed in Germany when I was born. We were then posted to England and we lived in Shrewsbury until I was three years old, moved to Herefordshire when I was four and then moved into the family home when I was about 11. I was at boarding school, so you can imagine how idyllic the summer holidays were with so much space to run around and explore.

You're currently working on the new NBC adventure series Crossbones as Frederick Nightingale. Tell us about your audition(s) and your character.

The casting director is based in New York, so I taped my audition. I had never got a role by taping, so was very surprised and excited when I got offered the job two weeks later. Nightingale is the clockmaker who is being escorted alongside his Chronometer to the King.

What's it like being British yet living in Los Angeles? Which area do you consider home?

I feel like I live between the two. In California, I live in the incredible Venice Beach which is like living in a small but very quirky town, so I don't feel like I live in Los Angeles like I did when I used to live in Hollywood. I had moved to Australia years years before so moving to L.A. did not feel scary; I had been put in touch with several people and was lucky to meet some kindred spirits. I was also lucky that I lived in a pool house for the first 1.5 years owned by an amazing actress who really took me under her wing.

Do you believe in the Zodiac signs, being a Libra?

I am open to anything really. From what I understand I am a very typical Libra.

Why is your hair always crazy?

I think I am rebelling from having to brush it everyday whilst at boarding school. I set it free. I have not owned a brush or a comb for many years now.

What's the difference in your preparation for roles in theater vs. television/film?

It is a very different process and a different set of skills. In television you don't have the time that you have in theater. In theater you learn your lines through rehearsal whereas with television you need to do this before hand. I am not a method actor so I don't spend days on backstory although again there is more time with theater. I love the theatre but I cannot compare the buzz I get when they say "Action."

Before your acting career took off, did you also hold other jobs in between to pay the bills?

I have done a range of jobs -- a lot of data entry and even doing surveys at the Zoo. I have had some amazing experience and I have met lots of great people along the way.

Are you still fighting for the rights for the play Festen? What is it about this play that makes you want to put it on?

I have the rights for the play for another year. I was blown away by the play when I first saw it. It is an incredibly powerful story and shows the damage that can be done by not speaking out and others not facing the truth. I think it is particularly relevant today where people are speaking about things that happened many years ago and society is now taking notice.

Do you update your own Twitter account? What's your take on social media?

I am using Twitter more and more and finding that it is a great to promote my own projects but also get behind some great causes.

Please tell us about your philanthropic causes including the Royal Society for the Blind, the L.A. Food Bank, and a developing relationship with the Golden Hat Foundation, a charity founded by Kate Winslet that helps families living with autism.

I have donated to the RSB for 10 years and the L.A. Food Bank for the last three. My agency organized several days where we went down and packed boxes of food for the homeless around Christmas. I am talking to Golden Hat about how I can help. I feel passionately that there should be more awareness about autism particularly within the adult community. Golden Hat does so many incredible things, I want to be a part of it. I am also helping a friend who has set up a fantastic charity that is helping L.A. children learn and perform Shakespeare. I hope that I can do more to help

Anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, tune into Crossbones on 5/30/14, you will love it! Follow me on Twitter at @MrHereford