What did inspire you to become an actor?
My Mum – well, not inspire exactly, but she made it happen. When I was a kid I think she just knew I was a bit odd and I needed to go somewhere and pretend to be other people for a bit, so she found a youth theatre near us in Sheffield. My Mum passed away a few years ago now and I’d love more than anything for her to see me enjoying my job so much now. Albeit dicking about in Ancient Rome in a toga and a bowl cut.
What were your favorite roles that you have done so far?
Grumio is pretty ridiculously fun. In real life I’m closer to Woody Allen than Grumio so it’s sort of nice to dip into being a feckless scrubber who doesn’t give a toss about anything! Outside of Plebs, I’m in a series called The Frankenstein Chronicles with Sean Bean – I play a young Charles Dickens and it’s brilliant to play a real person who has such a legacy and mythology surrounding them.
The 3rd season of Plebs is coming out soon, what should we expect from this season?
Bigger, ballsier, nakeder nonsense in Ancient Rome. There’s some pretty special Grumio fatsuit action going on that’s worth tuning in for alone…
Grumio is definitely our favorite character. Is it challenging to become Grumio and bring him into reality?
To be honest, yeah it is a bit. I didn’t really realise when I filmed the pilot that after 2 months of maintaining that posture every series my spine would be like a bonsai tree. I have to get a hell of a lot of deep tissue massage to straighten me out again every time. Also the amount of weight I pile on from eating constantly in every take of every scene is incredible. After this series, just thinking about Pecan Pie is enough to make me dry heave. I’m like that fat lad from ‘Matilda’ with the chocolate cake.
What was the funniest thing that happened while filming Plebs?
It depends how you look at it. If you’re not me – watching me standing completely naked in the town square, trying to wrangle a camera shy goat into place using my thighs was probably pretty amusing. As it happens I’m still going to be having therapy in thirty years time. And I’ll never be able to visit Hackney city farm without feeling a bit weird.
Who are your favorite actors and role models?
I’m gonna go straight down the line and say Judi Dench. There’s a story about her being cut off by another driver who shouted ‘c**t’ at her out of his window. She winds the window down and shouts ‘that’s Dame c*nt to you!’. Class.
What are your future plans?
I’ve just finished filming a pilot of a sitcom I’ve written, based around open top bus tour guides in central London. So, with a bit of luck and a following wind, we’ll be filming the rest of that series later this year.
The next episode of Plebs will air next Monday (11th) at 10pm on ITV2