How did you initially become involved with 'I Don't Care'?
I thought it looked really interesting, just auditioned for it and luckily got the part.
It’s quite intense, do you have a specific way of preparing for roles like that?
I start off by learning the lines first! (Laughs). First of all you have to look at the script and extract every bit of information you can and that’s the best way to start, and then start to build a character around that and researching the subject matter - and often I think it’s better to just leave it until the day and see how it goes within the environment. I don’t like to go in with too much on my mind because you can over think stuff and then you get stuck in your ways.
WHERE DID YOU FEEL YOUR CHARACTER WAS AT THE END OF THE FILM?
I don’t know, I think he really opened up in the world and by doing that he realised what was important. I think it takes a big experience to make you feel like you want to reach out, but realise why you exist in the world.
Do you find it easy to get out of character, I know some actors, for instance, Joe Gilgun who you worked with on 'Misfits' has spoken to me about the difficulty he has with letting go…
Yeah, I know Joe really well and he is such an energetic guy, he just exhausts himself, he’s such an amazing actor. But, yeah I can, I sometimes find that theatre can be a little bit heavier but I think the roles always influence me, there’s a shadow almost, you can kind of feel that you’re carrying around the character, but when it’s done I like to think that I can go back to normal…
Yeah, otherwise you’d be a bit of a wreck…
(Laughs) Yeah, especially with some of the roles that I’ve had to play!
You’ve just left 'Misfits', are you quite intimidated going into other projects and away from something which was comfortable?
Hm…I’m not intimidated…
Yes, excited, really excited. It’s feels quite weird that there won’t be a series of 'Misfits' this year, I love the show and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to get to do it, but it’s really exciting to get to do different things and my whole year doesn’t have to be planned around this one thing. It’s nice, it’s quite frightening, but I guess that’s what it’s about really.
You’ve just finished filming 'Wasteland', can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, it’s about these four lads that want to leave the world that they’re in. It’s kind of like a heist film in a way, I guess if you had to squeeze it into a genre it would fit into there, but it’s a very different take than the Hollywood-ized heist film, it’s very gritty and British, it’s really cool - it’s set in Leeds and it has a very different feel to it.
So do you see yourself moving away from TV in pursuit of film?
No, no! I never understand that, I think it has to be completely project dependent, especially these days when television is incredible, both American and British, there are some incredible scripts going around and films being produced. I think you’d be a fool to just turn your nose up on TV, and sometimes you get even better stuff with TV. I think as an actor you’ve just got to take an interesting project, and for me that means TV, theatre, film, if it’s interesting then I’ll do it.
I spoke to Aneurin (Barnard) who you’re friends with, and he’s doing very well too, do you ever feel competitive with other actors?
(Laughs) I think it’s kind of a natural thing, I think you have to try to not let it get to you, you can’t get it all and you can’t be bitter, and you can’t worry about what other people are doing – that just breeds bitterness, especially when you’re mates. I’ve got to look at him and we’re very different people and very different actors and I wish him all the best. If he gets something then that’s what they’re after, he’s great actor and a brilliant mate, so I’m totally happy for him…and he’s Welsh…(Laughs)
You’re very involved with music as well, you seemed to choose acting over music, why was that?
I always said that when I was growing up people would ask if I had the choice, which one would I choose, and it was a really tough decision. Music is my love, I live and breath it in a way and acting is something that I’ve just always enjoyed doing and I find it really interesting. It just seemed to happen that acting came first, that worked out first and I’m always playing and writing songs and hopefully I’ll record an album if I get a chance, because I’ve done two EP's now. I really want to make a full on album.
Do you think the popularity you’ve gained from acting will help with that now?
Yeah, I think it goes hand in hand, I don’t want to use it, music is a very personal thing to me, and I don’t want it to be like all of sudden, “Well actually I’m a singer now too” that’s just not me, people can listen to it if they want to but if they don’t it doesn’t matter, I’m not trying to be the next Jason Donovan!
Where do your ambitions lie? Is Hollywood in your mind or are you not bothered by it?
Obviously you can’t not care about it (Laughs). So many incredible projects come out of America. If it happens, it happens, you can’t rule anything out.
How do you approach the audition process?
I find it quite difficult but I guess you just have to go in with an idea and go for it and try not to be too scared. You just have to try and give them something, there’s no point going in there and being vague, you have to really go in there and make a decision and hope for the best.
How do you deal with rejection?
Obviously some things are worse than others, but it’s part of the job. You can’t get every job, no one does, you’ve just got to deal with it and move on. The most difficult thing is that as soon as you’ve left the audition you’ve got to try to forget about it and forget it ever happened - if you get a job then great!
What advice would you give to up and coming actors?
Just really want it and work really hard. I think we live in a world where people think you can just go on a TV show and become a massive star, which you can but that only lasts for a bit. If you really want it then you have to really go for it and do everything it takes….I mean don’t give it anything, you have to be happy in yourself.
Do you see yourself going into filmmaking – directing, writing?
I’d love to direct one day, but I think it’s something that I have to gain experience for. Every time you go on set you learn something new and you learn something about the world. Some people are born to make films, I think I need to learn a lot more about the craft before I can attempt it.
Who is your IDOL?
Ah, I don’t know…I think in music, Tom Yorke. In acting, Richard Burton.
Ah, Aneurin also said Richard Burton…
Yeah, of course he did! He copied me! He copies me all the time… it used be Zac Efron but it’s changed to Richard Burton since he’s been hanging out with me. (Laughs)…Please print that!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully not on the street! (Laughs) Doing something really cool…hopefully.
'I DON'T CARE' FEATURES ON 'BOYS ON FILM: CRUEL BRITTANIA'
YOU CAN ORDER IT HERE FROM 28TH MAY
Interview: Emma Hurwitz
Images courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures; Channel 4
Black and white image: Sasha Gusov