Can you walk us through your career journey, from when you first became involved in theatre to landing the role of Jamie in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?
It really started from a young age, around 5 or 6, when I got put into acting and dance classes for something to do on the weekend. I don’t come from a family of actors or anything to do with entertainment, so it was a new world to us all. I continued with that and branched out into different youth theatre companies and groups until I was 14 and landed a place at The BRIT School. After studying there for four years, I auditioned for many drama schools to continue studying and spent three years at Mountview. During my final year of training, a director I was working with recommended me to a casting director who was in the process of looking for a new actor to play Jamie. After two auditions, I was offered the role and began rehearsals, leaving my drama school training early to then begin my first professional job.
Have you always wanted to be an actor? Were you always more drawn to theatre over tv and film?
Yes, in short. I’ve never really known what it feels like to be passionate about anything else. It seems to have been this constant tie in my life and I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I think growing up without loads of money, theatre was just the medium that was more accessible. TV & film always felt quite far away, but my first education of acting came from watching amazing films. Now that I’m older, I really have no preference as great work is being created everywhere, regardless of the medium it’s being made through. The opportunity to cast my net wide and see where that takes me is very fulfilling.
How does it feel to have made your professional debut in one of the biggest roles in musical theatre?
It feels like a lot of things. It’s still slightly surreal, it’s a bit terrifying, it’s very exciting, it’s hard to sum up. Never in a million years did it cross my mind that this would have happened ever, let alone so fast. I don’t think I ever saw it as a dream or goal of mine; I love doing the job so much that if I had never played a leading role in my life, I would still be trying to work in this industry. However, now that it has happened, I am filled with gratitude and drive to carry on doing great work.
How did you balance Everybody’s Talking About Jamie alongside your degree?
Luckily, I was able to be graded on the show as part of my degree. I was in my first term of my final year of drama school, so was allowed to leave my scholastic environment early to work full-time. I didn’t have to do any difficult written work as our degree is majority practical work. My performance was marked and graded on one performance, and it managed to secure me a First Class Honours in my degree.
Do you think you’d ever want to write / direct your own theatre production?
I mean, I would never say never. I don’t think I’m there yet in terms of a full-scale production. I have a lot more I want to learn about the craft of writing as the standard is so high. When you look at people like Michaela Coel or Reggie Yates writing amazing work, you realise how much work goes into bringing your vision to the page. For the moment, I’m very much enjoying being an actor and honing my craft in that field, but we shall see.
What is/ are the biggest lesson(s) you've learned throughout your career journey that you'd want to share with aspiring actors?
Personally, I have really learnt that the best thing I can do is be myself, and that sounds so odd when our job is all about transformation. I had a wonderful realisation playing Jamie that the reason the part feels different when I play it is because I’m a different person to anyone who has played it before. Your version of that character is what makes it special, the energy and life you bring to a role is what makes it different and special. Spend time getting to know yourself and what you bring to get the most out of your work. And the other is just to have fun! We work so hard as actors, so we might as well have a good time whilst doing it.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently having some time off, just to look after my mental wellbeing and rest for the first time in a while. I do have a few projects lined up for next year, but that’s all the detail I can give you for now!
Gin & Lemonade with Lime Cordial
2. What was the last thing you Googled?
The price of entry for my local pub quiz
3. What was the last book you read?
Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola (INCREDIBLE!)
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
5. What is your favourite TV show?
6. What would be your ideal date?
7. What’s your guilty pleasure?
8. What’s the best and worst purchase you’ve ever made?
9. What was your first concert?
10. Make a party playlist with only 3 songs: