You were granted a scholarship to RADA from Warner Bros. How did you find the drama school experience and what are the most valuable lessons you learned?
First of all, it was a blessing winning that scholarship, otherwise I don’t think I would’ve been able to go. Also, being awarded that from a firm like Warner Bros, was just crazy! I learnt a lot, mostly about myself and the things that matter to me. I think when you start to understand that, you’re much freer as an actor, as a person too. I had a great time and made some real lifelong friends. Wouldn’t change it.
How would you describe your character in Industry? How did you relate to him and bring him to life?
I’m personally very different to Gus, but I definitely relate to him on a deeper level. He’s a young man just trying to make sense of the world in front of him in the best way he knows how. He’s a mercurial character, but also bold, and fearless… I did a lot of research for him. Rocking up to Eton College for a tour and gate-crashing private dorms at Christ Church. His background’s just so different to mine… But it gets to a point where you throw all that away and you just have to make yourself vulnerable. That’s what I really tried to do with him, for the most part.
Did you know Lena Dunham’s work before Industry? What was it like working with her?
Yeah, I was like 13 when I first saw Girls. It blew my mind. I’d never seen anything like that on tv before. So, when I found out Lena was directing the show, I just lost it. She’s a complete sweetheart and has such a fluidity to the way she works. We’d try it one way then she’d say “great, now let’s do one for you” and it’ll just snowball into something that’s definitely not on the page, and might never make the edit, but we did it, and it was real, you know? She’s a real actors’ director. I just love her.
Industry seems like a big choral piece. How was the chemistry on set with the other actors?
I think from day one we realised we were all in the same boat. We’re young, fairly new, fresh out of school actors, and this show is this big HBO ‘thing’ that we all looked up to and cared about. The only way for us to make anything good, was to do it together, as a company. From that point, we just jelled. On set and off, we have a big love for each other… I think that’ll come across on screen too.
You played the role of Isaac Turner in season two of Fox’s Deep State. What was your favourite moment from filming?
Everything. I was in the desert, literally in the middle of nowhere, doing MI5 training before sunrise and filming in the day and all the way through the night. Rinse, repeat. It was incredible. But of course, the best part was probably story time with Joe Dempsie and Walton Goggins. My lips are sealed.
What can you tell us about the play Daddy?
“Daddy” is a play written by an incredible playwright Jeremy O. Harris, who also wrote Slave Play which has just been nominated for 12 Tony awards. Daddy is the story of Franklin, a young artist from Virginia now living and working in the hills of Los Angeles. It basically follows the story of his newfound fame, whilst also coming to terms with a haunting past. It’s a big, crazy play written with so much heart and humanity. Hopefully it will be coming to the Almeida next year, fingers crossed.
You’ve recently been named on Digital Spy’s Rising list as one of the 30 Black British Stars of Tomorrow. What does this mean to you?
It’s a real honour… if I’m honest. You do these things and forget that anyone’s even watching. So, to be acknowledged amongst such talented actors and actresses, it’s humbling and motivating to say the least.
Have you got any exciting projects on the horizon? What can we expect to see you in next?
I can’t say too much just yet, especially with everything that’s going on around the world. But all things permitting some really exciting things to come… so watch this space!
INDUSTRY will air on BBC2 in November.
Interview by Lorenza Calamandrei
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato