Excited about new TV show? What can you tell us about it?
Very much excited. The responses from the fans has been very humbling, and I’m glad that our audiences love it so much. Other than what’s already been shown, I can’t say much else – that would be telling!
In that case can you tell us about your character ?
As you may or may not have seen, we’re starting to see the rumblings of a connection between Dante and Tyler. It’s funny how their meeting is like any other to them, discovering each other through Grindr before organising a meet again later down the line. What I can say for certain, especially given what he’s learned of his mother, Bel, is that he’s conflicted about the people in his life. Despite what he knows of his mother, he learns that she wasn’t as immediately accepting of his coming-out as he had hoped. On a side note, I had a friend of mine – who writes and performs some LGBT shows for the Greater Manchester Fringe – explain to me that sometimes when parents express initial dismay of their child’s homosexuality, it can come more from the shock of it. He said that one doesn’t always think of their child, and then further down the line not hope for grandchildren. This doesn’t always mean that they wouldn’t accept them, it can just be the shock of discovering their child is not what they expected. Despite the fact that this is what Bel tries to explain to Tyler, of course he’s been wounded by the revelation that she was not as happy for him as he would have liked. Tyler has a lot of in-built sensitivity. No spoilers, but there will be plenty of reasons for him to explore that in this second-half of the series we’re about to enter. I’m very interested to see how people receive the rest of the story – there are still quite a few surprises yet to come that I can’t wait for.
What’s it like growing up in a family of actors?
It might be a boring answer, but it’s the same as any other. It’s certainly great to be able to talk about the same interests, as they have the same job as I do. Altogether, I’m lucky to be in a family that I admire and trust to talk with about my work life.
Did you bring any of your personal experiences to the character of Tyler?
Not too much of me is in Tyler, otherwise that would be lazy wouldn’t it! Tyler’s very sensitive though, and cares deeply about the people in his life. If there’s anything I can say I felt a similarity with Tyler about, is the protective instinct to interject and defend his loved ones. We’ve seen it now in episode three, but it doesn’t end there. It’s a shame that the moment he speaks out in aid of his mum, that he’s met with crushing news that she wasn’t who he thought she was. But family’s go through growth in all kinds of ways, this is one such path towards it.
What does it mean to you to be a Londoner?
To be surrounded with amazing art and culture. London is home to the West-End, or incredible artistic places such as the National Gallery and the Tate Modern, then places like Camden and Shoreditch. You walk for five minutes in almost any direction and already you see so many people from all different backgrounds, cultures and ways of living. It’s a hub of artistic learning in this country – not the only one mind – it’s good to be surrounded by so many things you can draw from.
All episodes of AGE BEFORE BEAUTY ARE available on BBC iPlayer
Interview by Sung Lee
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Grooming up by Nathalie Eleni & Chloe