What can you tell us about Quiz and who your character is?
Quiz is a TV miniseries about the ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? scandal, written by James Graham and directed by Stephen Frears. I played Tecwen Whittock who was the third accomplice that allegedly cheated on the program. He was sat on the fastest buzzer and was accused of coughing to assist Charles and Diana Ingram to cheat their way to winning the £1 million jackpot price.
It was such a massive scandal at the time – do you remember it?
I do remember it yes. It was quite an extraordinary thing to witness and media frenzy was incredible! I don’t think there has been anything quite like it since.
Has filming Quiz made you think differently about it?
I think the way it’s written and directed to question the audience makes the viewer wonder if they did or didn’t do it equally. Back then it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they were guilty. So that’s how I feel now about it now – I have no idea!
How do you get into character for parts? Are you a method actor?
No, I’m not a method actor. I watched some footage of Tecwen on YouTube of him was on the show to get the sense of what he was like. And my Welsh accent was put together because all of my in-laws are Welsh, so that helped get into the character. Then I just try and have fun with it like I do with every part I play.
How is it different acting on stage to in front of a camera?
They are two very different disciplines for me as it’s all about the difference between the run-up to the moment you walk on stage and then the moment they call action – the preparation and build up for both are very different. In theatre you sit around all day waiting for it to happen and like clockwork it does at the same time every night. On TV you do the same and then sometimes it doesn’t actually happen because of the weather or some other factor. It can be jarring! Fundamentally though when you’re on a stage or behind the camera it’s the same thing but you shoot it in lots of parts, rather than do it all at once like in the theatre.
You have a list of great shows coming up, what can you tell us about Honour and Four Lives?
Honour is an ITV drama that stars Keeley Hawes and tells the story of an honour killing that happened in South London. Banaz Mahmood went missing and after a lengthy investigation the police discovered that it was her family who had her killed for dishonouring them by divorcing the man they wanted her to be with. I play one of the detectives who was on the case. And Four Lives is a BBC drama that stars Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith and is about the murder case that surrounded Stephen Port in Barking, Essex. The police are currently under investigation for negligence. I play a family liaison officer who dealt with a lot of the case. Both very similar roles but subtlety different and I got to work with two excellent directors – David Blair and Richard Laxton.
What would be your ideal part?
Anything that challenges me and gives me the opportunity to do something completely different. But I will always love doing musicals! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to play Sweeney Todd? Keep your fingers crossed.
Tell us your favourite moment from Hamilton
All of it! It was an incredible thing to be a part of. Even if I was simply standing in the wings watching the show, I would pinch myself. I had an amazing year playing King George III, especially being a working class lad from Hull and getting to be so posh!
Interview by Lorenza Calamandrei
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Styling by Caroline Fergusson
Grooming by Eoin Whelan