What attracted you the most to the character of Aaron?
I felt that I could relate to his solitude.
Where is Aaron in his life?
He’s 18, in between leaving school and having to find a proper job. There’s a natural progression that people around him have made, maybe quicker than he had expected, and he doesn’t speak to his school friends as much as he thought he would when he left. They have moved forward and he’s stayed where he was. He’s got used to not really speaking to people from school and not continuing to make friends. He doesn’t have a job, so he doesn’t have a lot of outlets in terms of talking to people his age.
How much of himself does Aaron recognise, or rejects, in the figure of Danny and his issues?
I feel he rejects the naive confidence that Danny has but also helps Aaron to find his own confidence.
How does Aaron change because of his relationship with Danny?
He becomes more outgoing and due to Danny’s lack of social awareness, Aaron has to force himself out of his own shell. Danny’s completely fresh outlook is what Aaron needs: somebody who’s going to walk through a crowd of people in a 1920s’ suit and not care what people think, because he doesn’t understand that people think he’s strange. Aaron could do with some of that confidence.
Aaron watches a lot of porn, which shapes how he thinks about sex and relates to women. Have you seen that impact yourself?
Yeah, definitely on young men. It’s so easy to access porn nowadays, so they’ve got a distorted idea of what like sex is, what it should look like or sound like, when it’s about being comfortable and happy together. Especially in high school, for a lot of young lads it’s just about doing it in the first place. The way Aaron watches porn is strange – he does it at times where you just wouldn’t do it, like when he’s with Danny, for example, and he’s trying to show how much more of a man he is. I think lads see sex like they see porn, just in how easy it should be to get, and how available. That can definitely give the wrong impression.
What would be your dream role next?
The dream role for me is probably in someone’s mind yet to be written.
Somewhere Boy starts on Sunday 16th October at 10pm on Channel 4. All episodes will also be available on All 4.
Interview and photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Grooming by Maria Asadi