Netflix is skyrocketing, How does it feel to be joining the likes of the great cast of “The Crown” and “Stranger Things” on Netflix?
They’re both such fantastic shows. The online guys are producing such brilliant material and have been for the last few years – it’s really changing how we view TV. Netflix have made some of my favourite shows in the past, like Bloodline and House of Cards, so it’s a really lovely thing to join them up there as a Netflix Original.
What was it that originally drew you to “Medici”?
It’s got to be the fact that Dustin would be playing my dad… There were so many wonderful things about Medici when it first came up. At first all I had was a few pages of scenes and this brilliant character Lorenzo. So I fell in love with him first. He was unlike anything I’d got to play before. He’s got beautiful strength and passion and heart and anger and he kind of wears it on his sleeve and that’s a very lovely thing to be able to play. Then there was the Dustin Hoffman thing which was just incredible. He was our favourite actor in the house when we were growing up, so to get to meet him, (never mind work with him and act with him!) was a very special thing. The man’s a living legend and a very beautiful human.
You’ve worked in some beautiful, historical places on this project – does the location affect how you act? For example in Bracciano Castle, Italy – in comparison to a studio set?
~We were very lucky with where we got to film on this. It was crazy the access we had to these amazing buildings and historic places in Italy. It definitely helps. It’s one less bit of imagining you have to do so really helps root you more as a real person and character. (Hopefully anyway!)
When working abroad in these places, what do you do in your spare time? Does your schedule allow you to explore the area?
I love going for a massive long walk when you first arrive somewhere new. Get to know it a bit. Get a bit lost. Drop into a little bar for a beer then go walking again. We’re very lucky as actors when we get to go off and live in all these different places and experience something different. We spent about 3 months of the Medici shoot just travelling around Tuscany and Umbria in some of the coolest most beautiful little places I’ve ever been. A few days or a few weeks in each. You start to feel like a local. I’ve got a real love for Italy now from that. We were very close as a cast so we’d find a nice little traditional Italian and go out for a lovely meal most nights. You spend 5 months together, all the time, so it helps when you all get on that well.
“Medici” was set in the 15th Century, do you have a taste for working in historical dramas now?
I do love it. I don’t know how to do modern anymore. I hadn’t done anything that far back, I think most of the stuff I had done had been 20th Century. But it’s great finding out about another bit of history and studying that for a few months. It makes me feel smart!
Do you bring any 21st Century home comforts to work with you for when you’re off set? Are we likely to see your character Lorenzo Tweeting in the background?
Ha. I do take my phone on set sometimes, which I should stop doing, but luckily I’ve got one of those leather iPhone covers on it so it looks like I’ve got a period handset if I leave it tucked into my belt.
What are the best and worst things about 15th Century living?
Worst thing about 15th century living? Definitely the smell. Best? You get to ride a horse everywhere.
We’ve seen you horse riding in “Medici” – are you going to be riding a horse to Tesco or perhaps in a field anytime soon? Or is that something you’ll leave for the set?
I’d love to be able to get away with riding a horse in London Town. Imagine turning up to a meeting and tying your stallion up in Leicester Square. I’m still slightly terrified of them but I’m getting there. I did another period drama recently and was very excited about the pre-production horse riding lessons. But unfortunately my character doesn’t have a horse and all I got was some rowing lessons in a metal can they said was a boat but I think was a big wheelie bin cut in half.
Stuart Martin can be seen in Medici: Masters of Florence, on Netflix now and will be seen early next year in new Sky 1 drama, Jamestown.
Interview by Ian Casey
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Styling by Valentina Tiurbini
Grooming by Zoheb Jetha @ The King’s Canary Salon
Clothes: denim jacket by Levi’s, black t-shirt by Calvin Klein – Leather jacket by Raddar7, t-shirt by American Vintage, Beanie hat by American Vintage – Sweater by Reiss.