Interview: the cast of Misfits

Antonia Thomas (Alisha), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Curtis) and Iwan Rheon (Simon) talk to Madeleine about the Misfits...

E4's Misfits

Madeleine had a chance to catch up with some of the young stars of E4’s scorching new comedy drama Misfits, created and written by Howard Overman. Meet Antonia Thomas (Alisha), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Curtis) and Iwan Rheon (Simon).

Everyone’s talking about the show as Heroes meets Skins. Who do you feel the show is aimed at? Is it a show for teenagers?

Iwan: I think it is aimed at teenagers, but I do think everyone can enjoy it.

Antonia: It’s from about 18 to 30, really.

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Iwan: It’s been shot very well, and it’s got lots of merit in that sense, so I think you can watch it and enjoy the visual elements.

Antonia: It’s total cinematic quality, isn’t it? The vision that Chris Ross and Tom Green had for it was really cool. It’s not your average sitcom style quality.

Nathan: Yeah, it’s better than that.

It’s very visually stunning, isn’t it? The orange jumpsuits make a splash against that stormy backdrop. Talking of the jumpsuits …

Nathan: Hmmm …

How much time have you spent wearing them this year?

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Nathan: I sleep in mine.

Iwan: I’ve already slept in mine a fair few times, yeah. Mine’s quite, err … tight.

Nathan: Mine’s quite tight, and a bit hot …

Antonia: They are quite warm, actually.

Iwan: I didn’t mind that much.

Nathan: You know, it’s easy, like having a uniform for work.

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It’s a cool take on the superhero costume.

Nathan: Better than having to wear tights!

Definitely. The action hinges quite a lot on the chemistry between you all as an ensemble cast. What sort of work did you do in rehearsals to build up that trust?

Nathan: We did an assault course.

Antonia: Yeah, the assault course; that was hilarious. The director wanted us to do it in character. But we got there and I thought my character just wouldn’t have done it! I really desperately wanted to join in. In the end I just threw the character out the window and went for it.

Iwan: It was impossible to keep the characters. I was just laughing …

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Antonia: It was really funny because Lauren (Socha, who plays Kelly) was at the back and all of her acrylic nails snapped off!

When did you finish filming the series?

Iwan: September.

So there must have been quite a lot of anticipation between the end of filming and the first episode screening?

Nathan: It was weird. I felt a bit like we were in a vacuum, just waiting to see how it went down.

Antonia: There was a real build up to it, the month before it came out, with all the ads on telly and in the papers…

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Nathan: And not knowing what the response would be.

Antonia: Yeah, it was weird not knowing how people were going to respond to it. It was such a relief when it came out.

How far were your characters defined for you in the script and how much were they developed in rehearsals and filming?

Nathan: We went through all the scripts with Howard, and spoke about our lines to see which ones we felt our characters would say. The scripts changed quite a lot from the first ones to the ones we actually shot with.

Iwan: Tom Green was very open to our suggestions about the characters, especially to do with the superhero powers. We worked on how we thought the power would come out physically in us. My character, Simon, could have been quite a stereotypical geek with a laptop and glasses. In the end, we went for a more Ian Curtis type figure, a guy who is removed from society. Ian Curtis was sort of the icon for the character – that’s his hero. But then, so much of it is in the script.

Antonia: Yes, so much of it is in the script. But Tom worked really hard to make the characters real. On paper my character Alisha could be taken in quite a two-dimensional “she’s a bit of a tart” sense. I think Tom was keen to make her real and to ground her, to make her more like a lot of girls actually are.

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Antonia, how has your family reacted to your character?

Antonia: It’s been hilarious! I warned the family well before I even got on set. They generally think Alisha’s a funny character, apart from some of the sexual things I have to do which freak them out a bit.

The plastic bottle scene in episode 1 must have gone down a treat.

Antonia: Yeah, let’s face it; that did go down a treat! I mean, the general feeling was that it went on for quite a long time! Filming that was difficult. Everyone was around and it was a totally silent set.

Iwan: Yeah, we were all trying really hard not to laugh.

Antonia: I was trying not to laugh!

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So, who is the most similar to their on-screen character?

All: Lauren.

Really?

Antonia: Well, yes, in some ways she is. Lauren’s the kindest person, and so funny, but she does have some elements of the character.

How does it feel to be in such a big E4 show?

Iwan: I think, when I watch these guys, I’m so proud! I feel quite proud to be part of it. We’ve worked really hard to make it and I think it’s got quality in how it looks. And all the other people in the cast are amazing – there’ve been some incredible scenes between actors.

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Antonia: Yeah, I feel really lucky to be part of it.

What’s been your favourite scene so far?

Antonia: Hmm, well, I think one of mine is actually coming up in the next episode, so I’m not allowed to tell you!

Nathan: Mine too.

You’re teasing Den Of Geek!

Iwan: Well, I really like the bit where, um, Robert’s having sex with a granny, personally.

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Yes, that was a bit of shocker.

Iwan: You don’t see it coming, do you?

Certainly not. Can you tell us what on earth happened with Nathan and the pick ‘n’ mix?

Iwan: Aha, you find out in episode 4.

And you can’t tell me what Nathan’s superpower’s going to be, can you?

Iwan: We don’t know.

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Antonia: We know nothing.

Oh, go on …

Iwan: We can’t! They’ve erased our memories.

Argh! OK, Misfits cast, we’ll keep watching to find out.