Ribeyrolles, Sutter, and Chauchat - made by the Manufacture d’Armes de Tulle in France c.1917~18. 8x51mmR Lebel five-round en-bloc clip, gas-operated semi-automatic, loaded from the bottom. Made with several Lebel parts, the RSC Mle1917 was the first semi-automatic military rifle to be mass-issued and used during a major conflict, namely World War one. It was a far cry from the revolutionary designs of the French rifle trials of the early 20th century, but it was decently reliable and provided a lot more firepower than the old Lebel Mle1886.
What were your initial thoughts on Class when you got the script?
When I first got the script, we weren’t allowed to know anything. We weren’t allowed to know it was part of Doctor Who, so I just thought that my character was just a little bit socially awkward. A bit like me when I was that age, in sixth form, not quite understanding social cues and all that. So I saw a lot of myself in him, and then I eventually found out oh he’s actually an alien. That makes sense, that how I feel normally [laughs] in social situations feel a bit like an alien. So I could draw on that a lot, I really liked the script. I mean I’m such a geek anyway that sci-fi was always something I want to do.
How would you sum up your character Charlie in one sentence?
Charlie is…He’s a weird one with a lot on his shoulder.
You mentioned you can relate to Charlie a lot in social situation what other ways do you think you relate to him?
I think he’s observing a lot, I always thought of myself as an observer.
A people stalker or people watcher, which on would you describe yourself as?
[Laughing] A bit of both! People stalker, I like that! There’s something a little bit more intense about that, I kind of like that.
Yeah he definitely has to do a lot of observation because he’s still trying to learn a lot and I definitely need to as a teenager I never quite really got to grips with other people until I was late into my teens. So I take a lot from that when I’m trying to play Charlie and I try a put a little bit of my geekiness into him as well. He wasn’t necessarily geeky in the script but I was like oh chuck a few little things in there.
I think it noticeable adds a finer detail, dimension to his character.
Yeah I think so. Each of the characters in Class has their own stereotype. Fady who plays Ram is the Jock. Vivian who plays Tanya is the geek and I’m like the socially awkward one who doesn’t quite fit in. I think what’s nice about them that they do have their own layers to them. You see them first as stereotypes that very clearly defined and then everyone kind of says ‘oh no I’m not that person’. They also do a lot more to them which is really nice like I think that’s what’s part of what makes playing Charlie fun.
The show revolves around the four of you, how did you guys bond over the project to give a dynamic that plays so well on-screen? Is that the same off-screen, or do you just hate each other!?
Funnily enough, I hate them. [Laughs] No I’m only joking! I love them to pieces. It was weird really, were each so unique, so different to one another: I’m like a posh, English boy from down South; Fady is like the London lad; Sophie is the Northern lass; and Vivian is just sass on legs, she’s great. We’re all so different but we just clicked as soon as we went into our rehearsals. We all just started having a great time and laughing and that just continued throughout the shoot. Even with Jordan who plays my boyfriend I just get on so well with him which is so nice. Boyfriend on the show obviously! I keep introducing him as my boyfriend as well, my wife gets really annoyed with that! [laughs] we all get on super well it’s just so lovely to have a job where you get on so well your other actors, it makes a job a lot easier and a lot more fun.
What are you most excited for us to see from this series?
My favourite episodes are six and eight. The season finale is super cool, it’s pretty epic and that’s all I’ll say about that! So six is very unique it’s err…again I won’t say why it’s unique but it was a very unique acting challenge and it’s not something I expect to do ever again.
How important is it that Class champions diversity with it characters?
I think for diversity and sexuality in television it is always great to have, as long as its truthful to the situation, the show is set in Shoreditch in 2016 it’s going to be diverse so yeah it’s integral. As long as it makes sense within the story and within the truth of what we’re trying to tell then absolutely it’s 100% necessary and for this show absolutely it needs to be there. It’s great to have that diversity on-screen. It gives people something to see themselves in, from every walk of life.
I think it refreshing that the show deals with it in such a nonchalant way that it there and it doesn’t matter.
That’s the thing it doesn’t matter, it is that’s how the gravity of the world is. What’s that quote, Patrick says it a lot, it’s a variation of ‘be the change you want to see’. It’s kind of if you want to see change in the world, act like it’s already happened and that’s what he’s trying to do with this show. That’s what being shown with my character being gay. The fact that no-one makes a big deal of it in the show is part of my character, great I’m gay but there’s all this other stuff going on that’s more important than that, it’s just there my character isn’t defined by his sexuality its part of it’s not really making a big deal out of it.