Midlands Movies Mike talks to “This Is England” and “Beverley” star Kieran Hardcastle about his role in the new short film, made and shot in Leicester that is currently receiving rave reviews around the region.
Back in 1997, Kieran successfully auditioned for the BAFTA award-winning Television Workshop in Nottingham, (alumni includes Samantha Morton, Toby Kebbell, Jack O'Connell, Vicky McClure). Much work in children's television during the late nineties propelled Kieran to parts in BBC prime-time drama series and educational programs, before a two-year daily stint in ITV's 2001 daytime soap 'Crossroads'. 2006 saw Kieran as part of the main ensemble in Shane Meadows's 'This is England' and I chatted to him directly after the first cast and crew red-carpet screening of this new Two-Tone short...
Hi Kieran. Congratulations on your performance in "Beverley”. Can you tell our readers a bit about how you found about the short film?
Thank you. Well, I’m from Nottingham and am currently heavily involved in the Television Workshop there. I heard about the auditions for this interesting short film and normally I don’t do that many short films but if truth be told when I heard about Vicky’s involvement (Vicky McClure, also a This Is England alumni), it was that which first attracted me to audition for the project.
What happened next?
Well, then I found out that there were a lot of people involved but more importantly a lot of talent. Plus once we got going it had a real family feel to the production which was great.
Aside from This Is England, had you worked with Vicky before on other film projects?
Well aside from that film, we both train at the same place in The Television Workshop. It’s a very creative environment and helps develop and promote lots of local talent. In addition, as an actor it’s great to have something like this film this locally as the acting jobs can sometimes be centred on Manchester or Central London. Going back to Vicky though, I don’t think she knew i was going to be in it!
You look very different with a shaved head if you don’t mind me saying
Ha ha. I get that a lot funnily enough.
[And on cue as we laugh about this, one of the audience members from the Beverley screening walks by and says, “Oh, I almost didn’t recognise you. You look very different with hair”]
Just like that!
Ha ha! Exactly!
Going back to the film, there’s a heavy television workshop presence in the film overall wasn’t there?
Yes, very much so. As well as myself, there’s Vicky as we mentioned, who by the way is VERY believable as a mum, I have never seen her play that kind of role before. Also, from there was ‘Chucky’ (Tom Cowlin) who plays Dean, the National Front character, who is a very good friend of mine and I am very proud of him in Beverley. Finally, there was also Lewis Bacon. Also, I can’t forget to mention Sennia Nanua (as Jess) who for me stole the show!
What were their feelings on the film?
Well, I reported back to the workshop that we’ve all come off well in this, you know. Our mentor Ian is always casting his eye on the world and asking how his “little babies” are doing and I explained to him that in this one we are doing alright.
What’s up for you next then, Kieran?
I am often down in Leicester and have recently appeared in shows at The Curve Theatre. I’m really keen to keep the connections within the region such as Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. At the moment I am part of a production company (Sheep Soup) who are perorming our hit sell out show called "Mrs Green".
That sounds great
It will be! We’ve had lots of fantastic support from The Curve in terms of establishing ourselves which is great considering I think it’s one of the best theatres outside of London in my opinion. After the theatre work I’m very keen to maintain the relationships with Leicester Phoenix and Nottingham Broadway as well.
Finally, what was your favourite experience working on Beverley?
The night I spent with Cass Pennant!
[Cass walks by: “You got the water bed, didn’t ya?]
Ha ha! In fairness, it was a night where shooting overran and everyone was tired yet even though there was no money involved in this for the actors, everyone bent over backwards to help. With this level of low budget filmmaking people worked so hard to get stuff done. As I said, “Chucky” (as Dean) is one of my best mates and it doesn’t get much better than me and a mate coming down to work on a film as good as this and that’s no bad thing.
Thank you. Find out more about Kieran and his involvement in the NTW as well as his theatre work below.
For more info on the BAFTA Award winning Television Workshop
More info on Mrs Green The Musical is here:
Midlands Movies Mike