In The Flesh: Playing Kieren is a challenge I love

Friday 2 May 2014, 11:09

Luke Newberry Luke Newberry Actor

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I play Kieren Walker in BBC Three’s In The Flesh.

I prepared for series two slightly differently in that the second series kicks off nine months after the first, so I had to think about what Kieren’s life had been like in the months in between.

Kieren has been mourning the second death of Rick, and coming to terms with life in Roarton without him, and also without his best friend Amy.

He feels lost and lonely. Again.

Only this time he's not seeking a way out of living, he's looking to somehow start a new life.

Kieren (Luke Newberry) and Amy (Emily Bevan): Is Kieren doing the right thing by leaving? Kieren (Luke Newberry) and Amy (Emily Bevan): Is Kieren doing the right thing by leaving?

Over time he develops a desire to travel abroad and sets his sights on Paris to become an artist.

 

I wanted to feel the need to escape, the feeling of being trapped and restricted, the need to be creative and get out of my own head.

I watched a lot of cinema, especially films focusing on relationships.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour was a beautiful portrayal of love, and how wonderful AND devastating it can be.

Stoker directed by Park Chan-wook focused on a dysfunctional family and a vampire.

Also during filming, Emily Bevan (who plays Amy) and I kept our creative juices flowing by binging on emotionally complex French cinema!

I think one of my favourite moments was the first day arriving on set. We were so excitable and thrilled to be back!

We filmed the zombie rave so that was a great scene to kick off with.

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A rabid rave: Kieren and Amy let their hair down at an undead only party

Filming was quite different this time as we had three new directors and a new make-up team.

The first series was shot in about eight weeks and this series was roughly four months.

That's a long time being to be covered in mousse make-up!

It was like being on three different shows. All three brought their own unique methods of working, and yet they all shared a vision for the series.

The whole process of playing Kieren is a challenge and that's what I love about it, but one of the most difficult scenes to film was when Kieren tries to look at himself without his mousse on in the bathroom mirror.

It's a mentally and emotionally complex moment and also an extremely tricky scene to get right make-up wise.

Make-up designer Davy Jones did a fantastic job, ensuring that when Kieren wipes off the mousse you see his pale skin underneath.

Sounds easy, but it was actually a technical nightmare and required extreme focus and elements had to be re-shot at a later date.

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Watch the trail: Dead or alive, it's time for Kieren to pick a side

The fan reaction to the show is quite overwhelming. It's really affected people across the world.

The show is very original and speaks to people young and old.

Dominic Mitchell has beautifully written the character of Kieren, a character that young teenage boys can relate to.

He may be a zombie but he's just questioning who he is and trying to figure out what life is about.

It's a testament to Dom and his brilliant writing, that although it's set in a tiny rural village in northern England, it speaks to people all across the world.


Luke Newberry plays Kieren Walker in In The Flesh.

In The Flesh continues on Sunday, 4 May at 10pm on BBC Three and BBC Three HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

More on In The Flesh
BBC TV blog: In The Flesh: Kieren's Diary 
BBC Three: In The Flesh: Watch a clip: The Second Rising 
BBC Three: In The Flesh: Meet the characters 
BBC Media Centre: Watch interviews with Luke Newberry and Dominic Mitchell 
BBC Writersroom: Read scripts from series one and two 
BBC Writersroom blog: Simon Judd: Bringing the Undead to life - Series 2

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1.

    Can't wait for the new series Luke!

    I had a really bad fear of zombies (I know they are not real!) but I watched the first series on BBC iPlayer and I was hooked! You've done a really good job of portraying Kieren, I just hope he doesn't turn bad. :)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    Great to see ther series back. Series 1 was a great take on the classic Zombie genre and i am looking forward to Series 2 developing further.
    It's a great shame that you all are not getting greater coverage.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 3.

    One of the great achievements of this program is how it manages to marry the down-to-earth, mundane aspects of real life, with the extraordinary situation of living among the undead. Of course there is some gore and horror, but it's never done at the expense of the emotional narrative.

    Luke Newberry is superb for the role of Kieran, as he beautifully portrays the bewildering sensitivities of growing up within a society that has ostracised him. This theme provides a poignant entry point for viewers the world over, as it mirrors the common experience of being rejected from society.

    It is programs such as this that makes me proud of the BBC. Excellent drama.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 5.

    When I first heard about this show, I didn't think it would appeal to me because of the zombie troupe. However, I can tell you that without a doubt, this is my favorite tv show of all time.

    I have never seen a show that has so many "traditionally risky" elements portray them so beautifully. The representation of a queer protagonist who's storyline isn't focused on their sexuality is so refreshing and wonderful to watch. The show also accurately displays racism, oppression, and the imbalance of power among oppressed minorities. Another thing that makes this show so great is the well written women on the show.

    Needless to say, the acting, writing, dialogue, characters, special effects/makeup, and overall message of the show is so unique and brilliant. I really want this show to thrive, get many more seasons, and win all the awards it deserves.

 
 

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