Tell us about your character and his relationship with his mum
Episode one establishes Gemma as a scatty, 21st century single mum and Alfie, who comes back from a gap year with his new friend Billy who he’s found possibly on a beach in Thailand somewhere, inebriated and jumping through fire-hoops. Alfie’s a cool character, quite crazy and enthusiastic about everything but he’s got no perspective on life - he grabs something and goes with it. This is a really nice contrast with Billy, played by Robert Sheehan, who is quite centred and spiritual. Alfie brings Billy into the household and he and Gemma have this connection which may or may not be realised later on in the series.
How does your character play out between the two of them?
For the first seven years of Alfie’s life, it would have been just him and Gemma, as Alfie’s dad isn’t around. Then Gemma met Jason, played by Neil Morrissey, and they had twins who are Alfie’s half-sisters. Gemma and Alfie have got a really nice pally relationship and there’s a lot of banter that goes on between them. There’s also Tom, played by Nat Parker, who is the school’s do-able dad with the land-rover and just as the series starts, he and Gemma start seeing each-other and have a little dating experience. All the men - Alfie, Jason, Tom and Billy have Gemma’s best interests at heart and that’s a really cool environment where there can be a lot of angst between the characters and a lot of comedy can ensue.
What were the highlights of filming the series?
Highlights could be wearing a gold spangley dress but I don’t think that was a highlight for everyone else. I started off quite self-conscious but by the end of the day I was walking around, strutting my stuff! Also I got to do a dance routine. I spent a sweaty two hours in a dance school with no air, working out a dance routine that Alfie does on his birthday – that was pretty special.
Compared to roles you’ve had in the past, how does this comedy compare?
This is the first half an hour sitcom format that I’ve been a part of. Campus was pushed into the absurd quite a lot so this is a different kind of comedy which is brilliant. It’s nice to see Robbie Sheehan here. I get on really well with Robbie. The characters are so well written and well realised and are quite a contrast to anything we’ve done before. I worked with Nick Hurran when I was 15 and had to remind him of this. I did a drama for ITV which he directed. I was wearing this long wig and played the stable boy - I’ve come a long way! I think Nick is brilliant and sets up such a productive and creative environment by which everyone swings jokes left right and centre. Hartswood Films are looking after us exceedingly well. They have the calibre to push any show and anything that they’re linked to, which makes it something you want to be a part of.
What do you think viewers will enjoy about Me And Mrs Jones?
They will enjoy the fact that you never know what’s going to happen next. All the characters are easily identifiable as people in your own life. There are a lot of quick fast-coming gags all the way through and a well written narrative. All the characters are big and the fact that we all get along so well is going to come across and that’s always fun for an audience to witness.
Jason has a new, younger, super-sexy Swedish girlfriend called Inca, played by the brilliant Vera Filatova. She is a tour de force; she’s a windstorm that comes into the scene and owns it. She’s got Jason under the thumb. It’s interesting to see how different she is from Gemma. Although you don’t see Gemma and Jason’s relationship, the history is there. They have an on-going love that you can only get from sharing kids, but Inca rubs Gemma up the wrong way.