Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
His love of music and the calibre of the production drew Mathew Horne to the role of Jon Moss – Culture Club drummer and Boy George's one-time lover – in Worried About The Boy.
"I thought the script was really good and written by someone really good, and directed by someone excellent. I'm really into my music so it was perfect for me.
"The production company that made it [Red Production Company] in my opinion has also made some of the best stuff on telly ever, so there was every reason to do it and thankfully they wanted me to do it as well. It ticked all the boxes really."
Mathew knew "not a great deal" about Culture Club and Jon Moss specifically before taking the part, as he was only very young when Culture Club were at the height of their fame.
The Gavin And Stacey star decided the best way to get under the skin of the character was to meet Jon himself, which helped him understand the dynamic of the bandmates' relationship.
"I had a couple of lunches with him so that I could pick up a few of his characteristics here and there – but what I needed was to get to the nitty gritty about the relationship he had with George and his role in the band, which I think people know less about.
"It became clear through talking to him that it was the emotions of the character that was most important rather than actually becoming Jon."
Mathew took something equally as invaluable away from his meetings with Jon – some authentic items of clothing that were incorporated into the wardrobe for the drama. Mat explains: "After first meeting Jon he agreed to give us his clothes that he wore then. It really helped me get into character. You could feel they were old and worn and I also felt that I absolutely looked like he looked because I wore his clothes. You couldn't get more accurate than that!
"He had a box of stuff which was great. There wasn't a specific item that he had an anecdote about but it was amazing some of the clothes still have remnants of make up on them from photo shoots, which was amazing really."
Jon's relationship with George is depicted as fiery and tempestuous. Mathew describes their relationship as "up and down. Incredibly passionate to the point of volatile at times.
"The script really displays the love they had for each other. I think people viewed their relationship as a bit of a circus and this film does show true moments of tenderness. You get to see real tenderness and passion because you get to see the personal relationships as well as the working relationships."
Culture Club formed in the early-Eighties, with Mikey Craig (bass guitar) and Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards) completing the line-up of Boy George as lead vocalist and Jon Moss on drums – with Mathew describing Jon as "sort of the driving force in the band."
The band's third single, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?, was released in late 1982 and become one of their biggest hits, scoring them their first UK No. 1 and their debut headline-grabbing Top Of The Pops performance – a performance that is recreated in Worried About The Boy.
Having some musical knowledge was an advantage to Mathew, and it meant that playing a drummer didn't daunt him. For the band scenes he reveals: "I just pretended to drum. I know how to drum a little bit so when we did scenes where the band was rehearsing I just sort of winged it.
"It wasn't too difficult but Jon told me that when he was on Top Of The Pops they were miming anyway so to just pretend like he did!"
Though there were some interesting Eighties-style costumes, Jon Moss was less outrageous on the make-up front than many in the New Romantic scene, meaning Mathew spent less time than some of his fellow actors in the make-up chair. As he explains: "Jon never really did that, he was more macho. I just had a bit of blow dried hair. They did have to fill in my eyebrows because Jon is more hairy than I am!"
As for any nostalgia for the decade, Mathew reveals he's a fan of "certain types of Eighties. My memories of the Eighties is very sparse. Yes, I am a fan of Eighties music but Culture Club is a little bit poppy for me if I'm honest – I'm more of a fan of The Cure and Joy Division."
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