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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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The Fades – interview with Daniel Kaluuya and Iain De Caestecker

Daniel Kaluuya and Iain De Caestecker

Daniel Kaluuya (Skins, Psychoville, Sucker Punch] and Iain De Caestecker (River City, Coronation Street, James Herriot) play best friends Mac and Paul in The Fades.

Seventeen-year-old Paul has never quite worked how to fit in. Other than to Mac, he talks only when he needs to, out of certain knowledge that anything he might say would probably be under-appreciated. He's always known he's different and always not wanted the job. In some ways his journey through the series is the journey of someone who learns different can be great: Paul is special, it's as simple and as complicated as that.

Unlike Paul, 17-year-old Mac talks – well – most of the time. A hive of knowledge and theories, he is almost a walking encyclopedia of geeky film quotes – yes, Mac has a lot to communicate and seemingly not a lot of time. The son of a police detective under pressure, Mac would always say he's cool with his place in the world, but the truth is – Mac doesn't want to be this invisible person that people walk through. As Paul develops his angelic powers, so Mac will feel increasingly left out. Mac and Paul have always been a double act – and if Paul outgrows him, he's scared he will be left nothing. He may not have any special powers, but Mac is also our hero – he's Paul's wingman and right at the heart of everything.

What is The Fades about?
Iain: The Fades are spirits of the dead walking the Earth. It happened years ago, as more and more people have died and the population grown, more and more fades started to exist. Usually dead people would ascend to another place but the Fades are people who have been left on Earth. They have no sense of touch and they can't interact with other human beings which is a bit of a problem.

Tell us about Paul?
Iain: Paul is best friends with Mac. Two quite geeky characters. At the start of the story he's 17, so he's got the normal teenage problems coupled with the fact that he's having these weird visions. He is able to see Fades which most people aren't.

Tell us about Mac?
Daniel: Mac is this really geeky guy who is best friends with Paul. He loves comics and films and really random stuff like the Matrix and science fiction. Mac and Paul have been living in each others pockets for years, since they were kids and they really love each other. Mac loves to talk. He just goes on about his little theories and Paul is very nice and always listens.

How would you describe the series?
Iain: It's like a horror mixed with comedy and drama. It's got a Skins type feel to it as well.

What is an Angelic?
Daniel: This character called Neil (Johnny Harris) is the leader of the Angelics, they are this team that don't want the Fades to come back to life and they're in a constant battle to kill them all. But that's a very hard battle. It's very hard to kill them….

Discuss your experience of filming. Any anecdotes?
Iain: It's been a laugh! Johnny Harris is amazing and the girls are hot. We're all the same age as well so we've been hanging out quite a lot off set and been talking to each other lots. We all went to Fabric together which was so much fun and we can look back together on really good times – team Fades!

What do you think is the international appeal of the series?
Iain: It's important to outline why it will appeal outside the UK is because there are really great characters, great stories and just really great writing. When a foundation is those things then it translates in any language. That's the reason I watch films like The Prophet, its one of the best films ever even though it's in French and has subtitles. It's great storytelling by Jack (Thorne) and that should appeal.

Daniel: Despite all the supernatural elements to it, it's quite a real story, with the characters and their relationships which is what grips you and makes it relatable.

What are the highlights from the first three episodes?
Daniel: Episode one is good because all the characters are introduced and so you get to know all of them. Paul and I go for a hunt in the shopping centre and while we're there we stumble upon Neil (Johnny Harrris) who is battling with an unruly Fade.

Iain: Episode two starts with us at school and Paul's been having terrible visions; also there's lots of scary stuff in an orphanage which is cool. Paul ends up getting a bit further in his romantic endeavours with Jay (Sophie Wu) and we go to a party which is pretty sick.

Iain: Episode three is Mac's birthday which he's really excited about. Neil tells Paul that he needs to make a choice between one life and the other life and he gets into a real turmoil about this and then forgets Mac's birthday! But he manages to make it up to him with balloons in a car park. Paul's powers are all revealed when he manages to help Neil who has been in a fight with Polus (evil Fade). But then...

If you could have a super power what would it be?
Daniel: The ability to read people's minds, like in that film What Women Want. But, I'd want to be able to switch it off when I want so I don't have to hear any mean stuff.

Iain: I'd like to be able to go back in time. Take a really good book with me and then write it back in time as if it was mine.

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