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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Him & Her – Russell Tovey on playing Steve

Him & Her series two is back. Tell us what is in store?

More of Becky and Steve! You're going to start to see how Becky and Steve live together – are co-dependent on each other, through a relationship. When you make the next step of committing to living in the same environment it throws up a lot of drama – but good drama. The parents meet, which is a big deal, especially for Steve who's just completely crazy/panicky. You see all the old loveable characters come back and you just get to spend time with these two wonderful characters again!

How does Steve feel about Becky moving into his flat?

At the end of the last series, Becky kind of catches Steve off-guard after Steve declares his love for her. She's like "well we may as well make the next step and move in together", and like a typical man, he panics suddenly at losing his bachelor pad to a woman – losing his kind of independence and all of that. So even though Becky instigates the move, Steve goes with it because he's in love with her.

The first series explored the minutiae of a relationship and how you are with your partner; the second series explores how you really are – because when you live with someone I think you really discover habits and the way that people really live… I think everyone kind of has a slight OCD about certain things in their own home, and I think that all starts to get explored and this exposes Steve's kind of eccentricities to Becky, which makes for good comedy value.

So the move is a success?

The move is a major success, yeah. They're so in love and so happily accepting of each other… but of course there are going to be downfalls. Becky's sister (Laura) for a start! The flat just becomes like a youth club for all and suddenly they're always just turning up whenever they want. And when they're first moving in together, Becky's just got boxes and boxes and boxes of crap that she just seems to take around with her. I get this though… I've been living in my house now for two years and I've got my spare room and my friend calls it "the dumping ground" 'cause there's boxes in there of stuff that at some point needs sorting out, but I never have as yet, and I just keep putting it off and throwing something over the top of it so I don't have to look at it all the time! And I think that's like Becky moving in – it's only a little place that Steve's got… and she also kind of makes it her own as well, she kind of gives it the feminine touch, which Steve is absolutely trying to make not happen to begin with.

What is Steve's relationship like with Paul and Laura this series?

He sees a lot more of them. I think if you ask Paul, Paul would think that they're best mates now and have kind of cemented their friendship. I think for Steve, it just makes him realise even more how much he hates Paul, and how terrifying he finds him! He wishes he just wasn't around, but again he puts up with him and is a bit of a wimp, just going along with whatever Paul says. With Laura I think you kind of see the grossness of her this series, which I've always found hilarious. I think she's like an icon – like a baddie in Dallas or Dynasty, I think she has that kind of like quality about her that people love to hate.

And how do Steve and Becky find Dan the neighbour?

He's back and as annoying as ever, but the beautiful thing with Dan in this series is that his relationship with Shelly is explored more. They're firing love arrows at each other and so Steve and Becky become more tolerant of Dan and actually quite appreciate him being around. He takes the weight off the hideousness of Laura and Paul – Laura still can't stand Dan and makes it even more obvious.

Finally, the show is shot solely in the flat. How did you find filming that?

Pretty exhausting, pretty intense, but most of the time, amazing. What's good is that as a cast, we all get on so well, which is just such a blessing in itself, so when one of us starts freaking out and getting a bit of cabin fever, the others are there to tell you to shut up, man up and get over it – and vice versa. Richard Laxton, the director, is also phenomenal. He can keep his energy up and his tenacity and his passion and his vision of the show when we're all flagging and collapsing around him.

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