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Joe Gilgun


After a career-defining role as Woody in This Is England, former Emmerdale star Joe Gilgun has recently enjoyed success as Rudy in Channel 4’s Misfits, playing a young offender with supernatural powers. ShortList got the straight-shooting 28-year-old actor on the phone to talk about Series 4 of Misfits, his pet parrot Ian and why he prefers a caravan in the woods to the set of a Hollywood blockbuster…

We’re excited about the new series of Misfits. What can we expect from it?

There are new characters, but there’s no change in the style of the show. It’s still bloody hilarious and frightening.

It’s your second year on Misfits. Do you feel like part of the family now?

Jokingly, they referred to me as “new boy”. I got bullied a little bit, but not in a nasty way. I remember Lauren [Socha, who plays Kelly Bailey] saying, “Let’s all have a group hug.” When I piled in she went, “Original cast members only!”

Do all the cast live in a big house while you’re shooting?

I lived in a caravan on the site where we filmed. I’ve actually got a caravan in the woods as well. It’s a Tornado Extra Large and it’s got the worst décor ever. It’s hard work if you need a crap but I’ve got my own bog roll. I’m like a non-committal, drug-addled Ray Mears…

What everyday superpower would you like?

A reefer that never stopped smoking. I’d like to roll a joint that never ends.

You’re in good company – Seth Rogen’s view is that smoking a joint is part of the creative process…

It’s mine as well, to be honest. I chuff an awful lot of it and I find it helps me immensely.

You appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster (Lockout), do you feel the pressure now?

Doing alreet, aren’t I? It’s mad. The pressure mounts up as you do better. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a tw*t, but I don’t ever want to let anyone down. I’m a lucky lad, but I’m not Brad Pitt. I don’t go out choosing what I want to do.

What’s been the weirdest effect of fame?

Somebody is pretending to be me on Twitter. It p*sses me right off. I don’t want to get it taken down in case he’s f*ckin’ bedridden. If this person is lonely, I don’t want to f*cking ruin it for him. I’m saying he, but it could be she. They should stop pretending to be me and be their own funny self.

What’s the last thing they did that made you laugh?

They really lay on the accent. “I’m reet fed up of this filming, me. I reet wish I were back whit me mum ‘n’ dad eatin’ Lancashire ’otpot, smoking a f*cking pipe whit me big textural jumper.” Copying my colloquialisms – if that’s what you call it.

We know Shane Meadows is deep into his Stone Roses doc, but is there any word on This Is England ’90?

I don’t bother Shane. He’s a family man. The last thing he needs is some gobsh*te actor waffling about what he’s up to. I think he’s waiting for us to mature physically. I’m sure we’ll do a new one, but I think he’s waiting so you can visibly see there’s been a change.

How’s your pet parrot?

Ian? He’s really behaving, he’s done really well for this chat… Now he’s just started gobbing off. He’s not allowed on set. He flew off, the tw*t. As time’s gone on he’s become more volatile. But he’s genuinely friggin’ hilarious.

Back to Lockout, what was Guy Pearce like to work with?

Awesome. He was quite an intense man. Filming in Serbia was brilliant. We drank the whole bar out of this Serbian liqueur and… Hang on, sorry – me mum’s wheeling the f*ckin’ parrot through as we speak…

Will he sing for us?

No, he’s probably going to start gobbing. [Holds phone away from ear] Mum! I’m doing a piggin’ interview! F*ckin ShortList are on’t phone, you daft bugger! Christ on a friggin’ bike. Anyway, where were we?

What do you want to do next?

A job. Of any description. I’ve no work on, I want to buy a house, I’ve got tax to pay. I’ve got a mother to sort out and a parrot to feed.

Misfits returns to E4 in late October



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