Will Merrick (‘Skins’) interview

This week’s episode of Skins focuses on farm boy Aloysius ‘Alo’ Creevey, as his parents become fed up with his behaviour and remove him from college in an attempt to force him to buckle down on the farm.

CultBox caught up with actor Will Merrick to find out more…

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How are you feeling about your episode airing on Thursday?

“Yeah, I’m a bit nervous, but it should be good, I’m really looking forward to it!”

How would you describe Alo?

“He’s sort of very enthusiastic and determined and excitable. He’s quite naïve and innocent; he’s very much an adolescent. He’s still a little boy really, very much the youngest of the group.”

Did you base your portrayal of Alo on anyone you know in real life?

“No, not really, I suppose he’s a more stupid version of me. Yeah, he’s just me, but a bit more extreme I suppose!”

What was the audition process like?

“I auditioned for Rich for quite a long time, right up to the last audition. They called me in and told me I hadn’t got that part, but asked me to try Alo so I then got that instead! The process was pretty heavy-going. It was open auditions in Bristol to start, then we moved onto call-backs and I did about eight of those before they cast it.”

What sort of reaction have you had from people so far and have you been recognised much?

“It’s been a really good reaction. I think people have got more into it as they’ve got to know the characters. Now it’s all up and going and there’s lots of drama!”

What was it like filming the “ultrawank” montage?

“Brilliant! Every actor wants an ultrawank scene, it was very rewarding. I really had a chance to explore the depth of Alo’s emotions, I felt. We did it for a whole morning, it was about 4 hours! The longest wank I’ve ever had.”

Was it fun driving the tractor?

“It was great fun; I did about a day of that. They strapped a camera to the front to capture my reactions and what I was doing. Every boy wants to just drive a tractor around for a day!”

What was it like filming the explosion scene?

“That was funny. We didn’t do a practise, so I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen – the director wanted it to be natural. The first time we set it up, it failed. So I was then even more worked up and the shot in the episode is real, that’s my actual reaction to the explosion!”

Did you all enjoy filming the food fight scene?

“They do that a lot; they just give us toys and let us play and just film it! They had loads of cameras just dotted around and we spent about two hours fighting with that stuff, it was really good fun. We were absolutely caked in it by the end. The owners stayed away for the day! They helped quite a lot with the cattle and stuff though, they were cool.”

What were Ingrid Lacy and Peter Gunn, who play your mum and dad in the episode, like to work with?

“They were great. I got really close to my dad, we had a really good bond and got to know each other really well. I felt he was very much my father figure. I think it’d be great to see Alo’s parents again next series.”

Can you give us any hints about what the rest of Series 5 holds for Alo?

“He really steps up and grows up a bit – he becomes quite a leader in the group. He becomes the driving force of the group when it all falls apart, I’d say.”

What direction would you like to see the character go in Series 6?

“He’s still quite a kid, so I’d like to see him become a stronger character. He’s just naïve and having fun at the moment. Maybe he could meet a girl and fall for someone.”

If you could pick any actor to share a scene with as a guest star in the show, who would you choose?

“Noel Fielding, he should play Alo’s neighbour!”

Aside from Skins, what other UK shows would you like to appear in?

“I’d love to feature in Misfits, that’s a great show, they’ve done some really good stuff. Anything really!”

Can you give us any hints about how the series ends?

“In the last episode, me and Sean Teale have a lot of scenes together and that was quite interesting to see two such different people together. That was great fun. The series ends with a bang! One little thing happens and it changes the whole last episode, it all becomes about the consequences of this thing. That’s all I can say!”

Skins is currently airing at 10pm on Thursdays on E4.