Sean Teale (‘Skins’) interview

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Skins returns to E4 for a fifth series in January, following a brand new set of Bristol teenagers, including Sean Teale as Nick Levan.

Nick is the captain of the rugby team and Mini’s boyfriend. Winning is everything to Nick. He’s good-looking, popular and cruises through life with a winning smile and boundless confidence. But though he’s a leader on the field, he’s more of a prop to Mini than an actual boyfriend. Soon he’ll become even less than that – a pawn in a game between two warring girls. But there’s more to Nick than that. There’s more to him than what he seems.

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Tell us about your character?

“Initially Nick appears to be a confident, competitive character with an idealistic view on the world and he captains the school rugby team with his winning-is-everything mentality. Yet behind the front he puts up he’s actually self-conscious and deeply vulnerable, with genuinely good intentions that he doesn’t always manage to express well. Being a pleaser, he prefers to help fix other people’s issues, because he can’t face addressing his own. He goes out with Mini and they appear to be happy together, but not all is as it seems – he’s actually in love with somebody else. Nick feels like he should be going out with Mini because she is the top girl in the college. He isn’t doing it because he loves her; he’s doing it because they are meant to be together. In attempts to get closer to the group, he uses his rugby banter but if anything it backfires on him.”

What do you enjoy about playing Nick?

“His emotional arc is really fun. The journey that he takes is interesting because at first he plays an outsider, which is sometimes harder but enjoyable at the same time. For Nick, the series is a kind of journey to becoming a Skins character. He’s goofy and cocky at first sight so it was fun to mess around, but I also got the chance to explore his darker, emotional side, which I loved to get stuck into.”

Can you see some similarities between you and your character?

“The sporty, competitive side of him I can understand because I’ve always been a competitive person. Some of the situations he goes through a lot of people can relate to I guess, but as a whole he’s pretty unique despite initial appearances.”

What is the one memory that you will take away from filming?

“My first day on set is probably imprinted in my mind for life, it was quite harrowing. I’m standing there in these tight purple boxers in front of fifty people I don’t even know the names of yet being thrown up on in the scene. The fake puke smelt so bad I nearly threw up.”

If you could play someone else in the cast who would it be and why?

“Matty has certain characteristics I’d love to have in a role. He has this enigmatic, mysterious feel to him that I always thought was interesting. But at the same time I love Alo’s personality. It makes him such a loveable, funny character that Will plays very well.”

Tell us something about you…

“I love my sport, whether I’m watching or playing it, particularly Football and Rugby. Films, I like Quentin Tarantino; Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs. I also really like Closer, Bronson, Casino, Step Brothers, Goodfellas, Weird Science. Music, I listen to a lot of everything really… I can’t stick to one particular genre – my taste in music kind of jumps around. My iPod flicks through from Johnny Cash to Jamie T, Foo Fighters to Jack Beats, Bon Iver to A Tribe Called Quest.”

Skins returns at 10pm on Thursday 27th January 2011 on E4.