Following his appearance in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last year, Louis Davison can now be seen regularly on hit TV show Holby City. Having appeared on stage in the West End, his career has seen him cast in various roles. We talk to Louis about his career, how he prepares for auditions and what he’s got coming up this summer.
How did you get into acting?
I got into acting through being involved in school plays. My English teacher cast me in a play as part of The School’s Shakespeare Festival and my Drama teacher then asked me to join the school drama club.
Were your parents supportive of you becoming an actor?
At first, they were worried, they know how hard it is, but as time has gone on they have been very supportive.
How long were you on the set of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for?
Off and on, from when I was cast, wardrobe fittings, special effects preparation, and rehearsals with the choreographer, about two and a half months.
What was it like meeting Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs?
Exciting. A really good experience. They were very friendly. A fantastic opportunity to work with Tim Burton as he’s such an iconic director.
Had you read any of the Miss Peregrine’s novels before filming?
Not before I was cast, but I have enjoyed them since.
Are you still in contact with your fellow Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children co-stars?
No, I went back to school to finish my A Levels but I hope I will meet some of them in the future.
Who were you closest to on set?
Hayden (Keeler-Stone). He was a similar age to me, and also doing his exams and trying to fit it in around filming.
What was filming like and was it strange knowing so many effects were going to be used?
It was amazing going to Shepperton Studios and having a cast made of my face. They then took images of me with many cameras all pointing at my face at different angles for the eye effect. Filming was exciting, the sets were fantastic, and so much time and care went into each shot. The scene with Finlay (MacMillan) taking out my heart, and when the blood spurted out, was meticulously planned. It looked so real.
Do you have a favourite Tim Burton movie?
You’ve performed in theatre before, would you like to go back and how is it different to TV and film?
Yes, I would love to do more theatre work. I was in Richard the Third in the West End starring Martin Freeman. I was playing Prince Edward. We did it for four months and it was never the same two nights running. I like the idea that you have so many times to keep trying to get it right!
Did you go to acting school?
No, but I am part of The Orange Tree Youth Theatre in Richmond. That’s how I got the job on Miss Peregrine’s. I have also been part of the National Theatre Connection’s festival, and I have been accepted by the NYT and looking forward to that.
How do you prepare for auditions?
Learn my lines, make sure I read the whole play or the script, and the book if it’s a script based on that and get a good night’s sleep.
Would you prefer to go more into TV or film?
Either, it depends on the part.
Who would be your dream co-star and is there anything on TV you’re currently watching which you would love to get cast in?
James McAvoy. I have seen him in theatre but I also think his film work is brilliant. I would love to be in anything written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It’s so funny and tragic at the same time. I’m watching The Office again at the moment.
How did you get involved with Holby City?
The BBC asked me in to audition.
What’s it like being on the set of such a big show?
Great. Apart from the regular actors, there are also guest actors every week so you get to do scenes with new people all the time. The same with different directors for each episode. I come in and out but it films in London which is why I have been able to do it whilst I am still at school.
Do you watch Holby City and is it strange seeing yourself on TV?
Yes, it is strange but I am learning a lot from being in front of a camera which is why it’s important that I watch it. It’s very quick and different to film.
Do you have any shows or films you’ve got coming up that you can tell us about?
The National Youth Theatre is this summer. I also have more Holby City to film and my next episode will be shown in July.