Having been seen on screens in the latest series of CBBC’s Millie Inbetween as cousin Leo, Oscar Morgan made his screen debut as a messenger boy in last year’s The Miniaturist for BBC. Oscar has also appeared in this year’s ITV series Trauma, he can now be found touring the country with the stage show The Winslow Boy alongside Aden Gillett and Tessa Peake-Jones. In a week off from performances, we chatted to Oscar about his first regular role, acting with the cast of Trauma and what it’s like touring with a stage show.
How did you book your role of Leo in Millie Inbetween?
I went through an audition process. I hadn’t done any auditions for kids shows before but it is my little sister’s favourite show and she’s been watching it for a few years, so when I got the email through I thought, my sister will love this. There were three auditions, they left it ages before asking me to come in for the final one, there was so much tension, but it was good.
What’s the experience been like filming for a CBBC show and how much fun was it to film?
I’ve only done a few things that aren’t CBBC. It’s really fun but strange because when you watch kids shows you can’t really imagine what they’re like off camera. It doesn’t really feel like work, just kind of like having a little play time, haha! It’s really fun actually. You can do what you want with the character within reason, it was really fun and everyone’s great.
Did you know any of the cast before joining?
No, I didn’t. I had watched one of them when I was younger, haha, it was really weird! Richard (Wisker), who plays Declan, was in Tracy Beaker, which I always used to watch. He was like the face of CBBC, hahaha!
Do you get chance to meet up with the cast now filming has finished?
Yeah, actually I met up with Tallulah (Greive) the other day. We all still keep in touch and hang out. We’re all quite scattered around the country though – a couple are in Scotland, some are London, there’s actually one in Brighton but most of them are from London, if not Scotland or Belfast, but we do try and meet up quite a lot.
Is this the first ongoing TV show you’ve appeared in?
I’d done two little things beforehand, one of them I was wearing a wig and the other one I had no lines, so this is the first big thing I’ve done.
What was it like on set of Trauma with Adrian Lester and John Simm?
Really cool actually. They’re very intense characters… very intense people. It’s cool to watch them because that’s kind of what you want to be like, what you want to be. It’s great watching and working with them, it’s weird seeing them learning their lines though!
How long were you filming for?
I did a few days. A couple of them were filmed in the evenings, you’d be filming from 6pm till midnight. There was one scene which was a funeral scene and we were there all day, really early till really late at night, it was in a church. I was under eighteen at that point along with a girl called Mia, so when we weren’t filming, we just played games and stuff.
You are currently touring in The Winslow Boy, are you enjoying your time on stage so far and can you tell us about your character?
I am. It’s really different to filming, I’ve done a lot of live stage before, but I’ve got four lines in this play. I’m also understudying two other parts which is quite difficult because I’m learning two other characters. Our assistant director’s really good, she tries to get us a rehearsal once a week on stage to do a run through. We’re pretty much left to our own devices with learning lines. I guess it’s fine for people who are used to this kind of thing but I’m straight out of college, I find it easier to learn by doing, which I think a lot of people do, but it’s really fun.
My character’s called Fred. He’s the photographer and he comes on with an old-fashioned camera, you know one of those ones that lets off a big bang.
Did you know much about the show before being cast and how long were you in rehearsals for?
No, I didn’t at all, I’d heard the name but just because it’s a classic. I read it before the auditions and I watched the film. It’s really different to what I normally like to do, but it’s really cool. We had one month of rehearsals, the whole of January pretty much. Most of the rehearsals were watching the characters that I understudy. I only have one scene and I let off a banging camera, it’s great.
We understand that Aden Gillett (who plays Arthur Winslow) was in the 1999 film, has he given any advice to the rest of the cast?
No, he hasn’t really. He’s a lovely guy, he’s really sort of very sweet and he definitely knows what he’s doing.
Are you doing the whole tour and what do you enjoy most about touring?
Yeah, I’m doing the whole tour… this is a week off. I really enjoy visiting a new place every week. Places are so different and it’s so cool seeing them. We were in Bath a few weeks ago and recently finished Cambridge. It’s nice seeing new places and we’re all pegging it together as well, it’s not going around by yourself, it’s really good.
How did the initial run at Chichester Festival Theatre go?
It’s different to what it is now. I’m very new because I’ve only ever done shows where you’re rehearsing for a long time, then you have a burst of shows just for a week or something. I guess that’s what Chichester was because they were the first performances. We were fresh out of rehearsals and everyone was still getting to grips with it all, now it’s just kind of in there for everyone, you can afford to play around with it, just try new things.
Have your friends and family had chance to see the show yet?
No, they have not… yet. We’re coming to Brighton pretty soon so my family will come then, and my friends too.
Can you say about some of the musicals you’ve performed in?
The last one I did was Spring Awakening which was up in Leicester. I was sixteen and I played Ernst. It’s based on an old play and it’s a rock musical, so it’s really cool.
What would your dream theatre be to work in?
Dream theatre – whichever one The Play That Goes Wrong’s in, haha!
What do you find easier – filming for a TV series or acting on stage?
Well, it depends on the role really, and the show, but it’s probably easier doing screen. It depends what you’re doing I suppose as you could be doing some horrible scene, I don’t know, it’s completely different. The lines you learn for screen are in your short-term memory and you can just forget them right after, you know them fully for the moment, but then you haven’t got to retain them. I guess when you’re doing a stage play, they’re all long-term and you can kind of maybe stagnate them, the way you do it. I don’t know if there is one easier because they’re both challenging in different ways.
What was your first acting job?
It was a show called The Miniaturist last year. I only had one scene and I had two lines. I was wearing a wig and I looked very silly! That was about a year ago actually, it was on around Christmas time.
Was there anyone who inspired you to become an actor?
Not really, to be honest, I just kind of enjoy doing it. There are people who inspire me now but didn’t inspire me into it. One of my favourite actors is Leonardo DiCaprio, all the films he’s done are just what I would like to do. Catch Me If You Can is my favourite film, I think it’s amazing, and he’s done a Shakespeare role as well for a film, which is what I’d like to do too.
Is there anything you do alongside acting?
Lots of music with my friends. My friend Pat and I are thinking of forming a band, our friends have a band and they’re very good, so we’re going to make a rival one! I want to learn to cook because I can’t cook, but that’s about it really, haha!
Do you have any acting plans for when The Winslow Boy finishes?
I’ve got summer free, which will be nice. I did a pilot last year and it’s going to be a series next year, so I’ve got that in October and November. I’m not sure how much I can say about it, but it’ll be fun.
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