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.
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, that’s about it really haha!
What musicals have you 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, it’s a rock musical so it’s really cool.
How did you get the part of Leo in Millie Inbetween?
I went through an audition process. I hadn’t done any auditions for kids shows before, it is my little sister’s favourite show and she’s been watching it for a few years, 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.
Was it a fun series to film?
Really fun actually. It’s sort of playful, 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, who plays Declan, was in Tracy Beaker, which I always used to watch, he was like the face of CBBC hahaha!
What’s it like filming for a CBBC show?
I’ve only done a few things that aren’t CBBC. It’s really fun but strange because when you watch kids shows because 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!
Is this your first 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 like the first big thing I’ve done.
Do you get chance to meet up with the cast now filming has finished?
Yeah, actually I met up with Tallulah 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, actually there’s 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.
What was it like on set with Adrian Lester and John Simm in Trauma?
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 on set 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, when we weren’t filming, we just played games and stuff.
Are you enjoying your time on stage in The Winslow Boy?
I am. It’s really different to filming, I’ve done a lot of live stage before, 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.
Did you know much about the show before being cast?
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.
How long were you in rehearsals for?
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.
Who’s your character?
He’s called Fred, he’s the photographer, he comes on with an old-fashioned camera, you know one of those that lets off a big bang.
Are you doing the whole tour and what do you like 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.
We’ve heard that Aden Gillett, who plays Arthur Winslow, was in the 1999 film, has he given any advice to the rest of the cast members?
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.
What do you think is easier, filming for a TV series or acting on stage?
Well it depends on the role really, and the show, it’s probably easier doing screen. It depends what you’re doing I suppose, 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 would your dream theatre be to perform in?
Dream theatre, whichever one The Play That Goes Wrong’s in, haha!
What will you be up to in your acting career once 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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