Since Cuckoo hit our screens in 2012, Tyger Drew-Honey has played the role of Dylan Thompson across all series, which are now streaming on Netflix, and will soon be appearing in the future release of feature film Me, Myself & Di as Jon Craven. Tyger was part of the original presenting team of popular children’s entertainment TV programme Friday Download, and also starred in their film Friday Download: The Movie. In 2007, Tyger made his major screen debut as Jake Brockman in the award-winning comedy series Outnumbered, starring in the show for over seven years, with episodes currently being shown on Saturday nights on BBC1. Last year, Tyger had his first stage role, touring the UK as Alistair Ryle in Laura Wade’s play POSH, which opened at Oxford Playhouse in September. Tyger recently chatted with us about playing Jake Brockman in Outnumbered, filming for Cuckoo and his stage debut in POSH.
You play Dylan Thompson in comedy series Cuckoo, what is this show like to work on?
Amazing. Working on Cuckoo has been an unreal experience. Today more than ever I appreciate how lucky I am to have worked extensively on a show like that. I love the scripts, the cast, the crew, the set – the whole experience. It might sound strange, but working on the set of Cuckoo really makes me feel like an actor and I love it.
Can you tell us about your character Dylan and what have been some of the funniest scenes to film?
Dylan has a good heart. He loves his family and is grateful for them, but has a funny way of showing it. He’s insecure and verbally abuses his parents regularly (mainly his dad) and can be shockingly rude. Dylan would love to be a bit smoother with the ladies too – one of my favourite Dylan scenes to shoot was one where I pooed myself in the bath whilst making out with my crush. They ran a pipe through a hole in the side of the bath and fed it into my nude pants and pumped lamb goulash through it.
Is there anything you can tell us about Me, Myself & Di?
Me, Myself & Di was a fun little film I did in the summer of 2019, a romcom if you will. It was the first time I’ve ever had to perform a stutter, and it took me quite a while to practice and perfect. I can’t wait to see how it looks!
What can you tell us about voicing Blaine in Sadie Sparks?
Blaine is Sadie’s enemy and as such is always trying to foil her plans. Ironically, the actress who plays Sadie is one of my best friends – I’ve known her for years.
You voice the role of Luke Watson in Scream Street, can you say more about this?
Scream Street is a wicked job. We went to Manchester where they animate the show Chicken Run style. Teams of animators work on numerous sets the size of tabletops. I also got to meet the real Luke – he’s about a foot tall and his whole body is totally manoeuvrable. The coolest things to look at were the tiny props – tiny toilet rolls, kitchen spatulas and perfume bottles the size of your thumb but perfectly detailed. The prop makers are talented folk.
What was Jake Brockman like to play in Outnumbered?
Jake wasn’t a particularly difficult character to play as he was quite similar to myself, but I enjoyed playing him thoroughly. Outnumbered was just an absolute joy overall. I made some lifelong friends and became set on a career path that I haven’t looked back from. I had such talented people around me in the form of actors, crew members and writers, and I think I learnt a lot over the years just by being there.
What do you miss most about filming the show and working with your on-screen family?
Everything. When an Outnumbered shoot was coming up I’d think ‘Wow, seven weeks, this is never going to end!’ – and yet seemingly, just a few days later, I’d be holding back tears as my final wrap was called and a room full of adults applauded and whistled. There isn’t one thing I miss most. I just miss being able to experience an Outnumbered shoot. Just give me a day on Outnumbered to relive again, any day any series. Just to experience it.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time as a presenter on Friday Download?
Rather arrogantly, what I enjoyed at the time was the segue into what I considered proper celebrity status. I was earning good money, would get mobbed in the street and suddenly I had tens of thousands of fans. It wasn’t great for my ego, but as a fifteen year old it was very exciting.
Having appeared on shows like Richard Osman’s House of Games and Pointless Celebrities, can you say what these are like to do?
Nerve-racking – the sense that you are about to come across as a massive idiot is tangible.
Last year, you made your stage debut in POSH as Alistair Ryle, how was this?
It was really great. I put the work in and I’m happy that I did a really good job with my performances. It was fun to get to know a group of actors and travel round the country together. I think my mum came and saw the show about eight times.
How was the experience touring with a theatre production?
It was fun and exciting because it was totally new to me. I got to perform in some beautiful and prestigious theatres and get ready in dressing rooms that Hollywood A-Listers had done the same in.
Having only worked in screen and voiceover previously, how different did you find rehearsing and performing this role?
Normally with telly, unless I have a massive scene, I learn my lines the night before I’m due to film them. And if I get it wrong, I can try again. With POSH, I had thousands of words to learn, and only one chance to get them right every night. It felt like the purest form of acting. But when you’re on stage and everyone is drenched in their character, a world is created that you really feel a part of. I’ve never had that sensation with telly before, well not to anywhere near the same extent.
Had you always wanted to be an actor and what shows did you watch when growing up?
The same shows as every other kid really, but I was a big fan of One Foot in the Grave from a young age. I never wanted to be an actor until I fell into it, I wanted to be a lawyer actually.
Do you have a favourite aspect of your career?
When the phone rings and my agent says ‘YOU GOT IT!’. But no, seriously, I love acting, and I love the variety of my job. When I’m lucky enough to be on a shoot, no two days are the same, and the people in my industry are the best.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
With family (if not for COVID-19), with my dogs, travelling, reading, cooking, learning languages or playing video games. Spirituality is a very big part of my life today as well, so daily meditation is a must.
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