Most recently, Jonny Green was seen in the role of Martin Pascoe in the TV mini-series It’s a Sin on Channel 4, the new drama written by Russell T Davies about the AIDS pandemic of the 80s, working alongside lead character Ritchie, played by Olly Alexander. Before booking his role in It’s a Sin, Jonny filmed as Young David for last year’s Netflix release of White Lines, appearing across the series for his first regular screen role. Having performed in theatre at a young age, Jonny went on to train at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Answering our questions, Jonny talks about being cast as Martin Pascoe in It’s a Sin, his time playing Young David in the Netflix series White Lines and training at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
How did you find the experience filming as Martin Pascoe in It’s a Sin for Channel 4?
It was class. Everybody on set was lovely and welcoming and that made for a great working environment.
Can you tell us about your character and what drew you to the role?
Martin lives a simple life working at the local pub, I think he’s one of those guys who’s really content staying in the town he grew up in and probably can’t quite understand what attracts Ritchie to London. He’s also got a really good heart which jumped off the page from the first time I read the sides, I think that’s the genius of Russell (T Davies), he sculpts the characters he writes so precisely that you can’t help but get a vivid image of who they are in your head, which definitely makes the actor’s job a lot easier!
What was it like being part of the cast and working on a Russell T Davies production?
Incredible, I feel very lucky. When I first read the show in its entirety I was actually on a plane and when I finished Episode Five I had to press that assistance button above my head to get tissues because I was crying; then when I SAW it, wow – I’m just in awe of all of them. I don’t even know where to start with Russell, like I said, a genius and honestly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, so supportive.
You played Young David in White Lines, what was the role like to play?
White Lines was bananas from start to finish. From taking Ecstasy on the streets of Manchester to snorting cocaine off a dwarf’s head, the show had it all and really was a fantastic experience. In terms of David, he was just a nutter but a very loveable one with a big heart.
What was it like working on a Netflix show and being on set?
Crazy really. It was different from anything I’ve worked on before and Netflix is obviously huge so I just tried to soak everything up.
You trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, how was this and what inspired you to train there?
A man called Dave Bond inspired me to train there. He was the head of acting and auditioned me back in 2014. I was doing the Saint Crispian’s Day speech from Henry V which is a sort of rousing battle cry. He began working on it with me by asking if I was a football fan, I said yes and he told me to read the speech as though I was a footballer called Wes Brown, who the following day was playing in a Cup final against Man City, a game which Wes’ Sunderland side were at risk of getting battered in. Football is huge for me so, without wanting to sound too dramatic, it kind of felt like a really seminal moment for me and I knew I had to go RWCMD (If offered a place). I should say there were plenty more reasons to go! Gosh, the idea of someone at the college reading me boil this answer down to “He made me think of Wes Brown”. I had an incredible time there and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
I always did drama in school and was active in productions outside of school. I did a lot of musical theatre from the ages of eleven to fifteen but the one huge issue with that was the fact that my singing voice wasn’t the best and I couldn’t dance to save my life. When I did A level drama there were only five of us in the class and my best mate Luke and I were given the reigns on writing the two main A level performances which gave me my first opportunity to write and perform comedy material which was massive for me. After that it was like, “Right, if I can do stuff like that then the game has changed” and I began looking at drama schools.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
Well, working in the real world for a start. I’d love to say I spend my days fielding calls from producers, sifting through scripts and prepping for my next role but the reality is that that isn’t the way for the vast majority of actors, you’ve got to earn your crust, especially if you’re living in London. I love my football but I’m a massive Liverpool fan and we’re doing terribly right now so let’s move on from that! I’m always trying to watch films, I grew up on a pretty strict diet of British comedy so the last couple of years I’ve just been rattling through films, lockdown was great for that!
Have you seen any TV shows or films during the pandemic you would recommend watching?
Well, during lockdown I watched The Last Dance which is the greatest sports documentary ever created. Period. More recently I’ve been watching Your Honour starring Bryan Cranston, couldn’t recommend it more, the first episode will absolutely blow your socks off. In terms of films, I’d highly recommend the Xavier Dolan film Mommy – I remember reading after I watched it that it got a twelve-minute standing ovation at Cannes. Also, Tyrannosaur with Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, directed by Paddy Considine is something SPECIAL, I’ve seen it a few times and it still gets me.
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