With comedy drama Almost Never starting to air on CBBC in 2019, Nate Dass, Oakley Orchard and Harry Still were cast as central characters boy band The Wonderland, with the show following their characters’ journey to be a successful band with a record deal. Over the three series, The Wonderland have performed covers and original music with Nate, Oakley and Harry regularly uploading videos to their popular YouTube and TikTok and The Wonderland have given performances on Saturday Mash-Up and Blue Peter, with one of their first live gigs together being at BBC Summer Social. Almost Never has recently announced the show will start airing on Disney Channel, premiering this Saturday. We recently caught up with Nate, Oakley and Harry from The Wonderland to talk about their roles in Almost Never, what it’s like seeing the fan response to the show and performing as a band.
Do you remember how you felt booking your roles as The Wonderland in CBBC show Almost Never and how did you prepare for being part of the band?
Nate – I remember being super excited, I’d never done anything like this before and I love new experiences. I prepared firstly by learning how to play the guitar and working closely with the boys, we became friends straight away.
Oakley – Before I was a part of The Wonderland, I used to travel up and down the country doing gigs as a solo artist. It was always a dream to perform on stage with other musicians, even better for us all to be great mates as well.
Harry – I was so happy and really grateful, I couldn’t wait to get started! We all got on really well during the audition process and, prior to filming, we did lots of bonding activities together which was great fun and helped us get to know each other really well and gel together.
Can you tell us about your characters and how has it been developing them over the three series?
Nate – So, my character is definitely the confident, inspiring leader type who is always trying to be positive. However, playing the character was most fun in Season 3 because he starts to lose a bit of that confidence and gets tempted by Sasha which was interesting to see.
Oakley – My character is the funny one of the group (or at least he tries to be). The development of my character over the three seasons has changed a lot. I’ve watched lots of sitcoms to try and take traits from the characters and add them to my own.
Harry – My character is super organised and really clever and the most sensible of the band! I really enjoy playing Harry and learning more about him as each series has progressed. I was fourteen when I started playing him, I’m seventeen now so I feel like we’ve grown up together.
What is it like working with the rest of the cast and how do you spend your time in between filming your scenes?
Nate – The cast are amazing, it’s one of the best things about filming, I got to meet people who will be friends for the rest of my life. The time between scenes is always a laugh, everyone is always joking and having fun, however, we don’t forget that we have to focus on set.
Oakley – The crew and cast are GREAT. It’s always lots of fun filming Almost Never due to the cast and crew. In between scenes we all tend to just chill and go on our phones.
Harry – We all get on so well so it’s like doing the best job with your best mates! In between filming our scenes we spend time in the green room running lines, chatting and doing fun TikToks together.
What’s it like returning to film on location for each series and how was it filming the most recent during the pandemic?
Nate – It was nice to return to Belfast, it felt like coming home. Filming during COVID definitely felt different as we had to follow all the protocols like wearing visors and social distancing, however it didn’t stop us from creating a great atmosphere on set.
Oakley – Even though it was a lot harder this year due to the pandemic, it was great to see each other again and do what we all do best.
Harry – It’s really exciting going back to set and getting to tell all the new stories and seeing the script come to life. It was very different this year with COVID and lots of rules and restrictions but we were so grateful to be able to go and film another series, all cast and crew worked so hard together and I feel it’s the best series yet!
How is it seeing the reaction to the show and why would you recommend watching it?
Nate – It’s amazing seeing all the fans who love our show, we couldn’t do it without them. I think people should watch the show because we have original music, tons of jokes and it’s drama-filled!
Oakley – Almost Never is a combination of different things that you just can’t miss out on. Romance, drama, music and fun!
Harry – The reaction has been amazing, I’m blown away with everyone’s support. Almost Never is packed full of amazing storylines, music, laughter and so much more, it’s just a great show!
Have you got any favourite memories from being in Almost Never over the years?
Nate – Yes, I’ve got too many to tell, but my favourite from Season 3 was filming the scenes for the assault course. Me, the boys and Colin (who plays AJ) were laughing the whole time when we did that, on top of that I love being active so it was perfect.
Oakley – My favourite memories have always been recording the music videos, it’s great to see everybody dance and sing along to our music.
Harry – I’m so lucky I get to go and make an amazing show with brilliant friends, there are so many amazing memories it’s hard to pick one.
Do you have a favourite aspect of starring in a CBBC show?
Harry – I feel incredibly grateful that I’m on a CBBC show and that I get to do my passion as a job, acting and singing with my best mates.
What do you enjoy most about performing as The Wonderland?
Nate – Seeing all the love and support has got to be one of the best things.
Oakley – The thing I enjoy the most about performing in The Wonderland is singing and playing alongside some of my best mates, and just having a great time.
Harry – I really enjoy all aspects of performing in The Wonderland with my best mates, we’ve been lucky enough to perform some amazing covers, original songs and it was great being given the opportunity to have a couple of songs we’ve written ourselves in the show.
Can you tell us about The Wonderland YouTube channel?
Nate – Yes, we’ve got loads of covers on there which we love doing in our spare time but we also post all our music videos from the show on there which you can check out.
Oakley – So, on The Wonderland YouTube channel, we upload all of our original songs and we also have come up with an idea called ‘Wonderland Wednesday’ where we upload a cover every Wednesday.
Harry – On The Wonderland YouTube channel we have music from all three series of Almost Never and we also upload covers and our original songs.
How is it being guests on shows such as Saturday Mash-Up and Blue Peter?
Nate – We love them because it’s a chance for us to perform and show people our latest music. Also, all the hosts are super friendly.
Oakley – Blue Peter used to be one of my favourite shows growing, so it’s great to perform on there. And Saturday Mash-Up is always very fun to go on.
Harry – Being a guest on Saturday Mash-Up and Blue Peter is always lots of fun and the energy everyone has is amazing! All the presenters and crew are always so nice and welcoming, plus it’s really exciting doing live performances and live TV too.
What was the experience like performing at BBC Summer Social in 2019?
Nate – It was unreal, performing in front of a large crowd and hearing them sing the words from your song back at you is a feeling I’ll never forget.
Oakley – BBC Summer Social was amazing. This was one of the first proper gigs that me and the boys performed at as a band.
Harry – Performing at the CBBC Summer Social was definitely an experience I’ll never forget as there was so many people and everyone was really supportive. There were so many amazing acts, it was a privilege to be up on the stage, we loved every minute of it! We also filmed scenes for the last episode of Series 2 whilst there so that was exciting too!
How different are you to your on-screen characters?
Nate – I’d say I’m fairly confident but not as confident as my character, I think the biggest difference is that I’m way more sarcastic and more of a joker in real life.
Oakley – I think we are all very different to our characters. However, there is some things that we do and we say to each other, “that’s definitely something our character would do”.
Harry – I’m very different to my on-screen character, an example is I’m definitely not organised. If you could see how messy my bedroom is, you would understand!!
Away from the show, which music artists do you each enjoy listening to?
Nate – My favourite artists have got to be Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar, Giveon and Dylan Sinclair.
Oakley – I love listening to all different types of music. It really does depend on the mood for me, there will be some days where I love listening to John Mayer and then two hours later I’ll be listening to Juice WRLD.
Harry – I have quite a wide taste in music, at the moment I’m enjoying listening to Charlie Puth, Justin Bieber’s new album as well as Olivia Rodrigo and lots more.
What do you like doing apart from acting and music?
Nate – I love keeping fit by going to the gym, I spend a lot of time with my friends, I’m quite sociable and I spend way too much time shopping online.
Oakley – Away from acting and music, I love going fishing and playing football with my mates. But music has always been my main hobby. When I’m not writing songs or playing guitar, I’m usually producing, mixing or mastering music.
Harry – I really enjoy making content such as vlogs for YouTube and anything creative I love to do.
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