Oscar Kennedy stars as Young Liam in the BBC comedy series Ladhood, written by comedian Liam Williams, with the latest episodes airing in August, and the show is an adaptation of the BBC Radio 4 show of the same name. Earlier this year, Oscar played Lee Keegan in the film School’s Out Forever, and he had his first film experience playing Young Nigel Slater in the 2010 release of Toast. Amongst his many other screen roles, Oscar has played Garth Hackett in Home from Home, Peter Beste-Chetwynde in Decline and Fall alongside David Suchet and Stephen Graham, and he played Henry Tudor in the Primetime Emmy-nominated series The White Queen. We caught up with Oscar about playing Young Liam in Ladhood, filming School’s Out Forever and working on Home from Home.
What’s it like working on the comedy series Ladhood and can you tell us about your character?
Working on Ladhood S1 and S2 has honestly been so enjoyable. There’s such a great group of people involved and a really good dynamic on set.
I play the character of Young Liam who is an angsty, know-it-all teenager who tries his best (like all teenagers) to fit in.
Can you say more about Ladhood and was there anything that originally drew you to the show?
Even after reading the tiny bit of initial audition material, I could tell that Ladhood was something I really wanted to be involved in. The dialogue is just so brilliant and the subject matter is very relatable, I knew it’d be a great series to be a part of and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity.
What are some of your favourite highlights from working with the cast so far?
There are genuinely so many moments to choose from. The first that comes to mind would have to be a scene that me and Shaun Thomas (Craggy) had together. For this particular scene, we had to get right up in each other’s faces, but for no reason at all, we really couldn’t keep a straight face for a good ten to fifteen takes. It was one of those moments where trying to pull it together seemed to only make it funnier. We really couldn’t stop laughing each time we tried. Even mentioning that scene to each other now will still set one of us off.
The feature film School’s Out Forever was released earlier this year, what was it like to film?
I was so happy when I was asked to do Schools Out. It was so exciting for me, not only because I was already a huge fan of the script, but it was also my first feature that I was consistently involved in from start to finish. It was a really enjoyable learning experience, especially because of the fantastic group of people I was lucky enough to work with.
Why would you recommend watching it and who do you think it will appeal to?
One thing I love about School’s Out is the variety; from humorous teenage schoolboy attitude to more dramatic and upbeat action. I really think there’s aspects for everyone to enjoy. It has such a mix of comedy, horror as well as more serious themes, so it’s definitely an all-rounder.
How was it playing Garth Hackett in Home from Home on BBC and how was it working with your on-screen family?
Home from Home was such a laugh to watch and film. It was such a positive experience and a really fun series. It honestly felt like we were a real family by the end of the shoot.
What did you enjoy most about playing Kristaps in Bliss?
Jumping straight into the mix of the story, I only had a little role but it involved a great ‘fight scene’ with my on-screen dad which was a lot of fun to do.
How did you find the experience on set of The Man With the Iron Heart?
It was a really fascinating experience, especially the set and costumes which really transported you into the wartime era. I was only needed for two days but it was shot in Budapest which was a really fun way to travel and experience the city for the first time.
Can you tell us about playing Peter Beste-Chetwynde in Decline and Fall?
It was such a new and interesting experience playing Peter. Working with people like David Suchet and Stephen Graham was surreal having always been a huge fan of both of their work. It also introduced me to the brilliant writing of Evelyn Waugh, I’d never heard of any of her novels prior to working on Decline and Fall so it was an amazing introduction to her work.
Do you have any stand-out memories from working on your earlier shows which have included The White Queen, The Politician’s Husband and Hunted?
Yeah definitely! The White Queen was the first time I’d done any work abroad so that was really exciting. It was also my first time doing any kind of sword fighting which was also a good laugh, although I did nearly take the finger off of a stuntman which was a bit scary (I’ll be a lot more cautious if I ever need to do any again!).
For your first film experience, you played Young Nigel Slater in Toast, what was this like to do?
I really couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the world of TV and film. The director S.J. (Clarkson) really looked after me and made sure I was comfortable in what I was doing at all times which, for a young newcomer, was so helpful. It really helped build my confidence and encourage me to perform as best I could as a young actor in a new and professional environment.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
As a really energetic kid I started an after school drama club in primary school. I knew from then on that acting was something I loved to do. I then started going to The Television Workshop in Nottingham and that’s when I was lucky enough to get Toast and it kind of just snowballed from then on.
What are some of your favourite TV shows and films to watch?
My favourite film of all time would have to be In Bruges. it encompasses all genres that I love with complex and interesting writing. It also has a great cast with really strong performances and it’s just unlike any other film I can think of.
One of my top favourite TV shows is The US Office, just because it’s effortlessly funny and a really enjoyable watch. I also have to mention Breaking Bad, I could watch it over and over and never get bored.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
There isn’t anything I can talk about right now, but I’m really excited to share some details in the near future.