In 2019, it was announced Thierry Wickens would be playing his first screen role in the remake of Worzel Gummidge starring as John, one of the lead characters alongside the show’s writer Mackenzie Crook as Worzel and India Brown as Susan, and he attended the screening of the remake in London before the release. Continuing in his role over the past two years, Thierry will be seen this weekend when Worzel Gummidge returns to BBC One at 5:45pm on Saturday 6th November in the Guy Forks episode. We caught up with Thierry about being cast in Worzel Gummidge as John, working alongside Mackenzie Crook and India Brown and the upcoming Guy Forks episode airing this weekend.
How did it feel booking your first screen role as John in the remake of Worzel Gummidge and how do you find the experience filming?
I’d been for quite a few auditions before the one for Worzel so I honestly wasn’t expecting much. When I found out I’d actually got it I was extremely shocked and excited. In terms of filming, at first, I was really nervous and I didn’t know what to expect, as I was only twelve when we filmed the first episode; but there’s a real family vibe amongst cast and crew and I enjoy every second of it. Now that I’ve been playing John for two years, it’s become second nature to me.
How much did you know about Worzel Gummidge before auditioning for the remake and how did you prepare for starting in your role?
During the audition process, I thought it would be helpful to watch some episodes of the original show, so I could get a better understanding of the different characters and the show as a whole and this really helped me to prepare.
Can you tell us about your character and what is he like to play?
In the beginning, John wasn’t very happy, as we can see in the first episode; being in foster care. John’s friendship with Worzel and the other scarecrows and his relationship with the Braithwaites has really brought him out of his shell, and I think it’s incredible how much we’ve seen his personality develop over time. I love playing John, being brought up in the city, not spending much time in the countryside, and also having an older sister, I can identify with the character which has made playing John very natural for me.
You work closely with Mackenzie Crook (Worzel) and India Brown (Susan), what is this like?
Working with Mackenzie has been incredible and I’ve learned so much from him. He knows exactly what he wants from each scene but trusts me to make my own judgement on the character. He’s always open for a discussion and happy to answer any questions I have about the script and he’s made my first experience on a TV set an amazing and memorable one. India is such a talented actor, and she has helped me from the beginning and taught me the ropes. We have built a great friendship over the last two years and, when we’re off set during filming, we’re usually playing games or making TikToks.
Why would you recommend watching the upcoming Guy Forks episode and what are you looking forward to most for the release?
I would highly recommend watching this Guy Forks episode because, yet again, Mackenzie has written an amazingly funny script that everyone will enjoy. It is great to see some characters return and all of the new characters in this episode are brilliant. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product as, when we film it, the scenes aren’t filmed in order and I don’t get to see the scenes that don’t include John until I see it on TV so I can’t wait to see it all come to life.
What is it like returning to set to film new episodes and reuniting with the cast?
I’m not just saying this, but, I enjoyed every second of it. There’s a real family vibe amongst cast and crew and it’s always great to see everyone again, we always have such a laugh. I just count myself lucky, that I get to work with such talented people.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being involved with the series and have you had any stand-out highlights from your time on set?
I really enjoy night shoots as I find them really exciting. The night shoot for Guy Forks was particularly special and I really hope people enjoy watching it.
What do you feel you’ve learnt from working on Worzel Gummidge so far?
I’ve learned so much. I didn’t realise how many people were involved and how much work it takes to make the final product. I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing actors who all have different styles and techniques so I’ve picked up a lot along the way.
You attended the screening for the remake in London in 2019, how was it attending and seeing the completed work?
I was really nervous as I didn’t know what to expect but I loved seeing the episodes come to life.
How has it been seeing the viewers’ response to the show?
It’s been great. I’ve had some lovely messages from people who have really enjoyed the episodes which have been nice and I’m pleased that people like it so much.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?
I like watching Anime and I often watch Dragon Ball Z but recently I’ve been watching Invasion which is really good.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
I started attending a performing arts school on a Saturday when I was three years old where I did singing, dance, and drama classes so my love for it started then really. I enjoy playing different characters and performing in front of people.
Can you tell us about any training you currently do?
I currently attend a drama class once a week with my sister run by my agent Mario Renzullo of Smart Management, where we work on improvisation, script work, and character development. I am also currently studying GCSE drama.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I really enjoy karate and hope to pass my Black Belt exam at the end of the year and, during the lockdown, I started running so I like to go for a run a couple of times a week. The rest of the time I enjoy chilling out at home and playing PS5 with my friends.
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