Since making his professional stage debut in 2020 in Shoe Lady at Royal Court Theatre, Archer Brandon went on to perform in last year’s production of South Pacific playing Jerome. In the new series of Biff and Chip on CBeebies, which started airing in September, Archer can be seen playing the recurring role of Nadim, and his further screen credits include appearing in an episode of Hold the Sunset, filming with Simon Callow on the Bloomberg Global Exchange video and working on a number of commercials such as the Marks & Spencer Christmas advert. Archer has also had the chance to interview Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad at the Disney Frozen 2 press junket. Speaking with us, Archer tells us about his time in South Pacific, appearing in Shoe Lady and playing Nadim in Biff and Chip on CBeebies.
Last year, you played Jerome in South Pacific, how did you find the experience performing in the show?
I loved being on stage with Julian Ovenden, Gina Beck and Alex Young. They were inspirational to watch and learn from. I also liked singing my song in front of the Chichester Festival Theatre audience. It was my first time living away from home without my family for the show but there were other children in the house I was staying in and we had lots of fun.
What was Jerome like to play and what did you enjoy most about the role?
Jerome was a great character to play as he is cheeky and mischievous. I had to learn to speak and sing in French with a French accent. My favourite part about the role was running away from Henri after being cheeky.
You previously appeared in Shoe Lady, what was this like?
Shoe Lady was very different from South Pacific as I was playing a silent child who appeared on stage at important parts of the play. I also played a talking tree who has been watching the main characters and made a monologue about what it had seen.
You play Nadim in Biff and Chip, can you tell us about the character?
Nadim is very playful, knows everything, and likes to join in the adventure with Biff, Chip and Kipper. He always tried to come up with a solution to whatever problem they encounter.
How much did you know about Biff and Chip before booking the role and how did you feel finding out you’d be part of the cast?
I learnt to read using the Biff and Chip books so I knew a lot about the characters. I was very excited when I got the role as I knew it would be lots of fun.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from filming the series?
I have lots of stand-out moments like having the parrot on my shoulder as Captain Nadim, dressing up as an alien, being a DJ and Floppy standing on my foot when he rips the neighbourhood map.
Can you say about your episode of Hold the Sunset in which you played Steven?
This was my first TV role and I loved having my own trailer. I had fun telling the giant that he was pathetic, totally pathetic.
How was it working alongside the rest of the cast and what was it like on set?
The set was very busy but everyone knew what they needed to do so everything went smoothly. The cast were very nice although I didn’t see much of them as the scene I was in was quite short.
Can you tell us about working on the Bloomberg Global Climate Exchange video?
I had to learn a new word for the video – ocean acidification. Sadly, it was changed because it was too complicated! It was great to work with Simon Callow and I hope that the film helped with the Climate Exchange conference it was filmed for.
How did you find the experience being an interviewer at the Frozen 2 Press Junket?
I really enjoyed asking the questions to Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, although I was a bit starstruck and got their names mixed up. It was ok though, as it made a great interview and they said it was the best interview they had ever done.
What are commercials like to film and can you say about some of the ones you’ve appeared in?
Commercials are great to film as they tend to be just a day’s work. It can be lots of hanging around but once you get started the time flies by. Dancing in the M&S Christmas advert was lots of fun as I love dancing.
Do you have any favourite films, TV and stage shows to watch?
I am a big fan of the Marvel movies and Star Wars but it is hard to choose a favourite. On TV I like watching Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off. I have seen the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical a few times as my brother was one of the maggots in it and I also really enjoyed Aladdin. COVID has prevented me from seeing a few stage shows but I am looking forward to seeing Come From Away, SIX and Hamilton in 2022.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
I fell into acting really as my sister and brother went to a local drama school and were lucky enough to be cast in West End shows. When they were signed by our agent, Sarah asked my mum if she would be interested in me trying it out and that’s where it all began. Ardent Talent have been amazing at putting me forward for things that I have been lucky enough to be cast in. I am always inspired by watching other acts so I can learn and get better at what I do.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I like playing Roblox and Minecraft with my school friends and playing the cornet.
What are you hoping 2022 brings for your career?
I want to continue acting and would love to be in a Marvel film, although I am not sure they are filming any this year, so any interesting character in a film or on TV would be great.