In the upcoming film Our House, Tommy Finnegan will be playing Leo Lawson alongside his on-screen parents Tuppence Middleton and Martin Compston. Most recently, Tommy could be seen as Ricky Gervais’ nephew George in After Life across all three series and last year, he played Callum in an episode of Buffering and Bailey Wood in the TV movie Danny Boy. For his first screen role, Tommy appeared in an episode of Call the Midwife, and has since gone on to film a number of shows including Silent Witness, London Kills and Doctors, in which he played Mikey Taylor-Wood. Talking with Tommy, he chats about playing George in After Life, working on Danny Boy and being on set of the upcoming film Our House.
Can you tell us about your character George in After Life and what is it like being part of the cast?
George is a sweet boy and his uncle Tony (played by Ricky Gervais) really looks out for him. Despite losing his wife and feeling sad, Tony does everything he can to look after George, including dealing with the boy who bullies George and comforting him when he was worried that his parents were going to get a divorce. The cast were very friendly and made it such fun to be involved in. We had to film a very short scene for the second series in which I had to kick a ball and that day the whole cast and crew joined in for a kick about.
What’s it like on set of the series and how is the experience filming?
It was great on set and I had such fun filming the scenes. My favourite out of the two series shown so far is in the cafe when Ricky ordered two childrens meals and grabbed the fish fingers off my plate and stuffed them in just to annoy the waitress. It made me laugh so much.
Danny Boy was released last year in which you play Bailey Wood, what was it like to work on?
This was the first role I played after the first lockdown had been lifted so it was fun to be back on set and all the crew were very nice. At first it was a bit strange when we started filming because of all the strict COVID procedures that everyone had to stick to but we soon got used to it.
How was it acting alongside your on-screen family?
It was fun. Most of my scenes were with Anthony (Boyle) who played my dad and he was funny and really supportive.
Can you say how your character Troy Fisher was involved in the storyline of London Kills?
I really enjoyed playing Troy because there was a good twist at the end of the story which showed I wasn’t as innocent as you first thought…
How was it playing Callum in Buffering and can you say more about it?
I enjoyed the quick scenes with Iain Stirling who made me laugh in between takes with some of his jokes.
What was Mickey Taylor-Wood like to play in Doctors and how was the experience on set?
The crew were all very nice and I remember how good the make-up team were because they gave me a scar on my arm that looked so real.
What did you enjoy most about working on Les Misérables?
The costumes and sets were amazing. We filmed in Sedan, France and stayed in a castle which was so cool.
You played Danny Walsh in Silent Witness, how was your time as the character and being involved in the storyline?
There was one specific scene that was really good fun to film. A bomb had been set on the inside of our house which was triggered when I opened the front door. On set there was a controlled explosion which was very exciting.
What do you remember most from filming your episode of Hard Sun as Adam Sweeting?
Running around the woods with Agyness Deyn trying to escape from my dad.
You had your first screen role playing Mickey Watts in Call the Midwife, do you have any stand-out moments from filming?
I remember having to film a boxing scene where I had to pretend to be knocked out. I love boxing and my brothers were laughing at me having to act scared and worried in the ring. This was filmed five years ago and the director was Sheree Folkson. Fast forward five years now to 2021 and I have just finished filming Our House where Sheree was my director again.
Where does your love of acting come from?
I am the youngest of five and I would say it comes from my sister Shauna and brothers Liam, Ryan and Sam. We were always playing and making up games and we all play music too (classical and Irish). I play both the banjo and the violin and we all enjoy performing so I think the acting has come from there.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch and how do you like to spend your free time?
I love playing football and am in the garden or park as much as I can. I also enjoy playing the banjo and the violin and, along with my sister and brothers, play Irish music in a group. On TV, I like watching Coronation Street and I’m a Celebrity.
It’s been announced you are playing Leo Lawson in the upcoming film Our House, what was it like to film and what are you looking forward to most for the release?
I absolutely loved this role. It has been my longest project to date and the crew were all really nice. It was great to work with Sheree Folkson again five years after first working with her on Call the Midwife. Hopefully I won’t have to wait another five years to work with her again. Casper (Knopf), who played my younger brother, was really good company as we spent most of the summer holidays together filming. Tuppence Middleton and Martin Compston played my mum and dad and they were so cool. Martin will always be a legend to me because he played football with me at any opportunity we got between takes and when he found out that my favourite footballer was Kieran Tierney, he got Kieran to send me a video message because Kieran is his friend. I was so happy. I loved every minute of this project and cannot wait for it to be on TV.