With the return of Waterloo Road on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Vincent Jerome plays Lindon King, the joint deputy headteacher alongside James Baxter as Joe Casey in the new series, which has a cast including Angela Griffin as the headteacher Kim Campbell. Vincent wrote, directed and starred in short film Outward, which has been accepted into a number of international film festivals, and amongst his other screen roles, he plays Christian Davis in the sci-fi web series The Few, the lead character Q in the feature film Gangsters, Guns & Zombies, and for his first big Hollywood film, he was in the cast of Transformers: The Last Knight. As a stage actor, Vincent played Freddie/McCarron at the VAULT Festival in 2019 in The Talented Mr Ripley, and he also played Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson in Peter James’ Dead Simple at The Mill at Sonning. We caught up with Vincent, who told us about being in the cast of the new series of Waterloo Road on BBC, playing joint deputy headteacher Lindon King in the show’s return and his time as Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson in Peter James’ Dead Simple.
You play Lindon King in the new series of Waterloo Road, was there anything that drew you to the show and can you tell us about your character?
After reading the initial character breakdown, Lindon came across quite conflicted and I thought it would be great to dive into a character like that; someone who has a lot of layers that most people don’t get to see.
What is Lindon like to play and how is it working with the rest of the cast?
The Lindon we meet in the first episode is quite rigid, so I looked for opportunities to explore why he was like that and what he might be like in more tender moments. The cast are amazing! I honestly can’t say enough nice things about them. They are all beautiful, talented people and I’m very grateful to work with them every day.
How did you prepare for your role and what was it like reading the scripts for the first time?
Like a lot of actors, my process starts with the script! After reading the character breakdown, I get information from what they do, how they react to certain situations and what other characters say about them etc. One of the great things about the show is it moves at a quick pace and that energy is perfectly captured in the scripts.
What has it been like working on the return of Waterloo Road and seeing the fan response to the new series?
As someone who didn’t watch the show when it was on TV, I had no idea that it had an almost cult-like following (and I mean that in the best possible way). The fans are so loyal and passionate. I feel very grateful to be part of something that so many people are connected to.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from your time filming as Lindon King so far and what are you looking forward to for continuing the role?
Shooting the staff room scenes is always a lot of fun. The dynamic changes radically when all the “teachers” get together. It’s almost like we become the kids (singing songs and telling jokes) and the director turns into the teacher, haha. The thing that excites me about continuing Lindon’s story is discovering how the events of the first seven episodes have affected him and how he interacts with pupils and members of staff.
Last year, you appeared in an episode of The Peripheral as Sid, how was this?
I loved working on that job. It was nice to play in a world that is similar to ours but also exists outside the realms of normal reality.
What was it like working on the feature film The Pay Day and playing Big Al?
I’ve worked with that team before. We are all friends, so the set had a real family vibe. Big Al is the personification of a strong and silent. When Sam Bradford (director) and I were discussing Big Al, we decided that he would be the closest thing to an apex predator… like a shark that circles the main characters.
How did you find the experience on set of Wonder Woman 1984 and Transformers: The Last Knight?
Transformers was my first big Hollywood film. I felt so grateful to be there and did my best to savour every moment. Wonder Woman was a tiny bit different… There was a time I thought Transformers might have been a one-off; that I wasn’t capable of getting another job on that level. Thankfully, I got Wonder Woman. After that, I had the confidence to dream as big as I wanted.
You wrote, directed and starred in short film Outward, and have written other short films, can you tell us about some of them?
All the shorts I’ve made came from the need to be creative. I had stories I wanted to tell and I knew enough like-minded people who wanted to collaborate on them. I think it is really important for actors to be proactive, especially given how easy it is to make things these days. Outward is a good example; it was shot in an afternoon on an iPhone and has been accepted into a number of international film festivals.
In 2019, you starred in the multi-award-winning short film Living in Crime Alley, what was this like to be part of?
A friend had read the Crime Alley script and told me how good it was, so I got in touch with the writer/director Rob Ayling and asked to read it. What struck me was how personal a story about Gotham City could be. We never hear about the ordinary people that live there and I wanted to be part of an original story set in that world.
How was it playing Christian Davis in the sci-fi web series The Few?
Christian was and still is one of my favourite characters. He is a very complicated man that feels let down by society. He also has super powers and who wouldn’t want to have superpowers?
What are some of your favourite memories from playing the lead role of Q in Gangsters, Guns & Zombies?
Being the lead in that film was a career milestone for me. Q was a classic “everyman” character, which is something I don’t often get to play. The big fight scene in the woods was really fun to shoot – it was like a WWE event; the Royal Rumble but with zombies!
On stage, you played Freddie/McCarron in The Talented Mr Ripley at the VAULT Festival in 2019, can you tell us about this?
Ripley is a classic story. It was great to play in that world. From an acting perspective, I was afforded the opportunity to play two characters that were complete opposites of each other. The physicality of the production was also something that appealed to me. I was lucky enough to study dance and physical theatre at university and it was great to revisit some of those skills for Ripley.
How was your time playing Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson in Peter James’ Dead Simple at The Mill at Sonning and what was the show like to perform in?
I’m a big fan of police dramas so I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this play. There is something really compelling about a murder mystery. The most rewarding part of that job was hearing the audience’s reaction to the show’s big reveals. Big gasps all around – hahaha.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
As I was coming to an end of my A-Level Drama course, one of my teachers (Dan) told me he thought I was good and suggested I pursue a career in acting. I never considered it until that moment because I didn’t allow myself to dream that big but once that seed was planted, I never looked back.
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
If I mentioned all the films, TV and theatre that meant something to me, I’d be here for a year – haha. Outside of work, I like listening to music, working out, visiting art galleries… I’d like to do a bit more travelling this year. I also like to write, draw and read.
What are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
As I said before, I hope 2023 affords me the opportunity to travel more and reconnect with people that I may not have seen in a while. It would be great to delve deeper into the character of Lindon King but I also look forward to telling different stories too. Most importantly, I want to take one day at a time, spend 2023 with people I love and enjoy whatever opportunities come my way.
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