In the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End, Rudy Gibson joined the cast last year as Bruce Bogtrotter, and was in the recent film adaptation of the musical, which is available in the UK on DVD. Rudy has worked on a number of adverts, including Sainsbury’s, Dolmio and Haven (filming alongside the GB Olympic team), and he plays Rory in the Channel 5 Milkshake series Mimi’s World. Currently, Rudy is in the cast of a West End show playing a character he’s wanted to book for the last couple of years. We caught up with Rudy about playing Bruce Bogtrotter in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, being cast in the film adaptation of the musical and his time as Rory in Mimi’s World on Channel 5 Milkshake.
Last year, you played Bruce Bogtrotter in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical in the West End, what is Bruce like to play?
Bruce was such a fun character to play. He is very chilled until he wants payback on Miss Trunchbull and then his fun and feisty side comes out! Firstly, eating all the cake and proving he can and then with Revolting Children and getting his own back for being locked in chokey!
How did it feel booking your role and how was it being part of the cast?
I was so shocked when I was cast as Bruce, my family came to surprise me in my drama class with balloons and I was so happy and excited and couldn’t believe it!
The cast were all so amazing, supportive, extremely talented and lovely to work with. I miss them all very much since leaving the show, we had the best time together.
What did you enjoy most about playing Bruce and performing in the West End?
I enjoyed performing Revolting Children the most. The funny dance moves and belting out the song to hundreds of people. I loved the audiences’ reaction at the end of the song it was just incredible knowing they were all behind you finally bringing down the Trunch! No feeling like it being on that stage, it’s magical.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from performing in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre?
I was lucky enough to have lots of family and friends come to support me during my time in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical. One particular night, 100 people were at stage door chanting my name and my uncle got me up on his shoulders, it was epic, a night I’ll never forget!
You appear in the new Matilda the Musical film, what was it like on set?
Matilda the Movie was an experience I will cherish forever. I made so many lovely friends and was incredibly lucky to be part of something truly amazing. It was hard work on set, especially as we had to wear masks at all times even during rehearsals and tutoring. It was long, tiring days and we stayed in a hotel in isolation for four weeks, which was so much fun just being with everyone all the time. The whole team were like one big family, Emma Thompson and Lashana Lynch were so lovely to us kids. I learnt so much and feel very grateful for the opportunity.
How was it being in the cast of the film adaptation of a theatre show?
I did the movie before the theatre so for me I didn’t know too much about the musical when I started filming. I knew a few of the songs but what I will say is it’s very different being on stage in front of a live audience than being in front of the camera. Your performance has to be adapted using different skills, plus you only get one take on stage!!
Why do you think viewers will enjoy the film and who do you think it will appeal to?
The film will appeal to all ages because it’s amazing! It has a real special message behind it too which Alisha (Weir), who played Matilda, really brings across.
In the children’s TV series Mimi’s World, which airs on Channel 5 Milkshake, you play Rory, can you say about this?
I loved my time filming Mimi’s World. I went to Ireland for five weeks just me and my mum and, again, it was filmed in COVID conditions so with masks and testing etc. The cast and crew were so welcoming and I particularly enjoyed my time with the crew learning about camera shots and talking about football! Rory was a great character to play, very different to me so was a great challenge.
Was there anything that drew you to the series and what is it like to work on?
The other children were lovely and we became such good friends as we spent five weeks together 24/7. The directors and acting coaches were so helpful in preparing us get the scenes just right and always so positive and encouraging, the show is fun but educational as it teaches young children about exploring and understanding different emotions.
I was very lucky to be part of this series.
Can you tell us about some of the TV adverts you have filmed for and do you have a favourite aspect of being part of them?
The first advert I did was for Sainsbury’s, I was six and all I remember was that we got chocolate eggs after!!
I then filmed one for Fitbit and my mum was cast too, which was so much fun doing that together. I was then lucky enough to travel to Ukraine, South Africa and Portugal to shoot adverts for Dolmio, Volkswagen and Vodafone. I had to swing through the jungle on a zip wire, eat lots of spaghetti and run in front of a moving car like a stunt man! I also got to go on a safari, which was a great experience. My favourite advert has to be for Haven. I got to ride my own chariot up the beach and meet Tom Daley and the Olympic team. This was really special. I absolutely love shooting adverts, all of the production teams I’ve worked with have been so nice looking after me and I’ve learnt so much from these experiences and I am so grateful to my agent Michelle at Daisy and Dukes and to have such a supportive family.
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
My sister is very into musical theatre and I was watching her on stage when I was five and asked my mum if I could do it too. I started some dance classes at Studio Six Dance School, auditioned for an agent and then it went from there. I love dancing and singing but acting is my thing, I’d love to be a Hollywood actor one day.
Do you have any favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
My favourite actor is Jim Carrey, I love all of his films, he’s so funny! I love football so that’s usually what I watch on the TV and I enjoy going to watch theatre shows. I recently watched some of my friends in Mary Poppins and Bugsy Malone, which was cool!
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I like spending time with my friends, family and my little dog. I love playing football and any sport really as I’m quite competitive and I enjoy playing on my PlayStation.
Do you have any current/future plans that you can tell us about and what are you hoping the upcoming year brings for you?
I’ve recently started something very exciting, a role I’ve wanted to play for a couple of years now. It’s so much fun and I’m really enjoying it so far, I feel so lucky to have been given this amazing opportunity.
I hope this year brings lots of happiness for my family and friends and I hope to continue to work hard and do my best in whatever comes my way.
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