For the Bad Education Reunion Special last year, Charlie Wernham reprised his role of Mitchell Harper alongside original Bad Education cast members including the show’s creator Jack Whitehall. With Bad Education returning for a new series, Charlie continued playing Mitchell, now a teacher, throughout the episodes, working once again with Layton Williams as Stephen Carmichael and Mathew Horne as Shaquille Fraser. Charlie is also well-known for joining the cast of EastEnders in 2021 as Aaron Monroe for the far-right storyline and for his time as Robbie Roscoe in Hollyoaks for a number of years. Amongst Charlie’s numerous screen roles, he played Len in HBO’s The Baby last year, Steve Jones in the Urban Myths episode The Sex Pistols Vs. Bill Grundy, and at the start of his career, he was in the TV series School of Comedy. Talking with us, Charlie spoke about reprising his role of Mitchell Harper in the return of Bad Education, being cast in EastEnders as Aaron Monroe and playing Robbie Roscoe in Hollyoaks.
You can be seen reprising your role of Mitchell Harper in the new series of Bad Education, how has it been getting back into character and what is Mitchell like to play?
It was a little nerve-racking, to be honest, because people really liked the character in the original series so I felt some pressure but after the first couple of scenes it was like I never left the role.
How was it reading the Series 4 scripts for the first time and what was it like seeing your character’s development?
It was very exciting to see Mitchell in a role where he had some power and a lot of responsibility now that he is a teacher and a father. It was exciting to play with that idea and play against it. I had a big grin on my face reading the early drafts.
How did you find the experience filming on set of the new series and why would you recommend watching it?
It was a different school from before so it was like starting again. But having some of the old cast stay on and some of the old crew from before was amazing. I always describe Bad Education as ‘a lot of fun’. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is even more refreshing in recent years. It’s an escape and a real giggle.
Can you tell us about Mitchell and do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role in the original series?
I was obviously very excited. I didn’t know what to expect as it was a brand-new show but this gave me a great opportunity to build the character from scratch and have some good input. I learnt a lot and had a ball doing so. He is such a fun character to play. There are almost no boundaries. He takes the mick but he is harmless and therefore likeable. His sense of humour lends itself to a lot of one-liners and fun interjections, which allows lots of opportunity to ad lib and have fun.
What was it like filming the Bad Education Reunion Special with the rest of the original cast, which includes Layton Williams and Mathew Horne (who have also returned for the new series), and the show’s creator Jack Whitehall?
It was very strange having everyone back together. It really was like a reunion. Mat and Layton are so much fun and so talented. We know how each other work which gives us the ability to get through a lot of scenes quickly but also develop them on the floor and have fun. We get on really well and every day is hilarious.
How was it seeing the fan response to the release of the Reunion Special?
It was great. The feedback was really positive. It was a good springboard for the new series.
Do you have any stand-out memories from your time filming the first three series of Bad Education and The Bad Education Movie?
There were many moments on set where you find yourself In ridiculous scenarios, wearing nutty costumes and saying the most inappropriate things. We would often take a step back and be like “This is mental… this is my actual job”. But throwing a hog roast off a school roof and accidentally crushing a vegan has to be my stand-out.
How was it playing Len in an episode of HBO’s The Baby last year?
It was a lot of fun. It was a really interesting show and was really gripping, so to kick off the series and be in the opening sequences was really great. It was a brilliantly written show with a very talented crew.
In 2021, you joined the cast of EastEnders as regular character Aaron Monroe, was there anything that drew you to the character and what did you enjoy about playing him?
I would say the delicate storyline is what drew me to the part. I always said that if I got asked to do EastEnders I would want it to be a challenging character and it most certainly was. Some days were very difficult with the nature of the storyline but I’m proud to have played my part in the storyline and help raise awareness, even if I my character was the antagonist.
What was it like being part of EastEnders and working on your storyline?
It’s the biggest cliché in the business but the cast and crew really are one big family. I was welcomed in so quickly and I had so much support from every department with the storyline. I honestly loved working on that show. Such a great place to work.
Can you tell us about filming as Steve Jones in the Urban Myths episode – The Sex Pistols Vs. Bill Grundy?
Incredible! We had such a talented cast including Daniel Mays, Steve Pemberton and Kayvan Novak. It was great to play a real person and recreate a real scene. I had to do a lot of research and that was brilliant as well.
What are some of your favourite highlights from playing Robbie Roscoe in Hollyoaks over the years?
I was lucky enough to do a lot of stunts. They were always a treat. Terrifying but a treat. Free falling from a great height, drowning in rapids, getting stuck in a storm drain, car chases, quad bike crashes. They were always highlights.
How was it working alongside the rest of the Hollyoaks cast and is there anything you miss most about filming the series?
The people. They were just the best. I’m still very close with many of the cast and I treasure all of them.
What do you remember from working on the TV series School of Comedy at the start of your career?
Not too much as I was only 13! But filming the cabbie sketch was brilliant. I don’t think I will ever do another show where I have to talk so much and talk so quickly. I would have to do six to eight of them sketches in one day so to do that so young was a good lesson in learning lines.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
I always loved performing, no matter what it was doing. But in school I lived in the drama department, I just loved being creative and pretending to be someone else. It was an escape from reality. Nothing else was as exciting. I don’t know what I would do without it.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
To be honest, I don’t watch too much TV unless something really hooks me. If I get absorbed into the world then I’m hooked and I’ll binge. I try to spend a lot of my spare time socialising and seeing people combined with a lot of golf! When you’re filming, it’s so full on and you don’t have any time to yourself so in between jobs I make the most of it.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
Yes, there is some exciting stuff happening this year but I am not allowed to reveal anything just yet. Fingers crossed for even more memories though.
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