For Dexter Sol Ansell’s most recently aired project, he played Buster in the feature film Christmas on Mistletoe Farm, which was directed by Debbie Isitt and released on Netflix in November 2022. At the age of four, Dexter booked his first screen role as Lucas Taylor in Emmerdale, joining the cast in 2019 before leaving the show in 2021, and last year, he played David Saunders in the Sky series The Midwich Cuckoos. Dexter has filmed for the upcoming releases of Here, Those Who Remain and Channel 4’s Hullraisers, and it has recently been announced that he will be playing Young Coriolanus Snow in the hugely-anticipated The Hunger Games prequel – The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Recently, Dexter answered our questions about playing Buster in feature film Christmas on Mistletoe Farm, filming for Emmerdale and The Midwich Cuckoos and his upcoming projects.
Most recently, you were seen as Buster in the Netflix film Christmas on Mistletoe Farm, how would you describe your character and what was he like to play?
Buster was fun, excitable and cheeky. He was really fun to play and I loved that role.
How was it working on a Netflix Christmas film and what was it like on set?
It was so much fun and it was such a privilege to be part of this huge Christmas film. The atmosphere on set was electric, we spent so much time together, we became one big family.
What did you enjoy most about being part of the cast?
I had four siblings in the cast and we lived in a hotel for six weeks. They have all become my closest friends. The animals we had to work with were amazing and it was so wonderful to be so close to them, getting to pick them up and pet them. The director Debbie Isitt was so brilliant to work with and I am honoured to have been part of it.
What was it like attending the screening event and how did you feel watching Christmas on Mistletoe Farm for the first time?
I was amazed and shocked when I first saw the movie – it was hilariously funny and so colourful. Seeing it come together on the big screen was a magical moment.
You have filmed as Young Coriolanus Snow in the upcoming film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, how did you feel finding out you’d booked the role and what are you looking forward to for the release of the film?
I was blown away and I couldn’t believe it – it was the last role I thought I would get. I never thought I would book such an iconic role especially as I had my recall whilst in the park in London!! I can’t wait to watch it (if I’m allowed!).
How was your time filming as David Saunders in The Midwich Cuckoos?
Being David Saunders was challenging and scary but I loved it. The crew and cast were all wonderful especially as I had so many difficult scenes. Wearing contact lenses and fake blood became second nature by the end of the shoot!
What was it like working with the cast of The Midwich Cuckoos and how was it getting into character?
The cast were all so kind and friendly. Becoming David was challenging but so enjoyable.
What are some of your favourite memories from playing Lucas Taylor in Emmerdale?
So many, where do I start!! I think my ultimate favourite scene was when Lisa Riley (Mandy Dingle) hid in a dustbin covered in mouldy banana skins and jumped out at me. It was just brilliant.
Close second is when Lucas found a gun in his mum’s house and started waving it around at everyone – that was like a mini James Bond moment! Working with my on-screen mum Olivia Bromley was very special and I will always miss her.
How was it having Lucas as your first screen role and what was Emmerdale like to be part of?
Being Lucas Taylor was a great education in screen acting – it taught me so much about learning scripts, blocking, retakes, camera angles, delivery… and Olivia, who played my mum, was so kind and generous, she really helped me to develop as an actor.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I have always wanted to act for as long as I can remember so when this opportunity came up to audition for Emmerdale I jumped at the chance. I was four years old at the time and my grandma took me to ITV. I had learnt a three-page script which my mum had taught me word for word because I couldn’t read yet. I did the audition and they phoned my mum 30 minutes after I left to say I’d got the job!!! That’s the quickest casting I’ve ever had!
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch?
Ghostbusters is my ultimate favourite movie and one day I would love to be in a remake. I’m also watching Stranger Things with my mum but she keeps fast forwarding the scary bits!
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
Having fun with my family, going on adventures, fishing, and playing with my friends.
Is there anything you can say about your upcoming films Those Who Remain and Here?
Here is going to be epic!! That’s all I can say, apart from it was directed by the legendary Bob Zemeckis, who directed Back to the Future, one of my other favourite movies. What an honour it was to work with him!
Those Who Remain is going to be super scary… Get your tissues ready!
Do you have any other projects coming up and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
Yes, I have just finished filming a Channel 4 comedy called Hullraisers, which was great fun and I have a few things in the pipeline.
I’m hoping that the rest of 2023 brings something exciting!!
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