In the April release of the Disney film Peter Pan & Wendy, Joshua Pickering plays the role of John Darling alongside a cast including Alexander Molony (as Peter Pan), Ever Anderson (as Wendy Darling) and Jude Law (as Captain Hook), which saw him attend the film’s world premiere event in London. Joshua’s first recurring role on screen was in 2021, when he played Jack Blackfriars in Series 2 of A Discovery of Witches, and he has filmed for the future release of TV comedy series Safe Space. As a stage actor, Joshua was set to head out on tour with To Kill a Mockingbird as Dill, however, the show was cancelled late into rehearsals before its opening night. We chatted to Joshua about playing John Darling in Peter Pan & Wendy, attending the Disney film premiere and his recurring role of Jack Blackfriars in A Discovery of Witches.
How did you feel finding out you’d booked the role of John Darling in the new Disney film Peter Pan & Wendy and was there anything that drew you to the character?
I was extremely thrilled when I found out I had booked the role as John Darling in Peter Pan & Wendy as it’s one of the most loved stories of all time, although I felt a lot of pressure to portray John in the right way, I share many characteristics with him, so I had a good idea of how I wanted to play him.
What was John Darling like to play, and how was it working alongside the rest of the cast?
Playing John alongside the rest of the cast has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I have learnt so much and have so many amazing memories from it that I hold very dear to me.
What did you enjoy most about working on a Disney film and being involved with a new screen adaptation of Peter Pan?
The most enjoyable part of working on this film was the amazing people I have been able to work with and I feel extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to be a small part in telling one of the most famous stories for the last 100 years.
How did you find the experience attending the film premiere and how was it watching the completed film for the first time?
The premiere was fantastic, truly a dream come true, and being able to watch such a magical film after such a long time was a crazy and brilliant moment that I will never forget.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time on set of Peter Pan & Wendy?
Some of my favourite memories from the making of this film was walking onto the incredible sets for the first time and seeing the world we were creating. I think we all felt so immersed in Neverland because of the sets, which really translates onto screen and brings the film to life.
We understand you play Young Michael in the upcoming Sky comedy Safe Space, is there anything you can tell us about this and what are you looking forward to most for the release?
I haven’t heard anything of the series since I filmed in October 2020 so cannot give too much information of it, however, I am much looking forward to when they hopefully release it as I would love to see the result.
In Series 2 of A Discovery of Witches, you play Jack Blackfriars, what was the show like to be part of?
The show was amazing to be a part of, especially for my first TV role. I loved working with Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer, and being taken back in time to Elizabethan London was unreal. I am very proud to have been a part of such an incredible series.
How was it having Jack as your first recurring role in a TV series, and do you have any stand-out highlights from filming?
I was so lucky to have played the role I played in the show as I got to work with a wide range of people over the eight episodes I was in. I really enjoyed filming the goodbye scene, which is a stand-out memory for me from the filming of the show as it was a sad, emotive and lovely scene to film.
You were set to play Dill in the UK Tour of To Kill a Mockingbird before it unfortunately got cancelled late into rehearsals, what do you think the show would have been like to perform in?
The show was going to be incredible and I am still so disappointed it will never be seen as its such an important and beautiful story. However, I learnt a lot from the experience and will forever treasure the time I had being a part of it.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
I was always acting from about the age of three, I would get up and instead of putting on normal clothes, I would put on a costume and act as the character I was wearing for the entire day. I decided I wanted it to be my career, however, about the age of five when I watched Pirates of the Caribbean, and then the next day saw my mum watching Edward Scissorhands, and she told me it was the same actor playing Edward and Jack and I couldn’t get my head around it. That was when I decided I wanted to be an actor.
Have you been given any advice over your career so far that has stuck with you?
Since starting acting, I was told by my family to never take myself too seriously and to make the most of the experiences I have been given because you only live once. This has stuck with me as I think they are important values to have.
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
Watching films is probably my favourite thing to do, but if I had a top three, it would have to be Pirates of the Caribbean, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. My top three TV shows would be After Life, Derek and Peaky Blinders, and my favourite theatre shows are Les Misérables, School of Rock and Jersey Boys, but I would love to see Hamilton too.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
When I’m not acting, I’m mostly spending time with family and friends and doing school. I also love playing guitar in my spare time and, of course, watching films.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for your career?
Something I love about the industry is that you never know what’s around the corner and I can’t wait to see what my next project will be, I hope this year brings great experiences, challenges and memories.
Follow Joshua on: