Having previously auditioned for Series 1 of CBBC’s Silverpoint, Charlie Banks has since joined the show as new regular character Kai in Series 2, which was released last month. For his first on-screen regular role, Charlie played Tammo von Vamalia in Heirs of the Night throughout all episodes, playing the younger brother of lead character Alisa (played by Anastasia Martin). Further work for Charlie has seen him play Gordon in the short film The Strange Child, and appear in Tracy Ullman’s Show. We chatted to Charlie about joining Series 2 of CBBC’s Silverpoint as Kai, being in the cast of Heirs of the Night and playing Gordon in the short film The Strange Child.
You have joined the cast of CBBC’s Silverpoint for their second series, how much did you know about the show before auditioning and how was it meeting the cast for the first time?
I knew a fair bit about the show when I joined the cast because I had done a little bit of research and I had watched the first series because the first series had already been released by the time I joined the cast. I had actually been in the audition process for the first series for another character but unfortunately COVID disrupted that! Joining the cast for the first time was nerve-racking! But also very exciting at the same time, of course. I got to know the cast and crew very quickly and our friendships developed and all of that was incredibly exciting and my nervousness soon disappeared.
Can you tell us about your character Kai and what is he like to play?
He was a very exciting character to play because I felt like he was very relatable in terms of the way in which he’s always trying to do the right thing for his team, and always tried to impress the group leader Jay. It is interesting as essentially he is always looking for validation and approval from Jay – and I think there are a lot of people looking for validation and approval. So in that sense, he was very interesting to play.
How was it reading the scripts and did you have a favourite scene to film?
My favourite scene I filmed would be something very difficult to decide, but all of the scenes we filmed in the fairground, which was our group’s “base camp” were the most exciting scenes for me to film because of the location. But all of the sets in Silverpoint were really great to work on, as it is a science fiction show and the BBC has done a really great job with the sets.
What is it like on set of the series and what did you enjoy most about filming the show?
Being on the set of the series was one of the best experiences of my life, and I absolutely loved being on the show. Not just because I was on the set, but because of all of the people I met on the show and because of all of the friendships that have arisen from that experience. We were all living together for eight weeks in Ireland last summer and we all had such a great time and formed such a bond together.
Why would you recommend watching Silverpoint and who do you think it will appeal to?
I think it will appeal to anyone between the age of six and 15 really, because all of the themes in that show are themes quite strongly linked with themes that all teenagers have to go through, despite there also being this great sci-fi adventure context to the show.
In the CBBC series Heirs of the Night, you play Tammo von Vamalia across all episodes, what are some of your favourite memories from working on the series?
One of my favourite memories was playing the good and evil version of myself – then in the final edit it was done so both versions of the character were talking face to face to each other. I was young (I started filming it when I was 11) and that was probably the most challenging thing I had had to do – but that was really exciting to do and it was something I felt good about afterwards as I felt it went really well.
Do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role and how was it having Tammo as your first on-screen regular character?
I was over the moon! But I was also anxious because I’d never been on a set before. I’d never worked with a director or other actors really, especially not in something so big for a long period of time. I also had to be away from home filming in Europe for many weeks – very exciting times but also a lot of it was a new experience for me!
How would you describe Tammo and what was it like working alongside the rest of the cast?
Working alongside the rest of the cast was an incredible experience because, much like the cast in Silverpoint, they became very good friends of mine and I am still in contact with many of them today.
In terms of Tammo, I would say that he is a very innocent character. He is the younger brother of the main character and he’s always wanting to join her on her missions and her adventures, but at the same time, he’s far too young to understand the severity of the situations she gets herself into!
Can you tell us about the short film The Strange Child, in which you played Gordon, and what was it like to be part of?
The Strange Child was a very exciting short film to be part of because of the nature of the script. I’d never done something that had any elements of the horror genre before. The directors were also really going for a sinister, creepy atmosphere and that was a new experience for me on set. As for Gordon, it was great playing him because he was such an awful bully! He could be really cruel and mean, and I felt I could really bring out a dark side in the part. I was really pleased to be able to do something darker, after Heirs and Silverpoint were both more innocent, nicer characters!
We understand you previously filmed for Tracey Ullman’s Show for the BBC for your first role, how was this?
I was very young back then (about nine) and I remember it was all so alien to me on the day… but also great fun and a great learning experience, of course. And it was so exciting! I mean, I was just a young kid filming on a TV set. I can’t really imagine something more exciting for a kid to do than that!
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I’ve always really enjoyed acting in school plays and I have for as long as I can remember been fascinated by acting and the art of acting. How I got into acting was my mum sent me for an open audition for a film called Goodbye Christopher Robin when I was about eight years old, and I got quite far in the auditioning process. From that, I subsequently applied to some talent agencies and I was lucky enough to be chosen by A&J Artists – and from that, lots of exciting auditions and opportunities opened up over the following years.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch?
My favourite TV show is probably (currently!) True Detective and my favourite film is probably The Big Lebowski.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I spend my free time playing the drums and singing in a local band with my close friends and I love listening to music and watching films. I really enjoy learning about the history of films and moviemaking as well.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
I’m just hoping I keep getting more and more opportunities to audition for parts really. It’s great fun self-taping and going through the audition process for such a broad variety of films and TV shows, it is all great experience to test yourself as a young actor and keep improving all the time.