In the ITVX autobiographical scripted comedy series Changing Ends, based on Alan Carr’s life in the 1980s, Taylor Fay plays Gary Carr, Alan’s younger brother. Taylor filmed alongside his on-screen family Oliver Savell (as Young Alan Carr), Shaun Dooley (as Graham Carr) and Nancy Sullivan (as Christine Carr), and he reunited with some of the cast for the show’s screening in May. Further roles for Taylor have seen him play regular character Sam Yeats in Last Light, which is released in the UK on Amazon Prime, and he joined Series 2 of Shadow and Bone as Alby Rollins for Netflix. We spoke to Taylor about playing Gary Carr in Changing Ends, his regular character Sam Yeats in Last Light and being on set of Shadow and Bone.
How did you feel finding out you’d booked the role Gary Carr in Changing Ends and was there anything that drew you to the show?
I was excited to meet Alan (Carr) and it was good to book the role because it was my first job in England. It was also my first time filming with other kids so I was excited to do that as well.
What was it like filming for an autobiographical series based on Alan Carr’s life and how was it playing his younger brother?
It was just like being in a normal family but with cameras and you know what’s going to happen. I liked playing Gary because he has some things that are like me in real life, like he is good at playing football like me. I liked him always trying to be like his dad as well because my mum said me and my brother Jayden do that as well and try to be like our big brothers and our dad.
How was it meeting Alan Carr and working alongside your on-screen family played by Oliver Savell, Shaun Dooley and Nancy Sullivan?
I liked meeting Alan because he was funny and nice and sometimes on set he would give me extra things to say because Gary doesn’t talk much and mostly follows (young) Alan and copies off him. It was good working with Nancy because she was really friendly and kind to me. Shaun is so funny and he was like my friend on set and I was so happy to see him again at the screening. I loved working with Ollie because he is so nice and funny and it was the best because we got to stay in the hotel together and he was my best friend on set and then our mums are making sure we get to see each other off set too. So it’s really good.
Why would you recommend watching Changing Ends and who do you think it will appeal to?
I think it would appeal to most audiences apart from maybe some of the people it was based on. It’s such a funny show. We were laughing a lot when we were filming it.
You reunited with some of the cast for the screening in May, what was the event like to attend?
It was good to see our hard work on screen that we did over the six weeks. We almost didn’t make it because we had just landed back from LA a few hours before but I am so glad we did because I took my big brother with me too and we got to see everyone again. Derek is one of the drivers and he is so much fun so I loved seeing him again, and Kaz and Dave. They are the best. And all the kids got popcorn and loads of fizzy drinks, and Matthew (Stagg) brought chocolate too, and we all sat together and I was proud of everyone and proud of myself.
In the TV series Last Light, you play regular character Sam Yeats, can you tell us about the show and how would you describe your character?
The show is action-packed with lots of drama. There’s sadness and happiness. My character is good because he is very smart and he knows lots of facts like me. Did you know the oldest professional football player in the Netherlands football league is 64 years old?
What was Sam like to play and did you have a favourite scene to film?
I loved playing Sam, it was my first job and we moved to Prague for a few months to film it. There were so many fun scenes, like driving the car and riding horses, and some stunts we did, but my favourite was filming my birthday scene. We had to eat lots of cake and it was a night shoot so I got to stay up until 4am.
Dennie Gordon was my director and I really love her because she was so kind and nice and I miss her.
The show has recently been released in the United Kingdom on Amazon Prime, how does it feel having the show streamed worldwide?
I am really proud because it did so well and so many countries got to see it. I am really happy that it’s streaming worldwide because it’s such a good show and I love that everyone gets to watch it now. We watched the first two episodes at the world premiere in Monte Carlo, which was so exciting and got such a great reaction and everyone was coming up to me telling me it was amazing, and I even got to meet the Prince and Princess and sign lots of autographs. I had so much fun.
Can you tell us about your character Alby Rollins in Shadow and Bone and how was it joining the cast for Series 2?
Alby is funny and very cheeky, just like me. He is a mischievous little child. I like Alby because I think everyone might have expected him to be a bit mean like his dad (Pekka Rollins, played by Dean Lennox Kelly) but they got a nice surprise with Alby. It was a lot of fun and the cast and crew made me feel so welcome. On my first day on set, Jack Wolfe (plays Wylan) and Kit Young (plays Jesper) were really nice to me and it made it really easy to just go on set. Jack said it’s like we’re family because where he comes from in real life is close to where I live.
What was it like on set of Shadow and Bone and how was your time filming your episodes?
The food was nice. The people were really nice and I loved getting the cut on my leg and on the last day of filming I didn’t wash it off and flew home with it on and tricked my family! I got to meet Flynn Edwards too, who plays Young Kaz, and he was really nice. I only wished that I would have got to film for longer and I really hope they need Alby again in any future seasons because I would love to go back. The fan reaction was crazy. And my family was really surprised because Alby only has a few scenes in two episodes so I think the Shadow and Bone fans have got to be some of the best fans in the world.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
Well, I can’t really remember but my mum said my sister posted a video of me doing an impression and that’s where my agent Carol Wilson (LSI Talent) found me and so my mum signed me up with her and that was it. She always helps me do my best for all my auditions and always makes sure I am happy and looks after me.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch?
My favourite is Cobra Kai and I want to be on that show one day. I’ve watched it about 20 times. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is so good and I also like all the Rambos and Rockys. And the original The Karate Kid.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I love playing football with my brothers and sister. I love playing with my dogs and I do Thai boxing with my sister too and I go on my Xbox.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
I do have something coming up but it’s a secret. Also, me and Ollie are doing something fun soon too so I can’t wait for that. And I’ve also signed with Domina Holbeck at A3 Artists Agency in LA so I am currently auditioning for a few exciting things. I really hope we get to do a Season 2 of Changing Ends because I miss everyone. And I just really, really, really want to be on Cobra Kai or go to the set.
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