George Sampson: 'I get to trash the school!'
George Sampson talks about his Waterloo Road finale (BBC1, Weds), and reveals what's next... Kyle's been a memorable character, have you enjoyed playing him? "I've absolutely loved it. Kyle's very different from me. At school I was a very good boy and got my head down a lot. I always wondered what it would be like to be a bad boy and I got to discover that from Waterloo Road. They say 'action' and I get to trash the school. It's been wicked and I've had the best time!" This week Kyle orders Tariq to shoot rival gang member Finn with a crossbow he bought online. What can you tell us about this shocking storyline? "Kyle has had enough! He's been banned from school again and again, and he's got this idea that he's going to go all out to finish off one of his enemies for good!" How do they get the crossbow into school? "Security at the school is pretty tight, with metal detectors, but Kyle is very cunning and he sneaks the crossbow on to the back of Ronan's catering van." We discover Kyle's homeless this week. He's a very troubled character... "Kyle's got a heart underneath, you just don't see it any more. He is a caring person with feelings, but people forget that because of how bad he has become." Why has he targeted Finn? "Kyle and Finn have never liked each other. They've had numerous occasions where they’ve gone for each other and this is the big finish between them both! The fans love the rivalry between them and Jack McMullen and I loved filming it. He's one of my best friends." Did that make filming more difficult or more fun? "It was hard trying to be angry at someone you like so much. But we knew we had to hate each other on screen so we got on with it!" Does Kyle have a sort of power over Tariq? "He does. Tariq is a great character and Naveed Choudhry plays him really well. Tariq is big hearted and very family orientated. He's not really into all the gang stuff, but he's someone who goes with the flow whether he wants to or not. Kyle's got a big impact on him and Tariq would never confront him." What does Kyle do when Tariq gets cold feet and hides the crossbow? "Tariq is very scared of Kyle. He wants to show that he's in with big boys, but he hasn't the heart to go through with it. Kyle sneaks into the school and finds the crossbow. Then he slyly sneaks backstage at the end of year prom and goes for his shot..." What's next for you after Waterloo Road? "At the moment I’m in Manchester filming Mount Pleasant for Sky1. I am here till July and I love it. I play a character called Gary. He's a 15-year-old schoolboy who loves his football. He's a big Man City fan, which is a pain for me as I'm a United fan! I had to wear a City shirt and it was horrible!" So you're suffering for your art? "This is the biggest sacrifice I've ever made in any acting job! I'm really enjoying playing Gary, he's very different to Kyle. He also has some big storylines coming up."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.