Rizzle Kicks (opens in new tab) star Jordan Stephens, 22, has his first acting role in E4’s dark new drama, Glue (opens in new tab) (Premieres Monday, September 15), where the murder of a 14-year-old boy sends shockwaves through a pretty English village…
Describe the drama in own words...
“It’s Midsomer Murders without the old people. In my mind, it’s like a still lake and someone chucks a big rock in and then it just ripples out. I think it’s really exciting. I feel I’m like the exact demographic, I’d fit the audience that would watch this kind of show so I’m super-excited. Sometimes I feel I’m outside of myself a little bit! Watching TV series is my proper passion, so being in one is incredible.”
It centres around a group of teenagers, so are there parallels with Skins and Misfits?
“Just in the age of the main cast. The plotline, definitely not. When you see a murder mystery set in a village, it’s normally older people and it’s almost like that generation have had children and they’ve had children and nobody has spoken to those children and a lot of s**t goes down in those villages and everyone gets away with it because it’s very quiet. You can see why we are how we are because of the older generation.”
It sounds pretty dark, with drugs and murder…
“Yeah, but it very much maintains that level of just enough light to not get completely consumed by a noiresque plot. I and two other characters definitely supply the comic relief at certain points but, ultimately, it’s a really dark show about the differences between the gypsy community and village community. The murder victim, Cal, is a gypsy.”
What’s your character, Rob, like?
“His parents are very rich and have supplied him with material love which has created a dual personality. One that’s like a soldier in that he’s had to grow up without care and affection, and one that hasn’t really grown up because he hasn’t been given that care and affection. So he ends up latching onto his girlfriend, Tina, who’s like his whole family, his whole life, and he’s got that rich kid syndrome in that he does a lot of drugs and he’s a bit reckless and lost. Tina’s like the guiding light in his life.
"The whole series is a real having to grow up and wake up and mature… that’s the ripple he get hits by. There are some really deep scenes and music definitely evokes emotion so I’ve been listening to stuff to get into the zone. I’ve made a Glue playlist!”
What’s Rob’s reaction to the murder?
“The connection that the victim has is more to a few of the other characters. He’s got a strong bond with a few others and I’m a bit outside of it. If anything, I’m a bit of therapy for the other ones.”
So how did you get into acting?
“I have no idea! I think I was a wild card, a shot in the dark. I remember going to the first audition and I thinking I really, really want this role. So I was over the moon to get it. The experience is interesting because I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m natural in front of the camera, but there’s a lot of emotion, a lot of serious scenes.”
Have you acted before?
“No, never! Actually, tell a lie, when I was 10 I got down to the last five to play Will Smith’s son in a film.”
Did you get any acting advice?
“The guy who plays my best friend, James, Billy Howell, he’s taught me techniques like making a physical manifestation of emotions and he’s brilliant at it. I still haven’t really watched myself as it freaks me out.”
Do you think it’s important to branch out from music?
“Yeah, completely. I always liked the idea of writing something, but being part of something I’d watch blows my mind.”
How does Harley [the other half of Rizzle Kicks] feel about you being in this?
“I had to say sorry to Harley because he actually is an actor. He was happy I got the role and was very supportive, but also quite jealous! I definitely owe him a pint. He could probably do a better job than me!”
Is it true you’re moving to the country for real?
“Firstly I’d say no, but actually the more time I’ve spent around horses and pigs has made me really, really want to come out to the countryside. Horses are the most therapeutic animal because they’re so calm and so huge. These things were on the forefront of war, but they’re so gentle and they don’t hurt you unless you maybe walk behind them.”
There are rumours that people can’t give you caffeine because you’re already too crazy…
“Who, me? That was my own choice! I don’t drink coffee because I have ups and downs. I have ADHD and sugar and caffeine makes me go nuts, so I try to level it out so I’m not too much of a nightmare for everyone.”
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