Interview: Adina Porter on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’

Adina Porter Photoshoot 2018ADINA PORTER is the definition of a late bloomer. For the past 30 years, she has gradually built her presence on television screens, year-by-year grabbing guest appearances on a full-array of shows – ‘Law & Order’‘ER’‘The Vampire Diaries’ & ‘Glee’. Just looking at her filmography over the past few decades clearly presents Porter as an actress capable of dramatic versatility. After landing recurring roles in ‘True Blood’ and ‘The Newsroom’, the spotlight had finally landed on Porter to give a leading performance almost 30 years in the making: inAmerican Horror Story’.

‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ (2016) was my first experience of Adina Porter’s acting. Her role in the first few episodes appeared to be relatively small, however this quickly grew as the season went on and by the final episode, Adina was center-stage. Her performance was met with acclaim, with many TV critics and fans suggesting that of all the cast, Adina was most likely to receive an Emmy nomination for her work on the season.

Now after completing her second full season on the Ryan Murphy anthology series, I speak with Adina as we reflect on the most recent season – ‘American Horror Story: Cult’.

AC: Many fans felt that you could have received an Emmy nomination last year for your work on ‘AHS: Roanoke’, which season has challenged you the most? 

ADINA PORTER: Thank you; that’s very kind of you to say. I guess ‘AHS: Cult’ was very challenging. In that Beverly Hope was a newscaster, there were many lines to memorize and recite. Newscasters, especially local news reporters have a very recognizable cadence. Those particular inflections and rhythmic patterns were important for me to reproduce. When Beverly became a bit of a ‘double agent,’ it was challenging to discover the precise amount to reveal to the audience.

For me, you stand-out scene was in Episode 9 – ‘Drink The Kool-Aid’, when your character Beverly breaks down after being tricked by Kai into thinking you were drinking poison. What was your favorite scene?

Thank you, once again. The meltdown scene in “Drink the Kool-Aid” was interesting. The ‘powers that be’ came down to set when that scene was shot, specifically to make sure I could bring the emotion. So I made sure to breakdown when the camera was on my face and on my back. I also enjoyed delivering the news report of Harrison’s dismembered body being found.

Once again, you’ve had another character that has survived the season. Despite the secrecy, are you given an idea as to how many episodes you will be involved in? 

It is complicated with ‘American Horror Story’, in a good way. As an actor, one is told, by an agent how many episodes are guaranteed. So you have an idea how many episodes for which you will be paid. With the AHS franchise, you have no idea what ‘twist and turns’ will subsequently transpire in the writers’ room. You have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen to your character or how long your character will survive. It’s never about the actor. To quote Shakespeare: “The play’s the thing.”

As has been the case in the past few years, American Horror Story has had predominately female episodic directors at the helm, who did you particularly enjoy being directed by?

Being directed by Angela Bassett is always a treat. Especially in Season 7, after getting to know her as a scene partner in Season 6, I was extremely comfortable. We even carpooled to a few locations; she has amazing stories.

If offered, would you direct an episode of the show?

Not yet. I don’t know enough about camera angles, lighting or editing to tackle that job…yet. I do know how to get a performance out of myself. Perhaps I’m also too selfish. The acting is just one piece of the puzzle. I’m still discovering that as I view the finished product and compare — what is on screen — to my memory of what we shot. Now I know what people mean by the expression: “It’s all about the editing.”

What other Ryan Murphy show would you be particularly keen to be a part of?

Who wouldn’t want to be part of one of his real crime stories? And to have the added challenge of portraying a real person about whom the audience already has a preconceived perception – I’d love that sort of challenge. By the way, I did work on Glee several years ago, which was a blast.

Who would you love to see join the cast next season?

Umm…myself! There is never a guarantee that Ryan Murphy is going to use an actor again. It has been an amazing ride working with the writers, producers, makeup artists, editors – the entire crew on American Horror Story – just the best. I would be thrilled to be invited back.

PHOTOGRAPHY: DIANA RAGLAND

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Mikolas Josef’s Café Chat in Prague

Mikolas Josef Photoshoot 2018The only Czech in history to be signed globally to RCA – Sony Music coming sixth at this years Eurovision Song Contest beating all the past acts from the Czech Republic. 22 years old, former street performer now announced one of the most inspirational people of 2018 by Forbes Magazine. Introducing MIKOLAS JOSEF.

What was your first touch with music?

Me, I come from a musical family. Started playing the guitar when I was 5 I think. My dad had the same dream like me. However my sister was born when he was 19 so he had to give up on that and had to go for a 9 to 5 job. Today he’s part of my management and we work together. He brought me to the first concerts. I remember mostly it was all folk music. Small village gigs you know no stadiums or anything but ever since seeing that I just knew what I want to do. I never had to make any decisions really. My mom plays the piano, my dad plays the guitar and the violin.

Speaking about folk roots – how is it that you found yourself in the pop scene?

We all have our musical background. For some people it’s gospel, for me it was folk. Perhaps it is because folk music has the biggest tradition here. If you look at the current Czech stuff on the radio, most of it is this pop – guitar – folk thing. There is always a guitar in there somewhere. (laughing) Otherwise it will have a hard time finding its way to the charts. I was into that kind of stuff too when I was younger but the truth is it‘s just the same thing repeating itself all over again for years and years now. Very few Spotify users here, rarely influenced by the world pop scene.

Mentioning Spotify – what are you listening to right now?

[Scrolling Spotify] So I’m really into Post Malone lately, just heard the new album from Shawn Mendes, the Vibras album from J Balvin. Also Cardi B, Drake, Kehlani of course! King Princess – 1950, I love the song! Kendrick Lamar, The Weekend. From Europe I’ve got Anne-Marie, Felix Jaehn… Yep, that’s my playlist right now.

Mikolas Josef Photoshoot 2018

“And that is what the people want. Realness. That’s what they are inspired by and so am I.”

You studied acting then you worked as a model but you still ended up in music. Acting wasn’t the right thing for you?

I love acting, no doubt about that. I just came back to it in a different way. When I’m in studio sessions, I am that type of guy who thinks really visually about music. I couldn’t have anyone else directing my music videos for me. I have to do it myself. I was directing for other artists too as it’s just something I love to do but nowadays I don’t do it that much anymore. I am still open to acting too. Should the right role come my way I would consider it for sure. I got into modelling when I was 17 and did it for about nine months. It wasn’t for me at all so I quit and never got back to it again. Apart from modelling I was doing a lot of jobs – I was cleaning offices for a long time, I was working as a construction worker. Modelling was a good lesson. Taught me how to say no, I got to see some parts of the world I haven’t seen before. A lot to be thankful for apart from the negative stuff.

Do you think that your way of making music will change? As we know you’re producing everything by yourself.

Honestly, I don’t think so. And I don’t even want it to change. Of course my team is getting bigger and with all the touring you rarely have the time to do every single thing by yourself but I still do the majority and set the direction. When I signed with Sony, the priority was that I keep on doing everything by myself, because we all think it works. Look at all the people like Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Shawn Mendes, Beyonce… The signature these people have is the reason they are where they are. If you get yourself 50 people to do it all for you, you are left with zero authenticity and character. And that is what the people want. Realness. That’s what they are inspired by and so am I.

How do you feel as the most successful Czech singer in Eurovision so far?

I went to Eurovision only because they allowed me to go with my own song. When they offered me the gig back in 2017 I said no as they insisted on some track I felt no relation to. This way, Eurovision was a great start for me, I’m happy about how it went and I’m happy especially how the people voted. I took it as an opportunity for me to grow and spread my music with the rest of the world.

Mikolas Josef Photoshoot 2018

Was there something that really surprised you while participating in the contest?

What really got me was how real it was behind the curtain. Of course you have people who have their whole team behind them only coming to the stage, being dressed in stuff they didn’t chose singing a song that means nothing to them but you would be surprised how many people were for real. I didn’t expect that at all.

You got injured during the rehearsals and nearly didn’t make it to the stage. How are you feeling now?

Thanks, it’s so much better now, I’m nearly back to 100 %, just had a therapist session yesterday. That accident really messed it up for me. Imagine that you’re preparing for a TV show for five months and suddenly in a matter of seconds it can be all over. It brought a lot of negativity and fear and it surely had an effect on the whole team. It took me about a week to be able to perform. I was still on painkillers back then but the overall support from everyone was amazing.

I heard you want to move to the US. Do you think you will leave Czech Republic for good then?

The plan is to move to LA but I don’t think I’ll be able to base myself anywhere because I’m always traveling. I feel like I have to expose myself to the people I get inspired by and leave the comfort zone a little. I think I would never write a song like “Lie to Me” if I didn’t go abroad. When I moved to Vienna and got into the international perception of music it really opened up new possibilities. That’s what I’m looking for the most and apart from that, LA is the place where all the industry people are. Maybe I won’t like it, maybe I will, I don’t know yet, but at the end of the summer I know I’m moving there for quite some time and until then it’s the European promo. Just got back from Germany now it’s the time to release the Spanish version of “Lie to Me”. Then I’ll be going to Madrid, Stockholm and then LA. A lot of traveling, but this is what I always wanted. I’m the happiest person alive right now, honestly.

And what about concerts?

I do gigs nearly every week now, but that’s only because there is so much studio work to be done. We are planning to do my first ever big gig in my hometown so let’s see how that goes. The plan with Sony is that I’m going to release my debut album within a year and of course after that I would like to do some touring. That’s the thing you always get excited about the most because after spending so much time in studio it’s always great to hit the road. Until then I’m playing festivals, some in Germany, Finland, Estonia, Spain…

Mikolas Josef Photoshoot 2018

“I think that as long as your music speaks to the people and it’s authentic, that’s the point where truly you make it. It’s not about selling out venues for 50,000 people. That comes only after getting it right.”

Busking was in some ways your start with music, quite similar to artists like Passenger, Ed Sheeran. Will you continue playing in the streets?

I started busking when I was 15 in the Prague subway and then I started to travel around Europe. When I busked in Hamburg I did it at a place where Passenger played. I think Spitalerstraße was the name of the street. That was probably the most magical busking gig that I ever did.

I always knew what I wanted to do but getting in front of people was the problem. I was in need of losing stage fright and of course I was trying to make some money on the side. That was the time when I quit modeling and I was like: „Okay, if I want to make money – I want to make it by music.“ My first trip to Norway was quite unsuccessful, it was raining, no people at all, I was really nervous, it was horrible. (laughing) And then on my way back from Norway I stopped at Hamburg and that was the breaking point. I learned that stage fright will always be there to some extent, it’s just something for you to use. Since then I stopped going to school, every Friday I got in the car and on Monday I changed the coins for paper money in the bank and went back home. I played in Switzerland a lot, of course Prague, got busted by the police in Vienna but the place I was always coming back to was Hamburg. I remain a big fan of street art.

What’s the best thing that happened to you while busking?

The best thing for me when it comes to busking is having been through it. When I now get on a real stage having your own dressing room not worrying about the police or the weather all time you are thankful for the things many still take for granted. And it does make a difference in the gig. The street magic is about coming to a place you’ve never been to, you start playing and after three songs you open your eyes and see the people around you. Sometimes people start dancing in the middle of the crowd, hand you a drink. Small things that really move you. You have amazing moments and you have crazy moments. But that is the street. If you don’t want that just go a different way.

What is the point of making it in music for you?

Being in the studio with Nikodem Milewski we always talk about getting Grammys but at the same time we both know that as long as your music speaks to the people and it’s authentic, that’s the point where truly you make it. It’s not about selling out venues for 50,000 people. That comes only after getting it right.

What can we expect from Mikolas Josef in the near future?

I will be releasing my next single towards the end of summer, maybe autumn. A lot of gigs too, including my own, we will be shooting a documentary, many studio sessions. Looking forward to it all!

PHOTOGRAPHY: EVA DANG

INTERVIEW: MATĚJ CHALUPA

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Interview: Ciara Charteris on ‘Mary Shelley’ & ‘Poldark’

Ciara CharterisCIARA CHARTERIS has been starring in one of this years most-talked about British dramas – ‘POLDARK’

Ciara will take on the key role of Harriet Shelley, first wife to Percy Shelley (played by Douglas Booth) in Haifaa Mansour’s ‘MARY SHELLEY’ – alongside Bel Powley, Elle Fanning and Tom Sturridge. The story is based on the love affair between a poet and a young Mary Shelley which led to her writing Frankenstein.

We talk to Ciara Charteris about her career beginnings, her role in ‘Poldark’ and what to expect from her new film ‘Mary Shelley’.

You trained at the Royal Welsh College, how much of an insight did that give you into the craft of acting?

It definitely helped me to understand the stamina you need to maintain the craft. Vocally, physically and mentally to keep yourself at optimum level for work at all times, whether you’re working, auditioning or resting.

When did you first realise that acting was your passion?

I’ve grown up in an industry filled family. I’m actually the 4th generation in my family to go into this business! It’s hard and it can unpredictable, so I’ve definitely seen first-hand all the reasons why not to, and in many ways I’m sure it would have been easier to have gone into something different. However my own love and passion for performing from a young age shone through; from training in dancing as a child, to singing, acting and making up my own shows (to the horror/delight of my fellow school friends and family!) Then I spent two summers with the National Youth Music Theatre and there was no going back.

Ciara Charteris

In just a few years you’ve starred in some of the most talked about dramas on British TV, how does it feel to have been a part of such great ensembles?

I just feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from so many amazing actors and talents.

Since College, would you say that a lot of your learning has continued with being on these sets?

Oh absolutely, you learn so much on the job, in fact I don’t think you ever stop! Every job, every set, every crew, and every cast is different, another amazing experience, another journey! It’s actually one of my favourite things about this world of work, you never stop learning and meeting new people. It’s a joy!

Everyone is talking about ‘Poldark’ right now – there must have been so much excitement filming this season with the success that the first had.

Yes it’s an incredible show to have been a part of! Once again I feel incredibly lucky! And the fact that it is so beloved by so many people just makes the chance to work on it even more exciting.

Ciara Charteris

Talk to us about your role – where do you fit into that story?

Emma is one of the love interests for Sam Carne, Demelza’s brother. She’s a very freewheeling feisty young woman, she goes for what she wants and at first she can seem like she’s around to stir up trouble, but she’s actually got a big heart and a lot of love for Sam.

‘Mary Shelley’ is both directed and written by women – in comparison to your other projects, do you think that there are enough women in these key slots? Is it improving?

I think we are definitely still part of a male driven industry, especially on the sets themselves. But that said, the work that is being done, and the power of the incredible movements currently at work throughout the industry by women is an amazing thing to watch, and be a part of. It was an amazing experience to work with Haifaa al Mansour, the powerhouse female director of Mary Shelley, alongside the incredible female leads, Elle Fanning and Bel Powley. It was a wonderful and empowering set to be on and an inspiring female story I feel incredibly grateful to be even a small part in telling. I hope to be a part of and see similar projects and sets like these in the future!

Tell us about your role in the film, I can imagine there being some research involved for your part – how much did you do?

I play Harriet Shelley, Percy Shelley’s first wife. Her story in itself is rather tragic, but I don’t want to spoilt anything! I did quite a lot of research mostly to be prepared for the role but also because I found the story just so interesting! Crazily enough when I was auditioning for the role and doing research I found out that Harriet actually went to school around the corner from where I live now! Spooky!

Ciara Charteris

‘Mary Shelley’ has a great cast – who did you particularly enjoy working with on-set?

It was an amazing experience to get to work alongside many of the incredible cast members! But to share the screen and have my scenes with Elle was pretty awesome, she’s a wonderful person and actress.

Of all the people you’ve starred alongside over these past few years – who have you learnt the most from?

I learnt so much from Alfred Molina on my first job, Close To The Enemy. I had never been on a set before and I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing! Most of my scenes were with him as I played his niece, and he was so lovely and really helped me get to grips with everything and learn the tricks! He was an incredible actor and person to learn from and work alongside.

Is there one thing that you’re the most excited about for the future?

Part of this job is finding the excitement in not knowing what’s to come in the future! So who knows! But it’s definitely exciting!

PHOTOGRAPHY: MONTANA LOWERY

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Carlos Miranda – From Uber Driver to Hollywood Actor

Carlos Miranda Photoshoot 2018

CARLOS MIRANDA was born and raised in San Francisco and is of Nicaraguan descent. In 2017, while driving for Uber to make ends meet, he was able to complete a short film he wrote, produced, and directed called ‘End Trip’. In the midst of finishing post-production on his short film, he landed a co-starring role opposite screen legends William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd in the upcoming indie feature, Senior Moment.

Carlos can currently be seen in ‘Vida’ – a Starz drama series about two Mexican-American siblings from East Los Angeles.

We talk to Carlos about his journey to Hollywood and the role he plays in ‘Vida’.

Tell us about how you ended up in Hollywood? Was it always the dream?

Yeah since I was eleven years old, it’s been the dream.

When did you first realise that you wanted to be an actor?

Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’. I remember seeing the trailer for it and in the trailer, there’s a clip of Leonardo DiCaprio falling to his knees in the middle of a desert and scream “Juliet!”. That specific moment I remember gave me a whole bunch of intense feelings in my gut, like a crazy knot or butterflies when going up a roller coaster, in a cool way though. I wanted to make people feel the way I felt when I saw that.

Is it true that you made your first short film whilst being a driver for Uber? What was it about?

Yes, I did. Well, considering my resources – meaning I had none – I ended up writing something that took place in my actual car at the time. So it’s about a rideshare service driver and a particular ride that goes awry.

Carlos Miranda Photoshoot 2018

How did your role in ‘Vida’ come about? How does your character fit into the story?

I was on location in Chicago working, when I received a self-tape audition for “Johnny” in ‘Vida’. He is a good hearted guy from the neighborhood that our story takes place, East Side LA, and he has a history with one of the Hernandez sisters, Lyn, which causes a little bit a of drama. I taped myself in my room – according to Tanya she actually almost passed on me because the lighting in my tape was bad! Fortunately, the casting director, convinced her to take another look. I sent in my tape on a Sunday. I stayed in Chicago another week. The following Monday – back in LA – I got called in for an actual in-person audition, and that was the beginning of an insane week ahead!

Carlos Miranda Photoshoot 2018

You’re about to star alongside William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd in ‘Senior Moment’. What was it like working alongside two iconic actors?

That was one the coolest experiences I’ve had. William Shatner was real cool. He wrapped shooting a couple days before me and the next day I worked, after he left, I showed up to basecamp but couldn’t find my trailer. I thought I got moved to a honey wagon but to my surprise, Bill left me his own trailer to use.

Carlos Miranda Photoshoot 2018

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH CARLOS MIRANDA

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

I don’t know. I’m kinda picky so I won’t eat stuff I think is weird!

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Mostly rap. Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ is on current rotation right now.

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

You have to sign an NDA before I reveal any potential app ideas I have!

A sport you wish you could play?

Basketball

Can you think of a funny story from your time as a Uber Driver?

I picked up Kehlani one time. I got a request and saw that the person I was going to pick up’s name was ‘Tsunami’. My first thought was “would that be Kehlani?” and sure enough it was. She wasn’t as huge as she’s become now, at that time, she was just nominated for her first Grammy, but I knew who she was. I’m from the Bay so I was already rocking with her shit. I was a little starstruck though. But she was dope as fuck.

Do you have a philosophy?

A broken clock is always right twice a day. Just kidding, I don’t know.

One thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

I just really excited to be going back to work on such a remarkable show. ‘Vida’ season two – soon come!

Carlos Miranda Photoshoot 2018

PHOTOGRAPHY: MYNXII WHITE @ OPUS REPS

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

STYLING: MAR PEIDRO

GROOMING: FRANKIE PAYNE

STYLING ASSISTANT: TOM HAUTH

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Interview: Mark Gatiss – The Prolific Character Reinventor

Mark Gatiss Photoshoot 2018

MARK GATISS has revived and reinvented some of the most beloved fictional characters of screen and literature.

Growing up opposite a Edwardian psychiatric hospital, it’s easy to see how Mark’s imagination as a fictional writer could have found inspiration – whilst being a ‘Doctor Who’ fan, watching Hammer Horror films and reading Sherlock Holmes novels.

Mark is gearing up to do four weeks of rehearsals for what will be a new ‘The League Of Gentlemen’ Tour.

The BAFTA-winning black comedy originally ran from 1999 – 2002 on BBC Two, and returned to television last Christmas with three specials to celebrate 20 years since the act began. The tour will see Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Jeremy Dyson and Mark bring their dark and unhinged fictional village of Royston Vasey to theatres and arenas across the country – in what will be their first live tour in over a decade.

AC: How did this upcoming tour for ‘The League Of Gentlemen’ manifest itself?

MARK GATISS: We met up about two and half years ago and had dinner with a view to doing something again and we agreed at the time to do some accompanying dates. I think we imagined we’d do them closer to the specials but things change.  But it’s going to be one big dollop of fun!

You’ve spoken in the past of not enjoying weeks of rehearsal – how many weeks have you spent rehearsing this?

We start this week for essentially four weeks. It’s not a greatest hits show – there’s some new stuff but a lot of old favourites too so we need to get reacquainted with some of our old material. We’ve always directed our live shows ourselves.  I don’t think it will be too arduous putting it all together.

Has the dynamic between you as a group changed over these years?

Not a bit – it’s lovely and extraordinary really and as with all great friendships you just pick up where you left off.  We have such a shorthand way of talking to each other just based on years of experience together and everything just naturally falls back into place.  It’s really like no time at all has passed – except it has!

In his writing, Mark has tackled the reinventions of some of the most beloved fictional characters of screen and literature. In 2005, Gatiss began penning scripts alongside Russell T. Davies for the primetime revival of ‘Doctor Who’ – a role which he’d continue in for well over a decade, writing for four iterations of the Time Lord.

As Steven Moffat began his tenure as showrunner of ‘Doctor Who’ in 2010, the two writers also started developing a modern realisation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The series would become both a critical and commercial success, catapulting its two leads (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) to major Hollywood roles, whilst Gatiss and Moffat enjoyed many award seasons of recognition for their work.

Most recently, his latest reinvention of a fictional character – developed again alongside Moffat – is the iconic blood-thirsty villain from Transylvania – Count Dracula. Similar to the format of ‘Sherlock’ – the upcoming series will consist of three 90-minute episodes – although unlike the detective drama, it won’t be set in modern times.

Mark Gatiss Photoshoot 2018

How far are you into writing ‘Dracula’?

We are quite a long way in and I’m very excited about it. Steven and I went away for an intensive week on the first two episodes and we are going away again soon to work on episode three and then we’ll be shooting next year. 

Have you thought about whether there’s a role for you as an actor in that story?

I have thought about nothing else [laughs] – but I don’t know if there is yet. We’ll have to see.

You’ve worked with Steven Moffat on range of projects now, what makes him a great writing collaborator? 

He’s one of the greatest, I think. He has an amazing mind and imagination. He’s also really fun and great to be around. If he’s stuck he rings me up, if I’m stuck I ring him up. He always brings something new to the table and he has ways of seeing around corners I think.  

You can see from Mark’s filmography – particularly in recent years – that he manages to split his time acting and writing fairly evenly. Whilst being a multi-hyphenate in various projects – Mark has also had recurring acting roles in other major shows like ‘Game Of Thrones’ and ‘Wolf Hall’.

At this point, do you see yourself as a Actor and a Writer, or a Writer and an Actor?

I’m both. Equally!

Later in the year, Gatiss will be seen in a supporting role in Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’ (Ewan McGregor), as well as in ‘The Favourite’ (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone) – a film which is already generating plenty of award-season buzz.

Do you have a particular writing process?

I don’t have a process – but of course I tend to do my best stuff when I’m in the ‘zone’.  If things are working out I can sit at the computer from dawn till dusk and get more done in one good day than I could over three weeks of doing an hour here or an hour there.  But you never know, I was on a plane the other day and maybe it was being in a cut off environment in the dark but I got loads done because I had a good idea which I was able to follow through as the flight passed. I didn’t even watch a film!

Mark Gatiss Photoshoot 2018

What has been the most taxing script you’ve written to date?

Easily – ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’ for series two of ‘Sherlock’.  I called it ‘the bitch’ not ‘the hound’.  Two problems – it’s the most famous one therefore you feel an obligation to do certain bits of the book which you probably wouldn’t feel obligated to do with a less familiar Sherlock Holmes story.  Secondly, Sherlock is not in half of the book and Conan Doyle did that because he knew that if Sherlock Holmes turned up he would say “Ok, who’s got the biggest dog?” and solve the case in five minutes.  You can’t do that because you need to keep the suspense going however we decided we weren’t going to do that trick – you can’t have Sherlock without Sherlock and that became a big problem.  It was essentially how to delay Sherlock from solving the case – that was a very tricky script to write.

With his usual quick wit and charm, Gatiss took part in a Q&A session at the renowned Oxford Union last year. Whilst being met with many questions by a packed hall of Whovians and Sherlockians – Mark also took some time to talk about his feelings on the state of the world. I was keen to see if he could pinpoint the stem of this anxiety.

You’ve spoken over the past year or so about being genuinely terrified by the state of the world. Can you pinpoint the stem of that?

For me it’s people not learning the lessons of history – and here we are again in the same shithole.

Is there one particular thing in the near future that you’re excited about?

Survival!

PHOTOGRAPHY: EIVIND HANSEN

INTERVIEW & STORY: ADAM CROOKES

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