Interview: Clifford Samuel on ‘A Guide To The Homesick’ & ‘McMafia’

CLIFFORD SAMUEL is currently starring in ‘A Guide To The Homesick’ alongside Douglas Booth at Trafalgar Studios – a tender and bittersweet play from writer Ken Urban about conscience and connection. Two strangers, consumed by their own secrets, find each other in a hotel room in Amsterdam.

Earlier in the year, Clifford was also seen in BBC crime drama ‘McMafia’, a series which was met with wide acclaim. Since graduating from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Clifford has been part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, making his debut in ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘The Two Gentlemen Of Verona’ in Stratford-upon-Avon before touring the United States with the plays.

Clifford Samuel

AC: What can you tell us about your character in ‘A Guide To The Homesick’?

CLIFFORD SAMUELS: I play the character Teddy, he’s a very self assured, good-humoured person. Born and raised in Harlem, NYC, and works in finance. He is on holiday visiting Amsterdam. He finds himself confined in the small sanctuary of a hotel room on a very cold and rainy night in Amsterdam with a stranger called Jeremy. They slowly discover and reveal to each other their hidden secrets they’ve been harbouring personally and they both delve into the complexities individually.

How is Amsterdam created on stage?

Amsterdam is created via Ken Urban’s writing stating that it’s set in a hotel room, and because the story takes place in January, it rains incessantly. We have to navigate around this cozy and shabby hotel room along with a brilliantly subtle soundscape and lighting shifts portraying the interior of the hotel, other places mentioned in the story and the exterior atmosphere of Amsterdam.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Got to brush my teeth before every performance. Love the taste of minty freshness!

What does Trafalgar Studios bring to the production as a venue?

Trafalgar Studios space has been designed for an audience to immediately feel the intimacy of a production. The venue has been designed and this production is well suited for this venue. It has been staged so authentically, you should feel like you’re in the same setting and experiencing the journey both the characters goes through.

Earlier this year, you starred in BBC One’s ‘McMafia’ – were you surprised by the buzz around the series?

We were hoping viewers would take a keen interest as the story’s subject matter is very current and relatable globally. A very good script doesn’t always transpose the same onto film as imagined. But with ‘McMafia’ the script was so brilliantly constructed so we were all very excited to be filming this thrilling script. We were relieved that all our efforts paid off from the incredible amount of positive responses we received.

Aside from your upcoming stage role, what’s one thing you’re excited about for the future?

I am looking forward to continuing with challenging myself by performing in more intelligently written stories and characters in the near future.

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Anjli Mohindra on ‘Dark Heart’ & ‘Bodyguard’

ANJLI MOHINDRA has recently starred in the BBC smash-hit thriller ‘Bodyguard’, with a pivotal role at the center of the series which gripped British audiences to the edge of their seats. The show (written by the creator of ‘Line Of Duty’) has since become the most-watched UK drama in a decade, positioning Anjli as a rising star.

After landing her first major TV role a decade ago in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ (CBBC), Anjli has had supporting roles in several television dramas including ‘Cucumber’ (Channel 4), ‘Paranoid’ (Netflix), ‘The Boy with The Topknot’ (BBC Two) and ‘Bancroft’ (ITV).

Anjli is about to star alongside Tom Riley in ITV crime drama ‘Dark Heart’. Alongside this, she will lead the cast with award-winning actor Simon Callow, of BBC Four’s forthcoming ghost story ‘The Dead Room’ – written and directed by Mark Gatiss.

We caught up with Anjli Mohindra to talk about her recent roles as an actress.

AC: Let’s talk about ‘Bodyguard’ – what a twist! Going into it, how much did you know about your character?

ANJLI MOHINDRA: I knew there was a twist – and was told there was more ‘more to her than meets the eye’. I guessed she might be complicit in some way but what I did know from the scripts I had was that some internal police parties were at the heart of it all too.

What do you look for in a script?

A challenge! A layered character who feels three-dimensional and whose intentions aren’t immediately obvious. Or really beautiful and intricate characters who go on an adventure. If I feel a little bit intimidated by the research and preparation involved in bringing the character to life then I know it’s going to stretch me in some way!


You’re also starring in ITV’s ‘Dark Heart’ – what can you tell us about the show?

‘Dark Heart’ follows the journey of Detective Will Wagstaffe as he gets to the bottom of a series of grueling murders happening in London. He’s incredible at his job but he’s really consumed by the mysterious deaths of his own parents when he was a child, and so the three strong women in his life; his partner in (fighting!) crime, his on/off girlfriend and his sister, prop him up in ways he can’t even see, and enable him to fight not only the demons of London, but the ones in his own heart too.

How does your character fit into the story?

I’m his second in command – Detective Josie Chancellor!


Can you tell us about your role in ‘The Dead Room’?

I play Tara Lohia, an ambitious and no-nonsense radio director who wants to crack on with the recording an audiobook to meet a very tight deadline, but much to her annoyance the main actor of the radio drama – Aubrey Judd (played by Simon Callow) is playing up and revelling in his own world and causing havoc. But all is not quite as it seems…

What was it like being directed by Mark Gatiss?

Oh an absolute dream! He’s a wonderful human being and so brilliant at what he does. And I’m a big fan of ‘Sherlock’, so yes it was a real pinch-me moment.

Next year, you have a guest role in DC Comics’ ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’ – is this your first role for American television?

Yes. And I loved every single minute! I don’t want to give too much away but I play a trouble-making true-punk from the sixties and had a Mo Hawk, serious Doc Martens and fishnets.

What kind of stories do you find yourself attracted to?

I’ve never really thought about that! I guess I’m most attracted to stories that bring the unexpected. I also love stories where a character goes on a voyage of discovery and learns things about themselves they never knew existed, because I think it reflects a bit of all of us, in life, as we continue to grow and evolve.

Catch Anjli Mohindra in ‘Dark Heart’, starting October 31 on ITV

PHOTOGRAPHY: MONTANA LOWERY

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

STYLING: HOLLY OUNSTEAD

MAKEUP: ADELE SANDERSON (FRANK AGENCY)

HAIR: STEFAN BERTIN (FRANK AGENCY)

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What’s On Your Playlist, You Me At Six?

YOU ME AT SIX are back with their new album ‘VI’ – a record that switches moods and styles with breathless confidence, from devastatingly defiant rock to joyously uplifting pop. It all but drips with melodies and moods. ‘VI’ is the kind of record a band makes when they are in love with all the possibilities of music. You Me At Six needed something unbelievable to happen with ‘VI’, because by their own admission it didn’t happen with their last album, ‘Night People’, released in February 2017. ‘VI’ has already generated hits in ‘Back Again’, ‘3AM’ and ‘IOU’ – with each track standing its own, partly through the way in which they contrast eachother. Read the full interview here.

YOU ME AT SIX’S SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

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You Me At Six’s new album ‘VI’ is out now via Underdog Records – youmeatsix.co.uk. Their sold out UK headline tour begins this November at the following dates – youmeatsix.co.uk/#tour

PHOTOGRAPHY: JORDAN CURTIS HUGHES

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