OnTheBox interviews: Blake Harrison


I haven’t really seen much of the ‘Inbetweeners,’ and up until very recently had not seen any of ‘The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’ but after a catch up I was ready to do some “chatâ€? with star Blake Harrison. There was some teething problems and I was all set to moan about bloody celebrities etc. but when I did eventually get hold of him, Mr Harrison turned out to be a thoroughly interesting and decent chap.

The ‘Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’ proved to be really off the wall farcical, I’m excited to think where it will go from the end of Series 1, so what can we expect from Series 2?

It just gets weirder and weirder. My character, David, is developed a lot more. At the end of the first series where I come up out of a huge mansion; that is really played out in this series. We find out that he has two sides to him. That was a lot of fun to play and quite challenging. We also get a lot more cameos, for instance Jon Hamm (Don Draper of Mad Men fame) is going to be seen quite a bit in a recurring role.

David Cross has such a big reputation in the comedy world, that in the States that he can ask really quite big stars to come and do a quick turn in a low budget thing, just so they can do something with him; which really gives you an indication of how well he is thought of in the comedy industry.

Were you intimidated by the level of talent in the programme?

Do you know what, I made a mistake in series one…I don’t really keep up with who or what is big or popular that much but once I was cast I thought I better watch Arrested Development. Which was a huge mistake because once I got onto set I had become a huge fan of Will Arnett and David Cross and became really nervous. This was a really bad place to be, especially when the character I am playing is higher status than those played by David and Will.

For the second series though, when I found out I was going to be working with Jon Hamm purposefully avoided Mad Men, which I had heard so much about, as I didn’t want to have that same situation.

Your character David is interesting as he also “actsâ€?, when he is masquerading as Dave. I am interested do you play it as David playing Dave or do you just play Dave?

It is David playing Dave. Every now and again you will see David coming through a bit when he is Dave ever so slightly. But, for most of the time the best way I think for an actor to play it is to almost play them as two different characters.

I feel that as David does this kind of thing all the time he is himself a really good actor, so it is not a one off thing he is trying to do, it is something he is very accomplished at.

Has working with likes of Cross, Arnett, Hamm and Spike Jonze opened any Hollywood shaped doors for you?

LAUGHS. Absolutely not. It was really fun working with them but we come in do the job and then they go back and do their thing and I go back and do my thing. I didn’t even see that much of them, I worked relatively closely with David but scenes with Spike, and Will were bit more of a rarity as they had their own storylines going on.

I have a few actor friends and they have said that when they graduate, actors are often told, based on appearance what kind of roles they will play: the good guy, the bad guy etc. What kind of roles were you expected to play?

I did play…god…I sound like such a wa…I was told that my “face castingâ€? which is your obvious casting is “Intelligent ladâ€? and obviously that’s not what I’ve been playing; in fact it’s the complete opposite.

You must do a lot of interviews, is there any question you really don’t like being asked?

No, not at all. I am always being asked about the second ‘Inbetweeners’ movie and I feel really bad as unfortunately for over a year and a half, or however long it’s been there has been no developments and I have had nothing to add to what I have said before.

It’s all up in the air…The only development is that now we know that the writers have been working on ideas but that in itself is not much. There is no contract, no deal done and we haven’t seen a script. So, I actually feel bad for you guys as you keep asking “Is there going to be another movie?â€?

What have you got coming up in the pipe line?

Well I’m hoping for second series on ‘Way to Go’ and ‘Big Bad World’ but what I really want is to get back into theatre and of course trying to play characters that are not idiots and more along the idea of that “intelligent lad.â€?

I feel so lucky and honoured to be working; being told your job is to learn these lines and come up with a character…well it’s a lovely job to have and I just want to work and save my pennies in case it all comes tumbling down

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Season 2 starts Tuesday at 10.30pm on FOX.

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