OTB Interview: Tom & Benny from Wizards vs Aliens

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I don’t who you are or what you get up to when no one is looking. I’m not one to judge but you should definitely stop at once! Society is just not ready for that level of crazy just yet.

Me, I watch kids TV, usually just the cartoons… Young Justice, Ben 10 and I are very disappointed the new Thunder Cats series didn’t get picked up for a second series.

But I also have become partial to a bit of Wizards vs. Aliens; Russell T Davies’ follow up to the Sarah Jane Adventures.

It’s a rip roaring fire cracker of a show that follows ordinary teenager Tom Clarke (Scott Haran) as he battles the extra-terrestrial Nekross in their nefarious scheme to consume magic. He is aided in his quest by his big-brained chum Benny Sherwood (Percelle Ascott)

So I was very pleased when I was asked to have a chat to the two young actors about the show and their dreams for the future.

OTB- Roles in a new Russell T Davies production must have been highly sort after, how do you think you got the parts?

PERCELLE – I heard about the programme back in January and I was very keen to do it. Luckily my agency were behind me and were able to sort out an audition. There were lots of other actors going for it, so I thought hard about how I could stand out. One of the scenes for the auditions involved my character, Benny using a keyboard, so instead of pretending I took a real one along with me as a prop. I don’t know if it worked but I got the role.

SCOTT – I did a few scenes with the Producers and Directors who seemed to like me and then I had to audition with the different actors trying out for Percy’s role. I felt a connection with Percy immediately and I thought we wouldn’t even need a script because if the way we were able to bounce of each other the way we did. It just worked.

And when I was asked who I wanted to work with or liked. It had to be Percy

OTB – So really Percy owes his whole success to you?

SCOTT – Haha, yes you could say that…no, no I am joking

OTB – In light of the success of Davies’s other work, did you expect Wizards vs. Aliens to be so popular?

PERCELLE – Well I knew that it would be big because of the success of the Sarah Jane Adventures. That and the scenes I had read and auditioned with seemed so fresh that I knew it would be popular. But I tried to supress my expectations and just focus on the work.

SCOTT – Yes absolutely, how could it not be? I knew I was in good hands and I loved the scripts and really felt that it would be huge!

OTB- Mr Davies must be a very busy man these days, do you ever get a chance to see him or discuss how are you are doing?

PERCELLE – No, no he is so busy but he does call us when he has seen the rushes for scenes and will let us know if we’ve done a good job. His compliments can really give you a boost and help you to improve day-by-day

OTB- How similar are you to Tom and Benny in real life?

SCOTT – Yeah I would say we are. Tom is into sports and girls, which I am too. I am bit older but I can see a lot of Tom’s reactions to things would be the same as mine when I was 16

OTB- I mentioned to Scott at this point his popularity with the young ladies of the internet, my cheeky observation is met with the appropriate answer…nervous laughter and silence. Percy quickly steps in.

PERCELLE – Benny and I are not exactly the same but I would say that we share fascination. Benny’s passion for science is incredible and I feel the same about literature, reading and writing and have done since I was young. I have been involved with a web series Mandem On The Wall, which I write and act in (which has been picked by E4 for development he offers excitedly)

OTB- There is a new series on the horizon, what kind of things would you like to see happen and developed?

PERCELLE – It’s early days yet but there is a planet, the Magical World which I really hope is explored. It’s been mentioned in the show already but I really want it to be expanded on as I would love to see what goes on there

SCOTT – I really want Benny to get a girlfriend, a little She Benny who is exactly the same as him with the same glasses and geekiness, I think it would be really interesting to see how his character reacts to that sort of stuff…and it would just be really funny. Also, I agree with Percy, the Magical World has so much potential and exciting possibilities.

OTB- With Don Gilet and Jefferson Hall both EastEnders alumni, have you thought about going into soaps?

PERCELLE – I wouldn’t rule anything out at all but I am still young. One of my inspirations growing up was Will Smith, he’s so charismatic and talented. I would love to do what he has done, follow the path he went down and make films eventually. Noel Clark is amazing as well: he acts, writes and directs which is exactly what I want to do, and he is from the UK as well

SCOTT – Pretty much the same I really want to continue acting and learning what I can, and hopefully I can continue on to films and build a career as an actor. I wouldn’t say no to EastEnders but it’s not my focus at the moment. I want be challenged and develop and as I said work more in movies.

And with that, the interview is over. There is a bit of a muddle as I chat to their agent on the phone for a moment and she asks me to sign some DVDs which I thought was strange (though I did say yes) until I realised she thought I was Percelle.

I was very impressed with the two young actors who gave me much more thoughtful and mature answers than I would have done at their age and I wish them the best of luck in the future.

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