Susan Wokoma

What was the last thing or object you found that you kept?
I found a little teddy bear in Brockwell Park the other week and I was premenstrual and it was very cute and it had been a long day so I took it home, gave it a nice hot bath and now he lives in a drawer.  

What is the last film you saw that you consequently classified as a classic?
Probably I, Daniel Blake – me and many other cinema goers at my screening were inconsolable during the end credits. A woman came over and gave me a hug it was that guttural a reaction. It perfectly captures a very current injustice of class. And nothing seems to be changing.

What do you often buy too much of? 
Mochas. They’re just a grown up hot chocolate and I find them very comforting.

Acting notwithstanding, what have you always (or usually) found easy to remember or learn?
Late ’90s/ early 2000 pop dance moves. Steps, Britney, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync. The moment I hear one of their tracks, my body starts doing the choreography, involuntarily. My older sister used to run dance drills for the rest of us on Saturday mornings in our living room, and now they’re a part of my DNA. I’ve accepted my fate.

What is the worst meal you’ve ever ordered? 
When I was in Romania with my ex and his parents, we went to a Dracula themed restaurant for tourist giggles and it was the most peculiar place. All the dishes had full on names like ‘DEVIL’S CHICKEN’ but it was just half a chicken wing doused in petrol which they set alight and just left you to it, flames a-go-go. It was a stressful and hilarious dining experience.

What is your favourite party or celebration movie scene?
When Muriel and Rhonda do the big F You ‘Waterloo’ dance routine in Muriel’s Wedding – my idea of geeky heaven.

What is an activity you love but feel “too old” for?
Tinder. Wouldn’t say I loved it though… I actually use the phrase “I completed Tinder”.

One of your latest projects, Porters, delves into the lives of employees at a contemporary hospital. What other “regular job” would you like to see get a similarly in-depth perspective? 
Cleaners. My mother was a cleaner my entire life and her longest stint was at a probabation centre and at Mi5. I was only small when she started there but my imagination used to run riot with all the crazy things I imagined she was probably getting up to during her night shifts. The reality was she was probably just cleaning dusty toilets.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Susan Wokoma can be seen in Labour of Love, on now until 2 December 2017 at the Noel Coward Theatre, London (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Hair & Makeup: Helen Asher

Oliver Coopersmith

Who is your favourite public figure to watch interviews of? 
There’s loads, I’m a sucker for The Graham Norton Show. I haven’t missed an episode in years.

What part of your family history did you find interesting or surprising to learn?
My dad had to stop for petrol when my mum was in labour with my brother. It didn’t go down well.

Would you rather give advice to yourself 10 years ago or receive advice from yourself 10 years in the future?
Receive advice from myself 10 years in the future. Although I’m sure that person would say the same thing.

What was at one point one of your favourite films that you now enjoy the least?
When I was 13 I was obsessed with a film called Stormbreakerwhere a teenager is chosen by MI6 to be a secret agent. I was hoping it was based on true events but it turns out that doesn’t happen… does it?

If you could only bring one book with you to work for the next year, what do you bring?
A dictionary: people in this industry use words I don’t understand.

Who have you learned the most about film and acting from?
I can’t narrow it down to one person. I learn the most from other actors, watching them, working with them and talking to them.

What living person would you like the chance to talk to again?
My agent.

What is your most uninteresting interest?
Watching England play football.

Tin Star, your newest project revolves around a small town murder. This is a recurring theme in film and literature that parallels/ juxtaposes the stories set in urban cities. Where do you perceive the greater fear, in the isolated tension of the rural or the manic chaos of urban living? 
I don’t think locations are scary, I think people are. In Tin Star there’s a sense that crime shouldn’t exist somewhere naturally beautiful and peaceful and it doesn’t really until people come and shatter it. God, that’s a tragic metaphor.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Oliver Coopersmith can be seen now in Tin Star, on SKY Atlantic (UK) and Amazon Prime (US).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Grooming: Helen Asher

Sophie Rundle

(L) Jumpsuit by TEMPERLEY. (R) Top by TOPSHOP.

Is there anything you’ve been happy or nonplussed to lose or miss out on?
I did one of those 1 week intensive driving courses and didn’t pass my test. In hindsight I think its a good thing, I was nowhere near ready. I shouldn’t be allowed in charge of a moving vehicle.

If you could commission any painter in sculptor in history for a project, who would you pick and what would you have them render?
I’d love to have my portrait done like those great oil paintings of formidable looking women that hang in National Trust properties. I’d like to be a dreamy John Singer Sargent or a kooky Modigliani.

What seemingly small gesture reveals a lot about a person?
How a person treats waiters, it says everything.

What are you surprised that you can still remember from your time playing a character?
I played a character with photographic memory about five years ago. I can still remember the chunk of text I was supposedly recalling. “Oberleutnent von Diederich, 7th January, reassignment…” etc etc. I was just out of drama school and terrified of getting it wrong so I drilled it over and over and over. Sadly, I’m not that well prepared anymore.

Blazer by TEMPERLEY. Jeans by BALLY.

What was the last choice you made that felt important at the time?
Whether or not to go to a very trendy, impressive party. I agonised about whether or not to go, in the end I don’t think anyone noticed I wasn’t there. I stayed in watching Grand Designs instead and had a lovely evening.

What is your least favorite aspect or element of being an actor?
I didn’t get into acting because I thought I was a suitable fashion model so I find the photo shoots and the desperate squeezing into expensive dresses a bit awkward. It’s also hard being away from your loved ones. Deep, gut wrenching home sickness is a killer.

Excluding the span of your life, which decade do you think you’ve watched the most films from?
I watch endless big shiny technicolour movies from the 1950s. Everyone is so beautiful and they’re likely to break into song at any moment which I find deeply pleasing. If I see the letters MGM on the cover, I’m in. No questions asked.

You’ve been a series regular on Peaky Blinders since 2013 – do you find it difficult taking hiatuses from a character? Do you have a routine or practice for getting back into the context of the show’s world?
I work quite visually so I have endless mood boards for every character. If I’m returning to something, I scroll through those and it all comes flooding back. Then I’ll start adding more, often things I’d been subconsciously storing up since the last time I was filming. My mood boards for Ada have been added to and tweaked for five years now, both Ada and I have been through a lot so it’s interesting to look back over them and see the changes.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Sophie Rundle can be seen now in Jamestown on Sky 1 (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
Makeup: Adele Sanderson

Poppy Corby-Tuech

Top by BALLY.

What’s your favorite film character entrance or introduction of all time?
The goat is gone, the glass of water is shaking, the kids are panicking, Jeff Goldblum is being Jeff Goldblum and the idiotic lawyer p**s off to the bathroom (“When you gotta go you gotta go”), only to be devoured moments later – trousers around his ankles – by the glorious T-Rex. What an entrance. In fact, that toilet scene in Jurassic Park inspired me to write a song when I was ten called Man on the Bog; a tragic retelling of this story as seen from the T-Rex’s eyes. I’m sure a cassette recording exists somewhere amongst Bungay Middle School’s music department although I’d dread to hear how it’s stood the test of time.

If you had to ask advice from someone you didn’t know, whom would you pick?

What’s the first story (true or fictitious, written or performed or told) that you remember being entranced by?
I watched the 1975 film Picnic At Hanging Rock when I was about 12 years old. It had such a profound effect on me, it spooked me and engrossed me equally. It was the ambiguity of it all paired with that brilliantly ominous soundtrack.

What scene from a TV show or movie always makes you hungry?
TV doesn’t make me hungry but it does make me thirsty. Coffee, whisky and cocktails have had their fair share of cinematic moments. It’s usually black coffee drunk by frazzled detectives who are having a breakthrough on a murder case at 3am all alone in their run down office or whisky in beautiful tumblers sipped by baddies as they broker some kind of dodgy deal in a dimly lit yet tasteful art deco room or Tom Cruise reciting barman poetry in Cocktail… that does it for me.

(R) Top and trousers by KEJI DENIM.

If aliens exist and visit the Earth, which film should we screen for them?
I’d invite them to watch the entire Planet Earth boxset to show them the best of what we’ve got. And then I’d ask them if I could join then on a ride in their spaceship.

One of your newest projects, Harlots, is set in an 18th century brothel – has the role altered or augmented the way you perceive ‘the worlds oldest profession’?
Absolutely. It’s given me a whole load of context, context that really resonates when our current society owes this particular time and profession so much. I think our show portrays sex work in a very human way despite the fact that the industry was/ is so often inhumane and completely ignored. What’s been so interesting to me is really how little has changed since 1763. True, our hair was higher and our skirts were wider then but the politics are almost the same. There’s a huge amount of empathy to be had from Harlots; historically, fictionally, past and present.

What should everyone try?
Retaining eye contact with actual people, not phones, when walking along the pavement.

What is the ideal way to start and end a day?
Thinking about what kind of breakfast you’re going to eat. Ideally I also like to end the day by thinking about what kind of breakfast I’m going to eat the next day.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Poppy Corby-Tuech can be seen now in Harlots on Hulu (US) and ITV Encore (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
Makeup: Adele Sanderson

Anders Hayward


What was the most interesting location you filmed at for Gap Year?
It’s hard to pick just one place, because everywhere we shot was different, but I really did love Kathmandu. It was just a completely bonkers place with everything happening at a million miles per hour. Buildings being rebuilt, motorbikes and cars everywhere. Also just the people were so lovely and positive. It really felt like a properly old place filled with a lot of history.

Jacket by NOOSE & MONKEY. Jumper by PAUL & JOE.

Out of your favorite films, which do you think would be the best and worst choice to screen for a date?
One of my favourite films is Dead Man’s Shoes by Shane Meadows and as incredible as it is, its definitely a film you have to be mentally prepared for. It was the first film I cried at and it just makes me sad every time I watch it. I don’t think the old yawn, arm round trick would work during that film.

What do you wish never got dirty or worn down through time?
I have a few pairs of shoes that I wish could last me an eternity that are looking a little battered at the moment, but I refuse to give them up.

Is it harder to tell a white lie that you then have to keep up on an ongoing basis or to tell someone a blunt and uncomfortable truth?
I am a terrible liar, which is probably for the best because I feel my brain would probably explode through guilt. Even though the truth can be hard sometimes I just feel that honesty is the best policy.

What did (or do) you find the most difficult act or exercise to practice?
I have and probably will always be a disorganised wreck of a human. I just never seem to be able to retain any important information, but oh of course the most useless and banal facts are stuck to my brain like barnacles. (Slugs have 4 noses.)

What’s the best or most memorable insult you’ve heard?
I’ll have to take this one from Monty Python, but it was “your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries”.

Jumper by SELECTED HOMME. Jeans by LEVI’S.

You can only eat food starting with the first letter of your first name or your last name, which letter/ food do you select?
I think I’m going with H because ham and haddock are things that I could probably live off.

What is a question that you don’t want to know the answer to?
When will the day come when I finally feel old. (Shivers)

If you had to listen to any (3 minute minimum) song 10,000 times in a row while awake, which song would you pick? Let’s say your auditory sacrifice would remedy world hunger and poverty!
I would definitely try to not go too sad and depressing. I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty is a fantastic song that just has everything you need for all listening occasions.

What seemingly benign film, book, or concept scared or unsettled you?
I remember watching Black Swan for the first time thinking it would be a chick flick. Oh how I was very wrong indeed. I was not prepared for it at all.

What was something that you found was way harder than it looked and something way easier than it looked?
Skateboarding was insanely harder than people make it out to be. I look at people do things on skateboards like it’s nothing, but I can barely push on the bloody thing. However I would say that I find myself most surprised in the kitchen. Things that look like it can only be created by magicians and people in tall white hats, but if you just stick to a recipe usually it works out just fine.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Anders Hayward can be seen in Gap Year, now online on E4 On Demand (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Indigo Goss
Grooming: Lillie Russo