Samuel Barnett

Suit jacket & trousers by ACNE. Roll neck by JOHN SMEDLEY.

In the theme of your new series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – since everyone will be asking you about the mysteries you’ve solved – what is a historically significant or famed mystery that you find completely uninteresting… or, likely possesses the least intriguing solution?
An enduring mystery lies around Shakespeare. Did he really write all of those plays…?!?!
Yep. He did. Mystery solved.

What moment in your life did you feel the most like a tourist?
I visited the giant bronze Buddha at a monastery on Lantau island. All the monks there were silent and dressed in their orange robes and I was there with a bunch of people, all of us in our shorts and flip flops, baseball caps, cameras out snapping away. Every day the monks provided free food for every single person who visited. The juxtaposition of peace and capitalism felt extreme.

Suit jacket by ACNE. Roll neck by JOHN SMEDLEY.

If you had to pick a character/ scene from a film to do a reading from, what would you pick? In the same vein of a singer covering a song.
Toni Collette has a brilliant speech in The Hours where everything you think she is gets turned upside down as she completely cracks open whilst trying to hold it together. I’d like a go at that. It’s a superb blend of acting and writing.

What is your proudest moment as an actor that wasn’t onscreen or onstage?
It was being at the Tony Awards in 2014, nominated for Best Actor. I was surrounded by friends and sitting next to my partner and I knew I wasn’t going to win so there was no pressure and I was just happy to be there. I also felt in some way validated as I had been nominated before in the supporting actor category so it felt like it wasn’t a fluke the first time around because it was happening again!

What do you love or enjoy more than the majority of people you’ve met?
The mannequin challenge. Ridiculous, right? But I find it fascinating. More than most people I’ve met. I don’t know why it thrills me so much. I keep watching them online.

What is your favorite film poster of all time?
Trainspotting. Because it has THAT speech on it.

What is the last bad habit that you’ve ridden from your life, or, what is the last good habit you’ve integrated into it?
The last good habit that I’ve integrated is meditation. Everyday. Whether I want to or not.

What is a piece of technology or innovation that blew your mind?
I still find it unreal that we can fly. I get it technically. But it still freaks me out.

Who was one of the most challenging but rewarding performers you’ve acted alongside?
I’m not gonna name names, but I’ve worked with a few challenging performers, all of them challenging for different reasons, and I’ve learned something invaluable from every encounter, either directly from the person in the form of a skill, or something about myself as a person and as an actor. It’s interesting what happens when challenges come up. I’ve learned to step up. Challenging performers are often brilliant, so the choice is either to try to come up to their level or get lost in the background.

(L) Top by FENDI. Trousers by J CREW. (R) Jumper by J CREW.

Was there a specific period of your life where you felt that you made the most artistic/ creative progress?
Actually it’s in the last 6 years since I did a play called The Whisky Taster. I followed that with a one-man show, two female Shakespeare roles, Penny Dreadful and now Dirk Gently. All these roles have been very different from one another, challenging in their own ways and requiring something new from me each time, sometimes difficult and immensely rewarding. I’ve been so lucky to get to play a variety of roles and I’ve learned something new from each one because each one has been a challenge, particularly the one-man show and the Shakespeare which I had never tackled before. It has felt like a creatively rich few years and I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love.

What’s a (probably) great film that you haven’t watched, book you haven’t read, play you haven’t seen?
The Godfather, To Kill A Mockingbird, Top Girls.

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

Samuel Barnett can be seen in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, available now on Netflix (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Christopher Preston
Grooming: Oliver Daw

Ruth Bradley

(L) Dress by ROSETTA GETTY. (R) Dress & skirt by CARVEN.

You’ve recently appeared in Humans, the highly acclaimed television series depicting a contemporary world with sophisticated android (Synth) servants. If in real life robots took over, how would you make yourself useful to our automated overlords?
I would write some poetry. The ramblings of a lesser being might be amusing to them considering they wouldn’t have much else use for us. Scary prospect.

Where is your favorite place or type of place to people-watch?
Coffee shops all over London.

What science fiction film did you find the most ‘realistic’ either in terms of the basic concept or the depiction of its ideas?
Her. Similarly to Humans, it felt based in a tangible reality and the themes of love; What is love? Is love defined by consciousness? Who is anybody to judge one persons love for another? are universally relevant. Joaquin Phoenix was so subtle and heartbreaking, as always.

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent waiting for something?
I spent 14 hours overnight one freezing January waiting for a connecting flight in Atlanta airport. There was a blizzard outside and the door was broken, letting snow in. I put on every piece of clothing I had in my carry on (which wasn’t much) to keep warm. At one point I considered taking a blanket out of a bin. We had to keep an eye on updates every 15 minutes so as not to miss the flight. A cold freezing night.

What is something you recently did for the first time and/ or what is something you did for the last time?
I recently judged a window competition, first time for everything. A few weeks ago I had a party where I made everyone espresso martinis. I ignored the measures after a while so between the coffee and vodka nobody slept too well and everyone had very sore heads the next day. I’ll never ignore measures again.

Coat by ISABEL MARANT.

What is the longest amount of time you’ve spent traveling between from one place to another?
I walked from the south of France to western Spain. On foot it took about 22 days.

What’s a film you didn’t understand or downright disliked upon first viewing and is now a favorite?
I didn’t understand David Lynch’s Lost Highway when I first saw it but it is a favourite. I still don’t think I understand. I feel that way about most of his films. I don’t know that they’re meant to be understood, maybe they’re designed to move. They always do and they are amazing.

What’s something you said or thought you would never do that you ended up doing?
Karaoke. I thought I’d be too embarrassed but the right group of friends in the right private booth and it’s hard to beat.

What was the first television show you would never miss an episode of?
Band of Gold. It was re-run when I was a kid and I was definitely too young to watch it but I wouldn’t miss it. A lot of it went over my head but I remember being disturbed, fascinated and utterly mesmerised by Samantha Morton.

Where is your current ‘go-to’ place to read scripts for the first time? 
These days it’s on the move, on tubes, on trains, in transit. It’s actually a great way to gauge my interest in a script. If you miss your stop or completely forget where you are, you know you’ve fallen in love.

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

Ruth Bradley can be seen now in season 2 of Humans on Channel 4 (UK) and season 3 of The Fall on Netflix (US).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Yusuke Morioka using Bumble and bumble
Makeup: Nicola Moores-Brittin

Fady Elsayed

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Jumper & trousers by NEIL BARRETT.

How do you distract yourself when you are procrastinating a task or chore of some kind?
There are too many distractions! Music, Playstation, going to the gym, reading and sleeping being a few examples.

What part of aspect/ event of modern culture/ civilization are you most happy you were alive for?
A tricky question but I’d probably have to say equality. We live in a society where equality is becoming more of a forefront idea and although there’s more to be done, we’ve made huge progress. I have some strong women in my life and so for me, it’s incredibly important that barriers are being broken down to close the gap and that there is more acceptance of others.

What’s something random that you always remember?
I will never forget performing The Black Eyed Peas Hey Mama acapella to a live audience in Egypt. My mum made me do it!

Name something that makes you feel old and something that makes you feel young.
Receiving bills make me feel old! I went Six Flags theme park during a recent trip in LA and that made me feel very young.

What is the worst excuse you’ve ever heard or given? (In school, socially or professionally)
I have actually heard someone say that their dog ate their homework. They sounded so genuine.

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(L) Leather jacket by AMI. T-shirt by VINCE. Trousers by NN07. (R) Coat & trousers by J CREW. T-shirt by JAMES PERSE.

Where do you think you have watched the most films, and what was the last thing you watched there?
Probably in my bedroom. The last film I watched was La Haine.

What was the first/ last CD that you bought?
Little Simz – A Curious Tale of Trials and Trials + Persons

If you could pick between no longer having to eat or no longer having to sleep, which would you pick?
No longer having to sleep.

What’s the last thing you learned?
The last thing I learned is that I need to work even harder.

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

Fady Elsayed can be seen in Class, now on BBC Three (UK) and coming to BBC America (US) in 2017.

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Christopher Preston
Grooming: Oliver Daw

Morfydd Clark

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Coat by A.W.A.K.E. Dress by ISABEL MARANT.

You’ll soon be appearing in Interlude in Prague about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Discounting Mozart, which child prodigy do you find most fascinating?
Rimanujan or William Gadoury, the 15-year-old Canadian boy who discovered a lost Mayan city using Google Maps.

Describe your taste in music by way of a film soundtrack.
Thelma and Louise

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Dress by ISABEL MARANT.

Cast your favourite Shakespeare play with a contemporary cast/ director.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Puck – Patsy Ferran
Oberon/ Theseus – Idris Elba
Titania/ Hippolyta – Hayley Atwell
Helena – Lydia Leonard
Hermia – Anna Kendrick
Demetrius – Simon Manyonda
Lysander – Sope Dirisu
Bottom – Michael Sheen
Peter Quince – Julian Barratt
Francis Flute – Matthew Beard
Director – Hamish Pirrie

When you want to consciously make an adjustment to your performance, do you generally find it easier to make a physical alteration or an emotional one? Or is it a stupid question because they are utterly interconnected and I’ve wasted precious bandwidth?
If I feel I need to make an adjustment to the character that I’m playing I feel it is almost always informed by the other actors onstage. I think physicality is a massive window into the emotional life of the character so I find physical changes can unearth emotional ones that would otherwise not be unlocked.

What’s something you discarded that you wish you hadn’t?
I wish I hadn’t thrown away loads of sketches I’d done of school friends as I would love to look at them now

What’s something about your life or the world right now that would blow your 12 year-old mind? (In a good way!)
Facetime! When I was 12 my best friend moved to Sheffield and I missed her so much.

If you could time travel into the audience of any 20th century performance of a Shakespearean play, which play would you pick and who was in the cast?
Anthony Sher as Richard III.

Put your iTunes or music playing device on shuffle, then switch to the next song… What is the song, and when/ where did you first hear it? What time in your life does it remind you of?
Magnetic Fields – Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin. It reminds me of sitting on the barrage in Cardiff in the summer drinking WKDs with my friends.

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Jumper by CARVEN. Skirt by ROCHAS.

What is something arguably trivial that you have come to realize makes you very competitive?
Every board game!

Assuming it is well past the statute of limitations, what was the first rebellious act you remember committing?
Pouring glue over the stationery cupboard in the classroom at school because I was sent to the back and not allowed to do arts and crafts.

King Lear: a timeless, masterful work of literature/ performance or an over-elaborate argument for vasectomies? In that same vein, how could one frame one of Shakespeare’s other works?
Romeo and Juliet – always check the other person’s dead before you kill yourself.

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

Morfydd Clark can be seen in King Lear, on now until 3 December 2016 at the Old Vic, London (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Yusuke Morioka
Makeup: Nicola Moores-Brittin

Inside Look: Bethan Cullinane

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Bethan Cullinane in her dressing room at the Barbican Theatre in London, UK on November 19, 2016.

We spoke to actress Bethan Cullinane about her role as Innogen in Royal Shakespeare Company’s Cymbeline.

What line from Cymbeline did you look forward to saying the most on opening night?
“A large Gin and tonic, please”.
My second favourite was probably my first line of the second half. It’s the first time I directly speak to the audience. I walk out, disguised as a boy and say “I see a man’s life is a tedious one”. It tends to get a laugh, and after a very emotionally heavy first half it’s a nice refresher. It is a moment of “lighter” relief before it all goes downhill again.

Whether they knew it or not, who was most helpful in helping you find your performance or the character ?
Hiran who plays my husband, Posthumus and Ollie who plays Iachimo are both very good friends of mine. We were in the same year at drama school so I’ve known them both for 8 years (our director Melly had no idea when she cast us). I think being in the rehearsal room with those two meant that I was able to take risks at a very early stage of rehearsal. Had I not known my co-actors so well I might not have felt as brave. We had a short hand and could be very honest with each other about what felt right and what didn’t. And although it’s weird kissing one of your mates, at least it’s not awkward afterwards.

What do you think is the most subtle but significant element of Cymbeline? Whether related to a character, or a theme, setting e.t.c.
I’d say it’s to do with Truth. Roughly 90% of the characters in Cymbeline tell lies or believe them. It’s those few characters that search for the truth that guide the story back to safety. If characters like Pisania, Innogen or the Doctor (who is the unsung hero of the play), were unable to see through others deceit, the play would end as a tragedy. It’s in the final scene when everybody decides to come clean that families and countries are reunited.

What was the first important detail you learned about the story or your character?
It was Innogen’s use of language and the insight it gave me into her imagination. Not only does she talk a lot, but she has a mad, creative way of seeing things too. I think once I embraced that as part of her character I could use the language rather than finding it intimidating.
I would also say that Melly’s decision to change the gender of many of the boldest characters to female was hugely important. It created a world where women could be in charge, and behave however they liked. I was given freedom from the “pious heroine” stereotype and the chance to find a woman with her own real strengths and flaws.

There are overlapping elements between Cymbeline and Hamlet, Othello and Romeo and Juliet. In what way is Cymbeline a unique departure from Shakespeare’s other works?
Well I think the fact that Cymbeline has it all makes it a significant departure from his other works. I like to think of Cymbeline as Shakespeare’s greatest hits. It’s as if he took all of his favourite bits and smashed them together into a completely wacky story. Cymbeline does not share a genre with any of Shakespeare’s other plays. In Hamlet, Polonius makes the audience chuckle when he starts listing all the genres the players could possibly perform. Starting with “tragical-historical” or “pastoral-comical” – he concludes with “tragical-comical-historical-pastoral”. I think it gets a laugh because it seems ridiculous to have so many genres in one play, but fast forward 10 years or so and Shakespeare has done it! If Cymbeline is any genre it’s “tragical-comical-historical-pastoral”- it really has it all.

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Cullinane came to her dressing room after a cast warm up to get ready for the performance.

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Cullinane did her character’s makeup.

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(L) Cullinane’s costume. (R) The hairpieces she wore at the beginning of the play.

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Cullinane with castmate Graham Turner, who plays Belarius.

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In a separate room, Cullinane had her long hairpieces attached in sections to appear more natural.

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A container of fake blood that was to be used in later scenes.

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Before long, Cullinane’s hair transformation into Innogen was nearly complete.

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Cullinane constantly had a water bottle with her to stay hydrated backstage.

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For Innogen’s costume, her shoes were Converse with customized lace detailing.

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Cullinane changed into her costume.

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After final adjustments, Cullinane headed out towards the stage for her performance.

Bethan Cullinane can be seen in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Cymbeline, on now until 17 December 2016 at the Barbican Theatre, London (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Photographer: Jessie Craig