Young, good-looking, multi-talented and an immensely promising actor, Sebastian Croft has made a name for himself among Penny Dreadful fans as “Creepy Vampire Boy” after his season 3 addition as The Boy Familiar. With 2016 slated to be a breakout year for Sebastian with his appearances on Penny Dreadful, ITV and FOX’s Houdini and Doyle and Game of Thrones as the Young Ned Stark, he will next be seen in Stephen Fry’s The Hippopotamus and Martha Coolidge’s Music, War and Love. We caught up with Sebastian for his first ever formal interview as he prepares for his first ever Shakespeare play King John as Prince Arthur at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, to talk about working on Penny Dreadful, observing and working with Eva Green and his hopes and dreams for his young career.
Your first professional role as an actor was in the UK National Tour of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (2009) as Toby, at the young age of eight. How early on did you decide that you want to perform? What drew you to acting in musical theatre, and how did you get your first big break?
I was actually 7 when I started in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’! Apparently my parents say when I was very young I used to love doing little shows, magic tricks and dressing up in costumes. I started going to Stagecoach when I was 6 and from there my lovely teacher Julia Howson gave me the chance to audition for Chitty and so I was cast in my first professional production! I knew from that first show that I wanted to keep performing, I loved it so much. It’s difficult to say what my first ‘big break’ was, as every new job I get I feel is my big break. I got cast in Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones around the same time last year and that was a major shift that I had been working towards for some time. Musical Theatre is a great way to start as a child actor, as it gives you an excellent grounding in all three disciplines. It wasn’t a game play at the time, but I am so glad I had have that early experience. But I knew a couple of years ago that I wanted to head towards film and TV and was incredibly lucky to be spotted by Curtis Brown (now my agents) who really helped me transition into TV and film roles from early 2015 onwards.
You have an established career as a theatrical actor on the British stage. From Gavroche in ‘Les Miserables’ in 2011, to touring the UK in the title role of ‘Oliver!’ for Cameron Mackintosh, to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Matilda The Musical’ in London’s West End. This past year, you portrayed the title role in the musical version of ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾” at the Leicester Curve! What is your favorite aspect of being in professional theatre?
It’s hard to pinpoint, but I really like trying to figure out people and situations. I am told I have a high EQ which means I can read emotions well, and I like the puzzle of figuring out why people are the way they are and do the things they do. So I think being able to portray characters through acting feels like a natural thing to do for me, if that makes sense? I really love the roles where I can help originate a part, and have some input into building the character. This was really the case on Adrian Mole. It was a brand new musical, where all the lead roles were played by teenagers, and we were working very closely with the writers and directors. They allowed us to contribute a lot to developing our charaters. There was something really magical about that show, and we have all remained great friends since. I am back in theatre at the moment working on my first ever Shakespeare play, King John. It’s one of the lesser known Shakespeare plays but Arthur (my character) has some amazing scenes. It’s being directed by Sir Trevor Nunn who is one of the best Shakespeare directors of all time. I am just soaking up every bit of knowledge I can from him and the other incredible actors I am working with. It truly is a masterclass and I feel very privileged.
Eva Green and Alicia Vikander will be co-starring as sisters in conflict traveling through Europe towards a mystery destination in Lisa Langseths’ first English-language film “Euphoria”. Shooting in the German Alps will start in early August this year.
Euphoria is a mix of psychological showdown and absurd reality. Miss Vikander’s newly launched Vikarious Productions will act as co-producer with Sweden’s B-Reel Films’ Patrik Anderson and Frida Bargo. The film has an approximate budget of 50 Million Swedish Kronor. This is the first time that half-Swedish Eva Green will be involved in a Swedish film production. Both Eva and Alicia are represented by Tavistock Wood in London and UTA in Hollywood.
Penny Dreadful’s Key Prosthetic Make-Up Artist Sarita Allison is a double BAFTA winner and a fan favorite among Dreadfuls. Interactive, mysterious and gracious to fans, each Dreadful awaits in bated breath for her social media updates on what’s happening on set of the show. While in the middle of production for season 3, we caught up with Sarita for an exclusive interview to chat about her career, Penny Dreadful and working with Eva Green. Get to know the London-based genius behind The Creature, Witches and The Werewolf as she takes us behind the scenes of the show and tell us what to expect on season 3…
A lot of Penny Dreadful fans already know you by name but could you tell us more about yourself?
I am the Key Prosthetic Make-Up Artist on Penny Dreadful and I work closely alongside Nick Dudman, the HOD. I apply the prosthetic makeups with Nick or by myself with the exception of Sembene’s facial scarring which is done by the make-up department.
The design and look of the characters is a collaboration between Nick and I. The final look and maintenance of the actors on set is all part of my job. I am a Make-Up Designer in my own right and I have the versatility of also being a beauty make-up artist. That skill has proven extremely beneficial whilst working on Penny Dreadful. Nick wanted someone to work with him who had that versatility because we were not creating rubber monsters. We were creating characters. I am incredibly passionate about my work and always strive to improve and be the best I possibly can. Trying to have a work / life balance is really important as this type of job can all consume if you allow it. Practicing yoga is part of my life and helps me focus and switch off from work at the same time.
Professional dancer, model turned actress Nicole O’Neill is one of Penny Dreadful’s new additions this second season, playing a witch out to get Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives. We caught up with Nicole to talk about working on Penny Dreadful, observing and working with Eva Green and her hopes and dreams for her young career.
You’re a film and television actress, professional dancer and commercial and print model. How did it all come about for you in terms of being casted as one of the witches? Was there an audition process and how was it like?
Ahh yes, I am quite the grafter work-wise, and enjoy having a good mix of professions to keep me on my toes. However, it is safe to say that acting is my real passion! Yes, I did audition for my role. But it is how I got this amazing opportunity in the first place that will be forever humbling!
This game changing experience really all came about for me because of the wonderful Sarita Allison. Penny Dreadful’s Key Prosthetic MUA. I had the pleasure of getting to work with this exceptionally talented lady 4 years ago on X-MEN: First Class. After which, through the various forms of social media we thankfully stayed in touch. As I am sure you know being great fans of the show, Sarita has a BIG input into the design of new “creature-esq” character looks… the witches, really being her “big project” for season 2 so to speak!
In August last year, casting was already well underway but there was some struggle I believe to find actresses 1) who would do partial nudity, 2) full body prosthetics, (it is really not an experience for everyone!) and 3) who had, if any some kind of combat or stunt experience ideally.
As Sarita relayed it to me…One day while sat in her kitchen reading the new season 2 scripts, she was trying to envision which actresses she could see playing the witches… and amazingly, I apparently sprung to mind. Like WOW, what a compliment!!!
Next thing I know, she blows me away with this random phone call out the blue. Asks me to send my CV and showreel to the Penny Dreadful producers in LA! Just CRAZY, and all over the space of an intensely nerve-wracking 5 days, I was given an audition scene, was put on tape by a top casting director and after a nail biting 2 day wait, I got word from across the pond that I had gotten the part!
I literally cannot express how much I owe Sarita for believing in me enough to put her own personal judgment on the line! I could, of course completely fallen flat in my audition. Totally flaked! As let’s face it, I haven’t had a ton of acting experience, and this was no small audition! Yet, I enjoyed it so much! I felt I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain, and most of all this “Little Monster” was not about to let her “Head Witch” down!!!
Penny Dreadful™ will be premiering on May 3, Sunday, at 10PM ET/PT on Showtime© (check your local listings for full details). In celebration of the show’s return and Eva Green reprising her role as Vanessa Ives, we will be giving away FREE authentic Penny Dreadful memorabilia to loyal and lucky Eva Green and Penny Dreadful fans!
We have a series of planned contests and random giveaway moments so be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. To find out your ways to win and the promo mechanics, click HERE.
Writer Sharon Gosling started as an entertainment journalist, writing companion books for various television shows and movies and eventually becoming a young adult novelist. She’s no stranger to the world of Penny Dreadful having written two successful Victorian era young adult novels. In this interview, Sharon talks about her work in writing the fan essential The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful, the process of making it, her writing process and being on the set of Penny Dreadful.
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in a very small village in the north of England, surrounded by fells and sheep, with my husband and a cat who likes to surprise me by hiding perfectly unharmed baby rabbits under my bed.
How did you get started as a writer? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I never wanted to be anything but a writer. As a teenager I realized that I needed some way to support myself as I tried to be a novelist, and I hit upon journalism. I started while I was still at school, writing book reviews for a national magazine and doing general articles and interviews for a local magazine in my hometown. Then I did a Literature degree, during which I continued to work for national magazines. When I graduated, I was lucky enough to be given a job as a staff writer on one of them and things slowly grew from there.
You started as an entertainment journalist then ventured into Young Adult Literature with The Diamond Thief and The Ruby Airship. Can you tell us more about The Diamond Thief and The Ruby Airship?
The Diamond Thief is set in London in the 1880s and follows the exploits of Rémy Brunel, a young French trapeze artist who also happens to be the best jewel thief in Europe. Her master brings her to London to steal a famous diamond from the Tower of London, but she finds herself pitted against a determined policeman called Thaddeus Rec. They end up having to work together to thwart a greater threat to the city. The Ruby Airship is the sequel, and I’ve just finished writing the third in the series. It will be out in 2016 and is called The Sapphire Cutlass.
Veteran book designer turned graphic novelist Martin Stiff is no stranger to the world of Penny Dreadful. The last time we interviewed him, he talked about his career as a graphic novelist for award-nominated graphic novel The Absence as well as his work on illustrating the Penny Dreadful special edition book Dracula. This time, he talks about his work on illustrating the fan essential The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful, the process of making it and his hopes for Season 2.
Hey Martin! How have you been? When we last spoke, you talked about your award-nominated graphic novel The Absence. Since then, it has been nominated for Best Book at the British Comic Awards….. Congratulations!
Thanks! It was also nominated for Best Original Graphic Novel at the Ghastly Awards, so it’s been quite a year for The Absence. Sadly, it didn’t win either award, but I’m incredibly proud to have been nominated. And a lot of other people have been showing interest in The Absence, too, some of which could lead onto some exciting things, but I can’t talk about any of it at the moment!
As you are already well aware, Eva Green starred in two Frank Miller graphic novel film adaptations (300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) last year so a lot of her fans, male and females alike, have been pretty much introduced to the world of graphic novels. We weren’t surprised when we got inquiries about The Absence!
Well, that’s great. I really think the rise of graphic novel based movies – and not just the superhero stuff – is hugely beneficial for the whole industry. I’m pleased people are seeking out the more unusual books like The Absence and huge thanks to you guys for plugging it!
Young actress Lili Davies is best known for having the honor to play Young Vanessa Ives on Penny Dreadful. We caught up with Lili to talk about her young career, working on Penny Dreadful, observing and meeting Eva Green and the advice that Timothy Dalton gave her.
How are you Lili?
Hiya, I’m very well thank you, excited to be interviewed!
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m 16 years old. I have two older twin sisters and one younger brother and I love going to the West End to watch musicals.
Based on your imdb.com profile, Penny Dreadful is your first professional job. How did this all come about for you? Did you audition or were you offered the role of Young Vanessa Ives?
My agent put me up for the audition. I attended two auditions and was offered the part by John Logan on my second call back.
The Salvation is director Kristian Levring’s epic Western tale of revenge and justice. It tells the story of Jon (played by Mads Mikkelsen), a peaceful American settler of Danish decent who kills his family’s murderers which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) whose plans of revenge and mayhem is almost foiled by his mute sister-in-law Madeleine (Eva Green). Jon’s cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone. Here we talk to veteran South African actor Sean Cameron Michael on his thoughts on his career, filming in South Africa, The Salvation, his current hit tv show Black Sails and his favorite Eva Green project.
You’ve played a variety of characters on various mediums (theatre, film, television, shorts and commercials) and genres. Do you have a preferred medium or genre to work on? Do you have a particular favorite project or character of yours?
Yes, I’ve been very fortunate to work on many interesting and exciting projects over the past 30 years or so. Each medium, whether it be theatre (and the instantaneous energy of a live audience) or on-camera work (TV series, films, docudramas, music videos, etc), they all have their own unique requirement, challenges and style. I’ve been acting and performing all my life. It’s what I love and I’m truly grateful for every opportunity that I am given. It inspires and fulfills me immensely to work with new and aspiring directors and writers, to help bring their creations to life. At the same time, I’m continually learning and experiencing, working with highly regarded filmmakers and artistes who have reached the pinnacle of success. It’s hard to choose a favorite. Each experience is special and exhilarating actually.
Dear Friends and Fellow Fans,
We’re happy to announce that our literary project with Ms. Green is a success! We received hundreds of submissions and all these manuscripts has been forwarded to Ms. Green’s management for Eva’s perusal. Please do remember that EvaGreenWeb.com, Ms. Green and her management are not obligated in any way to reply to any inquiry after submission of any piece of work unless compelled or otherwise. We will update you all should there be any in the future. Again, thank you for participating in this special project. Ms. Green surely has her hands full on reading through them!
M, G and Stef
Per Showtime’s email confirmation to EvaGreenWeb, we can confirm that the rumor swirling around the internet about Penny Dreadful’s January 2015 Season 2 Premiere is NOT TRUE. Showtime has not announced a release date at this time. They will however inform us the second they announce it and you can be assured that we will relay it to you all once we have the definite date from Showtime.
Eva sent us this very sweet surprise message and we’d like to share it to all you fellow Eva Green fans! We could honestly say that we are deeply honored to run this fansite for such a talented, genuine, inspiring, kind-hearted and down to earth woman. We would also like to send our deepest appreciation to her equally amazing twin sister Joy who sincerely accommodated this on Eva’s behalf for us! Thank you very much Eva and Joy! You both rock!
It was amazing meeting Eva Green! I saw her coming through the side door and while she was going to her seat I asked her, ‘Eva, can I please take a picture, I’m a huge fan?‘ Her publicist said, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t right now.‘ but then Eva moved her to the side and said, ‘It’s okay,‘ and she put her arm around me and took the picture. My heart was pounding cause how happy I was. When she was leaving I said, ‘I love you on Penny Dreadful, you’re amazing in it‘ She said ‘Thank you‘ and walked away. It was just perfection, she is a sweetheart.