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.