russelltovey: Hey my lovely witty's, you may or may not know by now, but I am leaving Being Human officially.. Thought you should all know... Im sorry x
Russell Tovey: why I'm leaving Being Human (and loving Him & Her)
Former History Boy is also the man who might have been Tintin but what he really wants is 'the career of Julie Walters. As a man'
By Nosheen Iqbal
guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 November 2011
One part facial elastics to two parts yappy bounce, interviewing Russell Tovey is a bit like grilling Scooby-Doo. Sitting in his local in north London, a chalkboard menu and Chesterfield sofas kind of affair, Tovey proudly holds forth on Him & Her, scattering his sentences with endearing yelps and incredulous splutters. "This second series seems more sure of itself. Stefan [Golaszewski, the writer] has notched it up, the characters have become more grotesque," he explains over a ginger ale.
Called out in the press for being crude, filthy, lewd and grubby, Him & Her is a show about Becky (Sarah Solemani) and Steve (Tovey), a pair of loved-up, layabout nobodies who do nothing and go nowhere. In short, it's everything conventional romcoms aren't and is all the funnier, more truthful for it. Set almost entirely in Steve's grotty bedroom, each episode is a gentle, lo-fi amble around what seems like not very much: think Seinfeld in theory, Royle Family at heart. Becky's bitchy sister Laura and her menacing, uber-thug fiance Paul (played with scene-stealing precision by Kerry Howard and Ricky Champ), are regular visitors to the flat as is Dan (Joe Wilkinson), the weird, beardy neighbour from upstairs.
Tovey says filming in such a confined space means life can come to imitate the show: cast and crew spend a week working on each episode, but "mostly end up dossing about on the bed, talking about our poos. We're incredibly relaxed but it's an absolute blessing that we get on so well, otherwise imagine what I put poor Sarah through? Just groping and rutting her all day."
He reckons that Steve is the closest he has come to playing a character like himself. "Steve is so straight, like so many of the people I play, but I'm incredibly relaxed in the role," he says. "The humour is completely to my taste." Tovey is gay and came out to his parents when he was 18. He is currently rumoured to be going out with Gok Wan but blushes and shuts down when we ask about his relationship status. "I do get offered lots of gay roles but they're just not that interesting. If I play a gay role, it's more of a risk." Does he worry, as Rupert Everett has claimed, that as a gay actor, he'll become typecast? He groans: "I'm so bored of Rupert Everett talking about it. I'm just waiting for something special, something that makes an impact."
Him & Her is billed as BBC3's most successful sitcom to date, but it's still something of a sleeper hit. Sparse on belly laughs but chock-full of finely observed detail, it's quietly built up its audience and the first series has earned a repeat (admittedly late night) on BBC1. No doubt the producers hope to follow the hit trajectory of fellow channel-hoppers Gavin & Stacey and Being Human, both of which have also starred Tovey, as Gavin's mate Budgie and George the werewolf respectively. BBC3, we suggest, may have found a lucky charm in its boy from Billericay.
"Well, I've actually left Being Human but no one [outside of the show] knows yet," he says, bursting our bubble. The news will come as a shock to fans, still reeling from Aidan Turner's exit as his character, Mitchell the vampire, was killed off by George in the season three finale. "Aidan's left to film The Hobbit in New Zealand [with Peter Jackson] and going on without him on this fourth series felt strange," says Tovey by way of explanation. But for such a huge sci fi-ish hit on both sides of the Atlantic, doesn't having only one of the original cast members left put the show in major jeopardy?
"No, with Being Human the story can definitely go on and on," Tovey insists. "Toby [Whithouse, the writer] still runs it and they can do all sorts ... add giants and robots!"
Despite having worked in showbiz since he was 11, Tovey (who turns 30 on 14 Nov) first found success with Alan Bennett's The History Boys in 2004. A West End and Broadway hit, also featuring Dominic Cooper and James Corden, it eventually went on to become a successful film, and many of Tovey's peers have made the transition to movies.
Tovey himself has just returned from Los Angeles, where his agent had him hob-nobbing with casting directors and studios, confident that Tovey's affable charm (and increasingly buff body), will land him meaty film parts.
"When I see friends rocketing all over the place, I know the potential is there to make a big impression all over the world but I don't know where my career is going now," he says. "It's incredibly exciting and frustrating; you compare and despair." He reels off names of actors he's come up with who have gone on to star in major blockbusters. Tovey thought his own chance might have been scuppered when director Stephen Daldry turned up to see him play Tintin at the Barbican a few years ago. "He was originally in line to direct the Tintin movies, and obviously I was really excited. At the interval, I was told, 'Oh, he's very jet lagged, he had to go.' I was like, 'Oh oh oh! But what did he think of the first half?' And they said, 'Well ... he only fell asleep a little bit.'" Tovey lets out a trademark Scooby-style groan: "I was just, 'Aaargghh! My opportunity's slipping away!'"
It seems, however that the career angst is beginning to pay off: Tovey has begun shooting with Dakota Fanning and Julie Walters on Effie,Emma Thompson's upcoming film about the art critic John Ruskin. "I've been so involved with TV shows, I've been unavailable for films, which is my dream," says Tovey, suddenly all earnest and wistful. "I'd love the career of Julie Walters. As a man."
RussTov_FanSite: @Abslom_Deek @marcuswhitney1 at 11am don't forget to remember x
Abslom_Deek: @RussTov_FanSite @marcuswhitney1 We won't - it's on the call sheet, adorned with poppies. We will remember!!!!
marcuswhitney1: @RussTov_FanSite we will always remember x
Abslom_Deek: Series 4 Being Human- IN THE CAN!!!! You're all in for MASSIVE treats!!!! #beinghuman
Tom_In_Oz_: @demelza2 @tmarkstahler @markmmerrett @russelltovey Pat how’s the back and how are you?
demelza2: @Tom_In_Oz_ @tmarkstahler @markmmerrett yup getting there x taking it's time this back x just texted @russelltovey about Being Human x
Tom_In_Oz_: @demelza2 @tmarkstahler @markmmerrett @russelltovey maybe back in June I put on the blog this appears to be Russ's last year of BH - psychic
demelza2: @Tom_In_Oz_ @tmarkstahler @markmmerrett @russelltovey another vision !!!
Tom_In_Oz_: @demelza2 @tmarkstahler @markmmerrett @russelltovey yep one of the visions I had ages ago and then when filming of BH commenced I knew...just left it sit on the blog all this time it's still there
TMarkstahler: @Tom_In_Oz_ @demelza2 @markmmerrett @russelltovey Hi all!!! Are we really shocked? As a strong believer in Tom's visions, we were prepared!
WhoGuru: @TMarkstahler @Tom_In_Oz_ @demelza2 @markmmerrett @russelltovey I'm gonna sit here in denial for a bit longer. XD
FoxyLorri64: @russelltovey I just read your article about why your leaving #BeingHuman & I would just like to wish you every success in all you do! x
russelltovey: @FoxyLorri64 thank you x
mmm_gash: @russelltovey It's my birthday today! Love you <3 xo
russelltovey: @mmm_gash happy jamie day x
will_young31: I roam the streets of Glasgow for antiques. Always antiques....
russelltovey: @will_young31 oh god so wish I was there x
will_young31: @russelltovey I found fire guards Tovey and umbrella stands. Heaven is an antiques Market
russelltovey: @will_young31 I'm quivering with jealously x
mrchrissullivan: @russelltovey answer your text jug ears x
russelltovey: @mrchrissullivan what text you pig? X
TerryGeorge: @russelltovey Hi Russell, do you fancy being a judge at the MR Gay UK final in Leeds 10th Dec?
russelltovey: @TerryGeorge I am working sadly... thank you tho x
Hazzcooke: @russelltovey there is a Nandos opening within walking distance of my house #lovenandos xx
russelltovey: @Hazzcooke wtf??? lucky!!!!!! x
russelltovey: RT @Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy Assoc
@russelltovey Bid for a signed doodle by Russell Tovey ebay.co.uk/itm/1305962801…
PeteLordAardman: The countdown continues to the last of the filming for the movie Pirates - - quite slowly actually
russelltovey: Filming in Luton today... What a hot town Luton is... Beautiful x
jonesyinc1: @russelltovey you think that's hot, come visit Salford! Now that's HOT!
Tom_In_Oz_: @jonesyinc1 @russelltovey as if he could afford to live in luxury like you my #1 son x
jonesyinc1: @Tom_In_Oz_ @russelltovey lol! We have a spare bedroom......
soxysmurfy: @russelltovey You've been at the fizzy early Russell lol ;o)x or u fiming in rose tinted glasses lol ;o)x
mrchrissullivan: @russelltovey erm- really?
Tom_In_Oz_: @russelltovey it's where the first use of the term "looting" was recorded it was named after the town
(Tom's real facts - NOT)
russelltovey: Slight irony aye x
Chloe_Met: @russelltovey morning hun :) x
russelltovey: @Chloe_Met morning Chloe x
thulme: So proud of @FantasyShopper - the first non-US AWS Startup Challenge winner: thul.me/uaLU0Y congrats @cpresc @danielnoz et al
russelltovey: @thulme massive congrats :-) x
russelltovey: RT @mrchrissullivan: In memory of all those who fought, and those that still fight, so that we may enjoy the freedom we take for granted. Thank you xx #remember
TheRealNathanG: @russelltovey can I get a Shoutout please as I'm getting married to the beautiful Kim Garner today in Brighton!! from Nathan Green
russelltovey: @TheRealNathanG good luck x
ActuallyLilu: Hello Russell ☺ @russelltovey Happy 11/11/11! Please make my day and reply me? #bigfan #iloveyousomuch ♥
russelltovey: @ActuallyLilu hi! X
mfhorne: @russelltovey VERY simple. VERY basic. BUT key-seasonal. And HOT. pic.twitter.com/EEQu086E
russelltovey: @mfhorne seriously seasonal and hot... Staple in fact x