Adge Covell, - Jason Flemyng (Martin / Faith)
Adge: Right Jason. According to my notes you were born on Twenty
fifth of September nineteen sixty six
Jason: Twenty fifth of September nineteen sixty six; that's correct.
Adge: You just missed a good world cup then.
Jason: Yeah just. (Laughs), Just, but at least I was born in the
Adge: You were born in Putney, London.
Jason: That's me.
Adge: Errrm, what about your education?
Jason: I did normal primary school, and then Wandsworth state school,
so I couldn't get out quick enough really and start acting. That's
Adge: So you've wanted to be an actor all along?
Jason: Ever since Primary school, when I kissed Alice Hoovery,
who played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and I thought, oh yes, I'll
have some of that! I was the scarecrow, and she ended up running
off with the Tin Man.
Adge: Did your father influence you in those days?
Jason: Yeah, Dad was a director. He made a film actually, about
the miners' strike, called "Scab". Which was a great film,
and he was one of my biggest inspirations. We never got to work
together, because I never wanted to be the Governor's son, do you
know what I mean. And
, but the year that I
got to a place where I could work with him without people mumbling
about being the Governor's son
, he died that year. So that
was a shame. But, I know he's up there, watching down, so
Adge: I reckon he'd be really proud of you. You've done a lot of
work, and have appeared in around fifty TV dramas and movies.
Jason: Yeah, that's right. This is the forty eighth film, so I'm
very happy about that.
Adge: Yeah, you're very prolific.
Jason: Yeah, very prolific, though cheap is the word I think they
Adge: I've got one of your quotes here, where you said acting was
a way of getting to talk to girls without being cool
Jason: Yeah, well that's
, well I mean, it all started when
I was younger with Alice Hooverey, but erm, it was just both politics,
when I was young, and acting were ways of meeting girls. I had ulterior
motives in both of them, so
.. I was in the National Youth
Theatre and the Young Socialists, and my time on the soapbox didn't
prove to be quite so successful as my time in the theatre, so I
stuck with the acting, not the politics.
Adge: I understand that you speak French fluently?
Jason: Well I don't speak it fluently, but I speak
done three films in French. The last one was called "The Return
of James Battle", which comes out here next summer, but I speak
well enough to get away with it, but as soon as they start improvising
., I don't know what they're talking about.
Adge: Was French something you did well at school, or
Jason: Yeah, I mean I spent a lot of time out in the south of France
when I was young, about sixteen or seventeen, selling donuts on
the beach, and so I just picked it up there really. So it's very
bad schoolboy French, but good enough to get away with in a film.
Adge: I see you performed as Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Adge: Is that a reflection of your own character?
Jason: I think everyone's got a bit of a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
in it., so I think everyone's got that side of them, but, it was
an amazing job, because they had
., the people who've seen
it will know, they had an amazing eight hour prosthetic, so
Actors always want to look in the mirror and be someone else, and
so with the help of prosthetics it's really cool looking in the
mirror and seeing something like that.
Adge: Who would you say you most admire as other actors?
Jason: Well, I think, most of my inspiration, or most of the people
I admire that are of my generation are people like Ian Harte, and
American actors like, obviously the greats, De Niro and Pachino,
but over here, people like Paul Bettany, Dave Morrissey. There's
a lot of British actors who are doing really well and who are really
inspiring at the moment.
Adge: Yeah, OK. I see you've worked with some really well known
actors, and your acting is really very diverse. You've done "Lock
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", and then classics, like "Tess
of the D'Urbervilles"
Jason: Yeah, I mean
I think my
If I've got any success
at all, if there's anything I've done that sort of, you know, that's
been successful, it's that I've managed to stay away from being
typecast, stay diverse, and, you know, do the gangster flicks. And
then I did a film called, which I'm also really proud of, called
"Alive and kicking", which is about a gay dancer, living
with HIV. I think if you can keep it
, if you can keep it prolific,
and you keep keeping them guessing, then that's my success. I love
doing the character work, and that's what I enjoy most.
Adge: The list of some of the actors you've worked with includes
John Cleese, John Hurt
Adge: Jeremy Irons
Adge: Victoria Beckham and the Spice Girls
Jason: (Laughs) Yeah, I did the Spice Movie. That was
niece and nephew were really into the Spice Girls at the time, and
so I did it, and then I was the favourite uncle, you know, because
while we were filming the gig
, they were obviously
you know my little Ella was at Baby Spice's feet when they did it
in the film, but by the time the film came out they'd gone off them
of course, and they were like, "It's so embarrassing. Can't
believe you made us do that!" So you can never please the kids.
., about your character in this
this TV drama
Jason: He's called Martin and he's a political agitator. He works
for the Social Services and he comes up to Newby, which is the fictional
town, where the pit head is, and just keeps them all going. He keeps
, well I won't tell you what he does, 'cos there's
a twist in the story, but, you'll have to watch it. But, he's a
politically motivated young lad, who's not so young I'm afraid,
thirty eight now.
Adge: How do you motivate yourself to play this part?
Jason: Well I used to be
, in the
, mi.., well I was
never in the Militant, 'cos we were never an organisation, but I
sold the Militant newspaper, and was thrown out of the labour Party
in 1987. So, I was actually
, as a very young lad I was actually,
you know, collecting for the miners down south, and in the Labour
Party Young Socialists. So, it's all very familiar, and it's great
to sort of relive it, as I'm sure all the ex-miners feel as well.
Adge: Do you have any mining background in your family?
Jason: No. None at all. We're all south London. My dad was a film
director, which was, well
., but I didn't really grow up with
him. My mum was a social worker and a shorthand typist.
Adge: Well, that's about all I've got to ask you really.
Jason. Aw, bless you mate. Well, listen, I'm glad we had the time.
I used to date a Yorkshire lass, called Lena Heady, who's gorgeous
and who lives out in Huddersfield, and it's such a small community
up here, a couple of the supporting artistes, who used to be coppers
knew Lena's dad, 'cos he used to be a copper. So, I hope to get
over to Huddersfield and see her mum and dad in the next couple
Adge: Are you still courting Lena?
Jason: No. We're not together any more, but we're the best of friends,
and I know Huddersfield's all very proud of her, so
Adge: Thank you Jason.
Top of page