Liam Williams says he hopes Series 2 of Ladhood will allow viewers to feel some 1990s nostalgia...
Can you remind us where we left the characters in Series 1, and talk us through where we find them at the start of Series 2?
In the past timeline, young Liam's girlfriend had just dumped him after he cheated on her at a house party, and the characters had fallen out a little, but came back together in typical teenage friendship style. In Series 2 we join them as they are picking up their GCSE results, we see the division between them begin to emerge as some will go off to college soon and others will get jobs.
For present day Liam, Series 2 picks up almost immediately from Series 1: we left him after he has been out on a Tuesday night, done cocaine and tried to cheat on his girlfriend, we then saw her come round, and he had to decide what he was going to do. In Series 2 we join Liam as he has to face reality and the relationship comes to a head.
What can we expect from Series 2?
It's about growing up and potentially growing apart, and how the places and rituals of adulthood will transform our young characters, and how those experiences will have a knock on effect that will last well into the future. They are a little older and you'll see more adult themes in the series, such as trying to get into nightclubs, learning how to drive and 18th birthdays.
Talk us through how you capture the essence of the early 2000s...
We are very pedantic about representing reality when it comes to the timeline of the show, we speak to every department, from make-up, costume, the art team and the music team, to do everything we can to make it as authentic as possible.
When something is set in the 1970s for example, the contrast is so huge that it's a lot easier, however this period isn't that far away, can make it quite difficult. In some ways not that much has changed, the differences are more subtle, often we notice things as we go along, and we're always on the look out for modern cars in the background of shots.
Do you think the younger lads would have the same experiences if Ladhood was set in the present day?
In today's world I still see groups of lads hanging around on bikes in the suburbs, exactly how I would. Interestingly we had a lot of older viewers for Series 1, who were perhaps 20 or 30 years older than me, who said how relatable they found the show, so clearly in some ways, some things never change. But then you hear that the younger generations now are a lot more sensible, and spend more time indoors, perhaps because of the influence and growth of technology. Overall growing up is a universal experience, and everyone goes through similar rights of passage regardless of the era.
What makes the show so relatable?
I've always wanted it to feel authentic and truthful, and to be inspired off of my real life. When more people got on board with Ladhood, I noticed so many likenesses between myself and the producers who all grew up in the suburbs with similar environments, whether it be in Liverpool or Leeds.
We found many aspects would shine between us in terms of our experiences when growing up, which gave us more coordinates when it came to making the show universal. For me the show has always been off instinct as to what runs true to my upbringing, which as it happens a lot of people have found relatable.
How did you find the writing process of Series 2? Is it hard writing based off your own life?
Although the show has always been inspired by my life, as the series has developed there is less direct comparisons to my real life. Every scene has a theme, feeling or moment, which is taken from my experiences. But in terms of the writing process, it does make it easier in that the world is established, the rules of it are set up and we know the characters, so it makes it a lot more playful and enjoyable. It allows me to make the storylines more inventive and have more fun with it.
Do you have any standout memories from filming Series 2?
One of my favourite scenes to film was when Ralph learns how to drive and the boys go on an adventure, it was very on-the-fly and the final product was slightly different to how the scene was initially written, which is often the way.
I like maintaining the importance of the script, but you have to adapt and tweak things as you go along. The younger lads feel much more comfortable in their characters now, which makes it much more fun and they don't realise how funny they are, so its great to see them enjoy the humour of it.
What do you hope the series will bring to viewers?
I hope people will feel some nostalgia and, if not, I hope they'll have a laugh regardless!