You play Luke - what's his part in the show?
Luke... Luke Tucker. I found out that's his last name, they made some business cards up! I was calling myself Luke Gibson then I find out it's Tucker. Anyway!
Luke is the agent for all the models in the show, living in the apartment. And it's his apartment; he moved them all in there and can kick them out as per his want. He's a greedy man, he's a hard man. But he does have a soft side, although that's not exhibited very often. But it's there. And he's got a hot temper as well.
In the scene we've just watched you recording, he's playing a bit of a waiter's role? What have the others got on him?!
Ah well, I think his wife, who you don't ever see, has a bit of a hold on him. She doesn't let him host parties any more, I think there might have been some occasions where his parties didn't go so well. So he rather misses those days and fancies himself as a bit of a cook, so this is an opportunity where he can show off his culinary skills.
Audiences know you best as Andy in Episodes, but is this your first studio sitcom?
It is, yeah. Well, I did a Sitcom Showcase performance for the BBC once, but this is my first one doing it on a consistent basis and it's been a LOT of fun. Scary at first, but then you start getting into the swing of it and it's enormous fun to do, especially the live show night. It's really exciting.
Interacting with the audience and playing for their timing?
Yeah, there's a lot of that. The funny thing is, when you do the first take it's often almost like the audience listens and picks up little nuances, but then the second time they sometimes laugh even harder, which is a strange little phenomenon. But yes it's really great, I love doing it.
You'd do more then?
Oh yeah I'd do more, happily! You get greedy for that laugh you get from the audience. It really is fun to do and you get the bubbles and the excitement every week - I love it.
There are quite a few similarities here with Episodes, not least filming in England and pretending you're in the US sun, but the audience must be the single biggest difference then, playing for laughs more directly?
Ha ha, yeah. Under grey skies in a grim industrial zone! But I don't know about laughs because we still play for laughs in Episodes, we play to the crew and the goal is to really crack them up consistently. The biggest difference is here on a studio show you only get really two times doing it, whereas on Episodes there's limitless takes. So with only two or three chances here, you've got to just hit it as hard as you can.
But no, you're still playing for laughs as much as you can - although here I guess you try to make it a bit bigger for the benefit of the audience, but that's about it.
So, dare we ask, how close to Luke are you really?
Hahaha! Well, after playing Andy Button in Episodes, it's a lot of fun for me to do. It's another side of me, it's an outlet. I'm normally a very chipper, happy person. I kind of restrain myself when I get angry - so it's nice to be able to have that as a character and let loose, definitely. Being able to scream at people is a great joy!
Have you any favourite moments of Luke's from the series?
Well this final episode has been a lot of fun rehearsing. But definitely Episode 3, The Suit, I enjoyed that a lot, working with David. I had a great, great time filming stuff with him. That's a great one, had a lot of fun doing that.
There's another episode with a jukebox, The Handbag, Episode 5, which was also really fun. Watch out for that.
Have you had any disastrous flat-sharing experiences yourself?
Yeah, in drama school! In my second year at LAMDA we had a shit-hole of a place. We lived in Clapham South and the heating was taken away from us. There was just one heather, in my bedroom, a gas heater, but then that got turned off, and a second in the living room. But we got them tested - we didn't want to die! - and they got shut off! So we'd have to sleep in woolly hats and socks and everything, it was horrible. Then they were drilling outside the house all night, working on the Northern line...
Oh and one of my room-mates was shagging the girl in the flat above, then dumped her, so she decided to flood our bathroom. And then started playing this one Eurythmics song over and over again!
Then suddenly the sun appeared in like May, and we saw all the mould everywhere... And we got burgled; I found people in our apartment - we had an Italian-Scottish landlady who wore two pairs of glasses at all times. It was really horrific.
Wow! Well we assume you've at least had a better time filming I Live With Models?
I've loved it. This has been fantastic. Especially with James and Jon, the writers, who are wonderful to work with. Dave Fulton too. But yeah, the whole cast has been great, really wonderful. I've loved every second of it. We all get on really well and especially when we go on set at night, we all help each other out and there's a real fraternity of support, trying to egg each other on. I like that.