Misfits. Copyright: Clerkenwell Films.

Misfits (2009)

E4 comedy drama about petty criminals gaining super powers. 37 episodes (5 series), 2009 - 2013. Stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Natasha O'Keeffe, Joe Gilgun, Karla Crome and others.

Iwan Rheon interview

Misfits. Simon (Iwan Rheon). Copyright: Clerkenwell Films.Iwan Rheon talks about Simon's dramatic storylines, and his love of singing and rugby...

What's it like to all be back together filming again?

It's really nice. It's kind of like a little family now. A really weird little family. It's very different this year without Robert, but it's put a different spin on things. It gives the show new life to have a different character. It's been really great.

Now you're on Series 3, do you think you all feel a bit more comfortable in your roles?

Yeah. And you have more confidence as well, from the show's success. It does help, because before, we had no idea what it was going to be like. But now we know what we're doing. It really helps turning up to work having a strong idea of the character, having seen them develop over the previous two series.

And no character's developed quite as much as Simon, have they?

Yeah, I've been really lucky. It's been quite a weird way of doing it, though. Normally you get to see the journey of the character, but with Simon there was the first bit, and then the end bit, and now I'm doing the middle, which is quite fun.

The last series must have been quite difficult. You were jumping between two very different personalities all the time. Was it quite difficult to do that?

Yeah, it was. We did most of the future Simon stuff together, which helped, but you can't do all of it. I think the challenging thing for me was throughout the rest of the episodes, starting the journey to become this superhero. At the end of series one Simon was gradually becoming more of the gang, a more helpful member of the reprobates. You had to start to see a bit of strength in him, otherwise it would be a bit jerky and sudden.

And there's a lot of joining of the dots in this series between current and future Simon?

That's the journey he has to go on. It's the burden of the character, to know that one day he has to become this thing. The word 'destiny' gets thrown around a lot, as far as how it's all been set out for him. He's got no choice really.

How's it been having Joe coming in to take a new role?

He's a very interesting person to meet! He's really brought a different edge to Misfits, with his energy. When I heard he was playing the part I was really chuffed, because I think he's a brilliant actor. It's been just so great to get to work with him - he's insane.

What's been your favourite part of Simon's storyline to date?

I think it has to be the future stuff. As an actor you get this part and initially, he's very shy and introverted. And then to have the opportunity to play the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of personality and where he is as an individual; to go from two or three to ten is a really interesting thing to get to do.

As an actor, it must be quite a good showcase of your talents, playing such different characters?

Yeah. The difficult thing is trying to keep them as the same person, just coming from a totally different place.

How has being in Misfits changed your life?

I guess first of all, it's getting recognised on the street. But people are really nice. Work-wise, it's given us all a bit more profile. To have the opportunity to work on a show like this is great, where the dramatic aspirations are so high that you really get pushed all the time. And it's quite a heavy schedule, so you constantly have to be on your toes. Nothing's easy, which is great - as an actor, you have to learn your trade. It's been great for me.

In terms of being recognised in the street, obviously with Simon changing so much from Series 1 to Series 2, have people reacted to you differently?

I think so. They would, wouldn't they? Nobody would have seen it coming, which I think is partly why it was such a great idea. Simon is the last person you'd have expected. There were so many rumours going round on the internet about who it would be, and somehow they managed to keep it secret. And nobody, nobody guessed.

Do you get sent fan mail?

Yeah, some fan mail. Just people wanting autographs and signed pictures.

You haven't been sent any pants?

No pants yet, no. Nothing weird really. Must do better, people!

Singing's a big part of your life, isn't it?

I've got an EP coming out soon.

You write your own stuff, don't you?

I do a lot of acoustic stuff. It's more of something to do, really, it's just a hobby. If anyone wants to listen to it, that's great. I don't want it to become something that's got pressure attached to it. I just enjoy it, it's a really nice thing to have, especially when you've got some time off work. It's a great way of keeping myself entertained, writing songs and singing, doing gigs and stuff.

You've also done musical theatre. You won an Olivier, didn't you?

I did, last year. Which was nice.

Do you get kicked out of Wales if you can't sing?

They disown you as a child and send you up to the mountains to fend for yourself. There's a whole community of Welsh people that can't sing, but we keep them really hidden in the mountains. That's what they're for.

You started out on the Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm, didn't you?

I was in it from the age of 17 to 19, before I went to drama school.

So are you bilingual?

Welsh is my first language.

Is your Welshness an important part of your identity?

Definitely. A really important part. It's important to have a sense of identity and a sense of where you're from. So when Wales beats England at rugby, it feels pretty good.

Okay then, give us a prediction of how both Wales and England will do in the world cup? [The interview took place in the run up to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand].

England will get to the semi-finals, where Wales will beat them, and then go on to win the final. [Laughs] We'll probably lose every game in the group stages now I've said that.

More Misfits interviews

Published: Saturday 1st October 2011