Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again

Trying Again

  • TV comedy drama
  • Sky Living
  • 2014
  • 8 episodes (1 series)

Sky Living comedy drama about a man whose fiancée has had an affair with her boss. Stars Chris Addison and Jo Joyner. Stars Chris Addison, Jo Joyner, Charles Edwards, Alun Cochrane, Elizabeth Berrington and more.

Ethan Lawrence interview

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again. Ryan (Ethan Lawrence). Copyright: Avalon Television

Bad Education star Ethan Lawrence talks about how he balances university with acting work...

Ryan has a thing for Gail. Have you ever had a crush on an older woman?

I have to admit, I haven't. I tend to go for women my own age.

Can you drive?

I can. It was one of the prerequisites for the role. Despite looking like a learner car, it wasn't. There was a great moment when I did a turn in the road and a genuine driving instructor came past us. I was driving one handed, Elizabeth Berrington was on her phone, and the real instructor threw her the deadliest daggers I've ever seen.

Does your experience of learning to drive mirror Ryan's in any way?

Like Ryan, I wasn't a natural driver. I passed on my third go. My experience of learning to drive was very different, though. My teacher was male so there were no romantic undertones as there are with Ryan and Gail. They say the drivers who passed on the third try are actually better because they've had more practice, but I know it's just an attempt to make us feel better.

If you could be trapped in a car with anyone, who would it be?

It'd be hilarious if Johnny Vegas tried to teach me to drive. I bet he'd send me in the direction of the nearest pub.

You're studying at university at the moment and previously worked with Jack Whitehall in Bad Education. How does it feel to be working with Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison now too?

Simon Blackwell is one of my writing heroes. I study drama and creative writing so I really look up to him. I've always admired Chris as a comedian and I was pleased to discover they are both extraordinarily friendly people. It's been an honour to work with them and a huge learning curve.

How do you balance your studies and writing with an acting career?

You just get it done. I'm also president of an improv group, doing some directing and studying for a degree somewhere among that. I genuinely enjoy it so that gives me the motivation I need. This is exactly where I wanted to be at 21.

Trying Again. Ryan (Ethan Lawrence). Copyright: Avalon Television

What do your university friends make of your work? You don't have a typical student job.

Among my close friends, like my flatmates, there is a lot of ribbing and banter about it. It's all good-natured. We've known each other a long time so they know they can take the mick, so they do, mercilessly. I give as good as I get.

Who are your comedy heroes?

I've always been into stand-up and I do a bit myself. I love Dylan Moran, Eddie Izzard and Bill Bailey. I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright's films, they're all brilliant. I hope to be in that pantheon of funny and talented people some day. It looks like I'm on a good trajectory for the time being.

Why do you think so many stand-up comedians make good actors?

It's a similar sort of discipline because you're never entirely yourself when you're on stage. You might perform as a heightened version of yourself or a completely different persona, so it is like playing a character. Acting is just the same but with someone else's words.

Where would you like to be in five years' time?

Doing something creative, whether it's acting, directing or stand-up... for as long as possible until the dream police say "enough is enough, you've had your fun". I'm going to keep my fingers in as many pies as possible so there's no reason why it should all end.

When I turn 26, if I'm still doing what I'm doing now, I'll be a very happy man.

Who is your favourite character?

I love how sweet Matt and Meg are together. They smash it every time. Alex Macqueen's character Martin is dynamite as well. I couldn't have asked for a better scene partner than Elizabeth Berrington though. She's a consummate professional and knew Gail inside out. I love her first line in the show: "Excuse me using the word 'rubbish' Ryan, but that was f**king rubbish". It's so clever and very funny. The script is full of it.

Will this show appeal to a young audience?

Definitely. This isn't a comedy about gender or age, it's about people. That's why it's perfect for Sky Living. It's about people muddling through life and their experiences. It explores tender relationships with mannered comedy and some more risqué gags. It's a universal show with something for everyone.

Published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

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