Interview with Robert Sheehan
This Friday sees the first episode of new sitcom, ‘Me and Mrs Jones‘ at 9.30pm on BBC One. Here’s a BBC interview with one of its stars, former Misfits and Accused actor Robert Sheehan.
Tell us about your character
My character Billy swans into this family’s life basically via being good friends with Gemma’s son Alfie. They’ve been off travelling the world and he needs somewhere to crash so he follows Alfie home, with consent, and ends up having this spontaneous romantic spark with Alfie’s mum. I think Billy is an all-round hopeless romantic. He lives his life for his heart more than his head, so I think he sticks around because of this connection he’s felt with Gemma. And because they’re keeping it secret and it’s escalating, I think a lot of comedy ensues.
I think Billy is not troubled by the 20 odd year age gap. I’d say if anything, it’s spurring him on; it’s an incentive.
And how does their relationship evolve over the six episodes?
I think the relationship evolves by Gemma trying to stamp out the spark, Billy pursuing Gemma and Gemma eventually having to admit to herself that there is something real there between the two of them. Every time they meet there is chemistry and over the course of the series there are more and more manifestations of that, so there’s a development there.
Billy’s relationship with Alfie – is Alfie aware of what’s going on?
Billy is trying to be as forthcoming as he possibly can and as honest, because if he wasn’t he would just be a slime ball that has followed his mate into his house and tried to have it off with his mum. He can’t keep this thing from Alfie anymore and he wants to tell Gemma, ‘let’s be honest about it, let’s tell people’. There’s an impending doom there which I’m sure they’ll get over because they’re chums.
It’s a new comedy. What made you want to be part of it and what’s different about the show?
This character wasn’t something that I had played before and that’s always a priority – to do something you haven’t done before. The style of comedy wasn’t something which I’d been accustomed to. I knew Hartswood Films were producing it and I think they’re an amazing institution of television so to work with them was a treat. It was a general new departure in many respects. What’s interesting about my guy is that not always is he the overtly funny character, sometimes it’s the opposite side of the coin. That’s almost more difficult in a way, to be the one that’s grounded in the reality so the other characters can be more surreal. One of the highlights was a funny scene involving myself, Sarah’s character Gemma, Neil’s character Jason and Nat’s character Tom. There was a lot of projectile vomit involved which was spurring on my gag reflex. That scene as a whole was extremely funny to shoot. There were a lot of giggles on and off camera. It’s been quite an easy going, fun, relaxed shoot, very few peaks of drama or woe. It’s been really fun.
Tell us about the scene you’ve just been shooting?
We’re in a bar because in the scene we’ve just shot, Gemma comes to find Billy to ask him to spy on Inca who is going on a date with another guy because she and Jason have broken up and their relationship is in turmoil. I’m basically winding Gemma her up, flirting with her as is Billy’s default way.