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I TALK TO Tom Rosenthal

As the first episode of Plebs gets even nearer, I caught up with Tom Rosenthal about his character, Danny Dyer, and what it was like filming the show.

First of all, I really enjoyed Plebs. What attracted you to the role in the first place?

Aw thanks man. Honestly, the fact Tom Basden had written it was significant, because you know I love that guy so much. And I know he's written some brilliant things. He's written Party and obviously a lot of Fresh Meat and he's in Cowards and stuff so as soon as I saw that I was like "Oh my god. I want to be in stuff that guys writes." 

But reading the script, you know, I found it very funny and I loved the idea of Ancient Roman comedy. I thought that's quite nice. Just hearing about it you go, "OK. I want to watch that" just the idea of it, it's interesting, it's different.

Was this screening the first time you guys have watched the show?

It's the first time we've seen 'The Orgy' and the second time we've seen 'The Gladiator' yeah. A lot of 'The Orgy' was the Pilot, and it was cut up so you might notice my hair kind of ballooning in and out so I've seen about half 'The Orgy', but a lot of those scenes were new. And yeah, we're really happy with both episodes basically. I can't wait for them to be aired.

Well, you all definitely seemed to enjoy it, laughing along to the show...

I always feel a bit like, laughing at your own show can come across badly, but it's just because you know the characters so well.

You all seem to get along really well on screen is that the same off screen as well?

Yeah man. Another thing I think we developed since the Pilot, we probably didn't get on during the Pilot because it's a very intense experience. If we didn't become friends I think it would become very hard you know? We're all so very different but we managed to get on brilliantly well.

I think Sam (Leifer) was very worried about the cast, because he knew how different we are as people. You were talking to the other guys earlier I'm sure you know, their backgrounds are so different, it's ridiculous.

The fact that we got together and found each other funny and you know, make funny stuff has hopefully worked out alright. But you never know.

So how does Plebs differ from anything you've done before?

Well, as you know, all I've really done is Friday Night Dinner and I guess the main difference is sort of, the ages. You know these people (in Plebs) are more my peers, whereas Friday Night Dinner is like a second family really. I've got a Mum and Dad, and I get told off sometimes. If me and Simon (Bird) are pissing around sometimes, one of the adults will get pissed off but you know now, we're all pissing around and we're all silly.

We filmed in Bulgaria as well man, which is just different, very different to filming in North London, because you're in a different fucking country. So when the day ends you stay in a Hotel and no one speaks your language. It's like a gap year. It's weird, when I was filming Dinner I went back to my house and it was like having a normal job. So the differences were, considering both of them were sitcoms, massive. You know the whole crew were Bulgarian, it felt a lot further out my comfort zone.

We were out there for 7 weeks. I always get pissed off when you hear actors whinging about their job, but the days were pretty intense, I mean the last day I had 7 coffees and 2 Red Bull's and I felt no different! That's when you start to realise that maybe I'm not sleeping enough here (laughs).

We have to talk about Danny Dyer. It's the talk of the room today. How was filming that scene for you? Was it daunting?

People keep asking this question, "Was it daunting?" and all I keep saying is that I played a lot of teen sports so I'm used to getting naked in showers in front of people. So genuinely, filming it, I was fine.

I love Danny Dyer, we got on so well and before that scene we were hanging out for like 6 days and honestly, that guy is so nice and I was genuinely a big fan. I love Danny Dyer's Real Football Factories. He was such a nice guy and I was fine until he revealed himself to be... extremely well endowed.

At that point I was like, well I'm second. I am losing this and from then on I was like OK. But it was good for the scene right? Because it's all too true to life everything that happens, but you know it was a privilege to get naked with Danny.

It's just so silly, even though everybody laughed at my bum, which is fine I suppose. As long as they're laughing.

What's your favourite moment from Plebs?

I haven't really seen all of the episodes properly yet so in order to answer this question I guess I'd have to watch them all. But, I love Joel (Stylax) crossing and uncrossing his legs. He's very bloody funny so I probably would have to say that is the funniest.

But I also like, Tom (Basden), Aurelius when he finds the thing in his jug, the hand, it's very very funny.

What's next for you then?

I'm doing Edinburgh Elliot, yeah I'm going to the Edinburgh festival to do an hour's stand-up show and then I'm not sure what I'll do after that. Unfortunately with Friday Night Dinner it's all up in the air at the moment, we just don't know. I have no official news but as soon as I do you'll be the first person to know mate.

Plebs continues Mondays at 10pm on ITV2


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