Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Exclusive Interview with Brett Goldstein – Derek’s Tom

I hope you all enjoyed Derek Episode 3! As a treat, I've got another exclusive for Derek fans – an interview with Brett Goldstein who plays Hannah’s beloved Tom in the hit Channel 4 show.

Brett is an incredibly talented actor, writer and comedian with a wide ranging and diverse array of acting credits. He has a vast body of theatre work under his belt and plays the lead in new Sky comedy ‘30 and Counting.’ He's also had parts in ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Adventure Venture.’ Away from acting, Brett is an established writer with a number of TV and film projects in development – and thankfully, commissioned too!

Brett Goldstein - Derek's Tom
I first heard of Brett as a stand-up comedian when he achieved sold-out success at Britain’s top comedy festivals and venues for his acclaimed solo act: ‘Brett Goldstein Grew Up in a Strip Club.’ Brett also performed last night at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival with his show ‘Brett Goldstein Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature.’

He’s a natural comic and acclaimed for all of his art forms, so I couldn't wait to talk to him.

How did you get the enviable role in Derek?
One day I was sat in my house minding my own business when my agent called and said, “Would you like to meet Ricky Gervais tomorrow afternoon?”  I was immediately sick in my pants.  I was sent two pages of script then went to his office to meet with him and Charlie Hanson (producer) and the casting director Tracey Gillham.  I then did an audition with Ricky and was called back a few weeks later to see if Kerry Godliman and I could work together.  Turns out we could tolerate each other.  I left the audition thinking, “Well if nothing happens at least it was nice to meet everyone.”  My agent called two hours later to say I had got it.  I was immediately sick in my pants.

What was it like working on the project with a huge array of comedy talent with Ricky Gervais at the helm?
I cannot overstate how much of a dream job this is.  I got to literally work with my comedy heroes.  Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, David Earl and Kerry Godliman.  I mean, it’s like I won Jim’ll Fix It before all the revelations came out.

Karl isn’t your typical comedian, but has a natural ability to make his audience laugh. How did he fit in with a cast of established comedians?
I actually think that Karl is one of the finest actors I’ve ever seen.  He is a natural.  Completely fresh and believable.  And every time he is called upon to say something funny, he’ll come up with something no one else would have thought of.  He is brilliant.  And proper nice as well.  And a philosopher.

Can you tell us anything about the future of Tom and Hannah?  
I could but I'd have to get you to sign a confidentiality agreement and then you wouldn't be able to publish this interview and the whole thing would become very awkward, and we were getting on so well...

Tom and Hannah - Brett and Kerry
Are you at all like your character Tom?
I don't dress half as well as he does. And he's taller.

Stand-up comedy, writing or acting – where does your true passion lie?
I love them all and I think they all feed into each other.  Stand up forces you to think fast and take responsibility for your own ideas.  Writing is a way of creating something in a less pressurized way, a way to explore what you really think about something.  And acting is a way to be part of a team and to work with others.  All together they add up to making me appear less of a psychopath.

Do you like the blend of writing, acting and stand-up or do you want to focus in one particular talent going forward?
I genuinely love all three of them.  But acting is probably the most fun one.  Because you sort of become a family with the people you are working with.  Unlike stand up where you’re just a lonely bloke facing a crowd.  It’s really weird when you write it out like that…

Your book-selling dad bought a strip club during a mid-life crisis. Were you proud or embarrassed?
Um…I did a whole stand up show on this subject.  The thing is it was definitely weird and there were all sorts of repercussions.  BUT.  Most men have a mid life crisis and dream of opening a strip club.  My dad actually went through with it.  I admire that.  That is someone who commits to an idea.  Even if it is insane.

You once ran the strip club. Is that like working in Greggs, i.e. if I see one more sausage roll I’ll…?
Running a strip club is a lot like working in Greggs if the sausage rolls are all pumped up on cocaine and the yums yums keep getting pregnant all the time.

Have you ever considered turning your exploits at the club into a TV comedy?
Yes, I’m working on it.

You’re an established writer, you’ve starred in numerous productions including Derek and have performed stand-up at Britain’s biggest comedy festivals, what’s next for Brett Goldstein?
A nap.

What are your aspirations for the future?
To make more stuff and to have adventures.  Like Indiana Jones.

Who do you most admire in the entertainment world and why?
Jim Henson.  I think he was a saint.  I love everything he ever made, I love his ethos, and I believe we are all muppets looking up at the stars.  The greatest Academy Award travesty is that Michael Caine did not win an Oscar for Muppets Christmas Carol.

The greatest Academy Award travesty.... says Brett
Can you tell me one thing about Brett most people wouldn’t know?
I do an incredible impression of Louis Armstrong.

Who would you rather go for a beer with, Dougie, Kev or Derek?
Shouldn’t you be asking who would win in a fight?  The answer, is of course, Hannah.

Have you got a message for Derek fans?
Keep on truckin!

Should I have edited any of that interview? No, I thought not. Brett is just as funny written down as he is to watch live and on-screen – a true talent and one to certainly watch out for in the future. Look out for him in the next Indiana Jones movie. You probably won’t see him, but keep an eye out nonetheless!

Thanks Brett

© M. A. Sibson
Twitter: @tadpole_hitler

1 comment:

  1. Brett Goldstein is a fantastic actor, and so handsome! I have never watched a sitcom, or any show for that matter, that felt so genuine. The entire network of relationships between the characters in Derek are not only refreshingly real, but are a true testament to the talent of the actors. I especially love Brett, and Karl Pilkington. I do hope this show continues to produce more seasons.

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