An unmissable combo for fans of Outlander and Lucifer! Sam Heughan, lead of STARZ time travel drama, interviews his great friend and Lucifer’s protagonist, Tom Ellis in an exclusive piece for Grumpy Magazine!
Tom Ellis didn’t waste time when Grumpy Magazine asked him who would he like to be his guest interviewer: Outlander‘s Sam Heughan
Both originally from the UK, the actors first met in their twenties at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow, before respectively becoming the lead of a successful show.
Tom caught up with Sam over Zoom in June to recall the earliest memories that brought them together at drama school. He also breaks down his bi-continental career.
Hailing from Wales, Ellis has been in the film industry for the past 20 years. Starting out on British television, he viewed the United States as an opportunity of getting the parts he wasn’t going up for in his native country. With his natural charisma and on-screen presence, the role of “the Devil” on the critically acclaimed series Lucifer lauded him as an esteemed actor of his generation.
In real life, the Welsh actor is kind-hearted and shows a great sense of humor — just like his beloved on-screen character. Part one of Lucifer‘s fifth season premiered last August on Netflix with its surprises and sparkles, and it’s already renewed for a sixth and final season.
Talking about getting into acting, Tom Ellis told that was something to which he came relatively late. He’s doing his A-Levels when his English teacher came and told him she was running the theater studies course but she needed some boys. “Within a couple of weeks, I would really enjoy this. I did National Youth Theatre, which is a summer course after that first year of A-Levels. That’s when I decided to go to drama school.” told the actor, who’s now a world star.
Ellis also shared some very interesting memories from drama school in Scotland and being around Heughan, who referred to as ‘Handsome Sam’, when he was hitting a play at the Traverse [Theatre]. “I ended up doing my first professional gig in third year with James [McAvoy, with whom he’s great friend] at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy. It was Beauty and the Beast. James got the part of Bobby Buckfast, and I played the Beast and the Prince [Sam laughs]” … and that’s what paid his first rent in London after leaving drama school!
The Welsh actor was very fortunate on the evolution of his career, in terms of working because there’s really only been one tiny period he had to do something else other than acting to earn money. “My acting career took off when I was allowed to start having stubble. I spend an extra half an hour in the makeup chair on Lucifer these days to cover all the grey bits.” told Lucifer star Tom Ellis
Coming to the USA changed his attitude about auditioning and Tom worked harder on his auditions. “There’s no accident between the correlation of hard work and success in my story at all, because I’m inherently quite lazy.” said Ellis.
Heughan asked Lucifer star Tom Ellis about the shaping his character in the Netflix drama series. He’s usually attracted to deplorable and reprehensible, but lovable characters, and he wanted to approach him as a character, as opposed to the Devil, with a much more interesting story. “I’m super proud of the show and that arc of Lucifer, because he’s really evolved as a character — all credit to the writers for that. […] I genuinely had no idea it was based on a comic book, until I read that on Deadline after I got the job. […] Then it wasn’t specified that he was American or anything, but I read it in American and I was like, ‘It’s not working.’ […] I wanted to make a differentiation with this character, that he was from somewhere else — not necessarily the UK, but it wasn’t from Los Angeles.” clarified Ellis.
“I’d love to come and rock a kilt on Outlander [laughs].” jokes Tom, tapping the button related to his ambitions. Now that the actor’s been producing on Lucifer, that’s a direction he enjoys, but he’s also developing something with Jason Bateman’s company and a writing friend of his. Ellis also mentions that he always wants to do something different than what I’ve been doing, like theater.
Ellis spoke with Heughan in a Q&A interview for the London magazine Square Mile, covering their longtime friendship, as well as Heughan’s background, hobbies, and his break into acting. During the interview, Ellis revealed that he auditioned for Outlander before it premiered.
“I’m going to let you into a little secret. I auditioned for Outlander, not for Jamie Fraser but for Tobias Menzies’ part, ‘Black Jack’ Randall,” Ellis confessed. “I remember reading the script thinking, ‘This is really good.’”
In the end, the actor encouraged people to stay positive during this difficult time, and also pointed out how at the moment, it’s really important over here to keep supporting Black Lives Matter. “This is an ongoing movement, it doesn’t stop after a couple of weeks. I will be continuing the support and everything to do with that. And I will very much be encouraging people in this country to vote in November.” concluded Ellis.
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