It’s already being lauded as the hottest thing to watch this year and we can’t wait until It’s A Sin, from the multi-award winning writer (and RWCMD Fellow) Russell T Davies, with grad Callum Scott Howells in his TV debut, hits our screens next week.
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Callum, who graduated in 2020, filmed the role in his final year at RWCMD. He’s joined by a glorious cast including newcomers like himself, alongside a host of well-known faces including Keeley Hawes, Olly Alexander, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.
A treat for you: @alexander_olly on fire in this scene from Ep 2, as is @russelldavies63‘s script. BTW, it was written and the production wrapped BEFORE the world had heard of COVID. Any parallels are …. #ItsASin — coming to @Channel4 SOON pic.twitter.com/6fMJHeMHu8
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 5, 2021
Although the series focuses on a group of young friends during the Aids epidemic of the 1980’s Callum assures us in his recent Guardian interview, ‘It’s not mainly about death. It’s about life: their vibrant, colourful, beautiful lives.’
Training at RWCMD
As Callum already had an agent before he joined RWCMD, having appeared in the musical She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory, was he tempted to carry on performing and not go to College?
‘I knew I needed to train. I knew it was vital as otherwise I wouldn’t have a career with any longevity.’
‘RWCMD was the perfect school for that industry standard training, and also for me as a person. It’s given me the muscularity to be a complete actor, ready to start my career. Acting is such a multi-faceted job and what the College does so brilliantly is to get you to immerse yourself in it all – working with so many specialists, from radio to screen and everything in between.’
How did your RWCMD Training Prepare you for TV?
‘The College totally prepared me for this role. There was very little that happened during filming that I wasn’t expecting, given the breadth of the training I had.’
‘I had the most brilliant teachers, all industry professionals. For example, the brilliant Suzanne Packer, (who’s now one of RWCMD’s senior lecturers) has been in the industry for years and taught me so much and was everything you’d want from a teacher.
Director Lee Haven Jones* taught us about delivering a performance on screen and bringing aspects of yourself to the work. Although you’re playing a character, it’s my face you see on the screen so for it to be truthful I have to bring something real, that’s me, alongside my interpretation of the script.’
*Lee regularly directs Doctor Who, including the 2021 New Years Day special, and also directed the College’s short film Dove.
‘One of the main things that really attracted me to RWCMD is the fact that in your final year you join its rep company, the Richard Burton Company, working with the Stage Manager and Design for Performance students on such a variety of different plays.’
‘It was also the teaching. I got a glimpse of how the teachers work in my audition which was so exciting and really confirmed for me that there was nowhere else I’d rather train.’
This is a brilliant interview with Welsh newcomer @Callumhowells_c who is in #ItsASin , by my colleague (& Callum’s pal) @GlenWilliams12
I knew the Tonyrefail boy was destined for big things when I saw him in Rock of Ages at the #ParcAndDare! https://t.co/zHkgY6ugqX
— Kathryn Williams 🎄 (@KathW80) January 15, 2021
So how is he coping with the attention that comes with starring in a Russell T Davies production?
Please don’t miss @Callumhowells_c in #ItsASin from this Friday on @Channel4 …he’s just amazing, and here’s Callum telling us more about himself and his It’s A Sin character Colin… https://t.co/oJhN4Sok07
— What’s On TV (@whatsontvuk) January 19, 2021
‘RWCMD and the friends I made there have really kept me grounded. It’s not part of the College ethos to be a ‘star,’ it’s all about the acting and what you can bring to that. Their teaching instills in you that you have to keep that level of commitment and professionalism throughout.’
If you can’t wait for It’s A Sin to premiere on Channel 4 on Friday 22 Jan, here’s the trailer to keep you going:
All It’s A Sin photos: credit Channel 4