Joel Fry talks about the new series of Plebs

Joel Fry plays the much loved under-achiever Stylax in the multi-award-winning and BAFTA-nominated sitcom, Plebs, set in ancient Rome. The current series can be seen on Monday evenings at 10pm on ITV2.

Is it good to be back with the boys?

Yes, it’s nice to see them again. We’re proper friends now, so it’s been nice to see them again because it’s been years now.

Is it tough to get back into character?

No, not at all. It’s not like when you meet someone the first time and you’ve just got to get to know them, it’s not like that at all – that’s why we’re actually like, friends. Because if that wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t work.

What do you like the most about the guys?

What, Ryan and Tom? It’s because they’re kind of real, we ’re all really different, but I don’t know, it sounds really cheesy to just say real, but they’re real people, basically. There are all sorts of things really but that’s the main thing. They’re both fascinating in different ways.

You have a laugh on set...

Yes, it’s quite cold a lot of the time to be honest. It’s a lot of fun, so luckily that’s what’s good about it, when it’s cold or long hours or whatever, it’s nice to have friends around you, so we make each other laugh and ta lk about stupid things.

How does Plebs compare to your other shows?

They’re different, but every job you do is different, that’s just the way it is, so even if jobs seem the same they’re probably not, every job is different really. So Apocalypse is different to Game Of Thrones, every job is different. So it’s hard to say! I know that sounds like a cop out but it’s also true in a weird kind of way.

Do you prefer doing drama or comedy? 

I don’t know – it’s hard to say as every job is so diff erent anyway. I’m happy keeping things fresh though.

Why do people like Plebs so much?

Probably because of the writing, that’s probably why they like it so much.

Do you think it’s because people can relate to it? What they go through.

Yes – but that’s down to Sam and Tom, they’re the reason people like it so much, because they write such a good script.

Do you ever get a script and think, “I can’t say that!”

Yes! I think about that lots! But because we’ve been doing it for a while and every one talks to each other, we get the scripts quite a while before we start filming, so you can read it and if there’s anything you’re like, “I just can’t do that,” then they are quite understanding in that respect. But still, there’s obviously moments where I’m like, “Oh, Jesus.” The thing is, it seems big in that moment but all of those things get forgotten pretty quickly.

Is there anything off - limits where you just won’t go?

I don’t think there’s a gag or a category that we won’t go near. We do talk to them about it, but it’s more just about how embarrassed I feel doing something in front of a film crew because there’s always a load of people there, and it’s just kills me doing it. I understand that the character I play is in those situations so I can’t be like, “No!” I have to kind of just do it, just get through it.

Do the local actors who work as extras get the humour?

No way! We realised this a while ago. We’d be filming something that’s funny and you expect the crew to burst out laughing when they yell, “Cut!” but no one laughs. Very occasionally there will be a giggle from some of the crew, but they don’t really understand it, in terms of language. I mean, they can speak English but we’re speaking too fast, it goes over their heads. It’s a bit awkward but we’re not making a joke for them, so it’s just weird for us when nobody laughs, but then you realise it’s because they have no idea what’s going on.

What does Stylax get up to in this series?

More of the usual, to be fair! The pur suit of lots of different women, and there’s a situation where Marcus gets a new love, Delphine, which brings a different vibe to it. There are things where we try and help him and it doesn’t really work, or it backfires and it makes the situation worse, so there’s a little bit of that going on also.

I understand Michelle Keegan comes in... she’s a virgin to start with but not by the end...

Yes, if you can call it sex! I don’t know what it was!

Did you get any other girls in this series?

Oh, man – there’s loads of them, there’s quite a few. Lots of pursuits of girls. But that’s fine, that’s that.

Would you like to see this series run for as long as possible?

I don’t know – I just want to watch the next series to be honest. I don’t think about these things, I just take it bit by bit.

Describe series 3 of Plebs in three words...

Naughty, fun, naked.

- itv2
- Joel Fry
- Plebs

Written by: Ben Drummond
Apr 11th, 2016, 5:52 am

Images courtesy of itv2

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