Craig Roberts Interview
Craig Roberts Interview
Craig Roberts has been a rising star of the young British acting fraternity for several years now having had major roles in children’s dramas and a role in the BBC Three vampire hit series Being Human, which led to a spin-off show entitled Becoming Human. He recently hit the cinema big time starring in Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut Submarine as a 15 year old loner Oliver Tate who is desperate to lose his virginity before his next birthday.

Recently in London, he spoke to View’s Matthew Turner about working with the IT Crowd star and actor Paddy Considine, learning to act in a different way and being beaten up by a small child.
What attracted you to Submarine and how did you get involved?

Craig Roberts

I hadn't worked for like six months and the last job I did was Casualty, so I was obviously achieving what I wanted to achieve there. So I got the script through and I was like, work is work, but this was cool work. This was a really funny script, really well written. I just put on tape for it, got the call back, met Richard and before I knew it I was doing a screen test. I just feel really lucky to be a part of it, it's so funny and it finds its funniness from its dark moments and its dryness.
We didn't know if we were stand-ins so they could check the light and then Michael Cera and Ellen Page would step in...
So Yasmin was attached before you were then?

Craig Roberts

I don't know. I think we were both cast at about the same time but then we both came together for the screen test. And it was really weird because it was two days of filming, which doesn't really happen. Usually it's just you against a white wall and you do a few scenes, but it was two days filming, so we didn't really know what was going on. We didn't know if we were stand-ins, just so that they could check the light and then Michael Cera and Ellen Page would step in and take the parts.
I've only met [director] Richard Ayoade very, very briefly, but he struck me as someone that was painfully shy, so what was he like as a director, on set?

Craig Roberts

We sort of got to know him as a friend - he's a shy guy, but he's a nice guy, he's easy to talk to. And I was happy that I hadn't seen The IT Crowd before I worked with him, because I didn't want to be like, 'It's Moss!' you know? I'm glad I've seen it now, because he's hilarious in it. But he's such a nice guy – I think he's so quiet because there's so much going on in his head. Like he's thinking all the time and he's a genius. I think he's one of a kind.
So what was his directing style like?

Craig Roberts

He sent a few DVDs for me to look at, like The Graduate, Rushmore, Harold & Maude, The Squid and the Whale. And we looked at those. And then once we had the characters down, he'd let me like go off and do it and then if there were any adjustments, he was really nice about it. He'd be like, 'That's great, that's great, but maybe try this now, see how that goes?'
I love all those films you just mentioned – that was actually my next question, was what kind of research did you do and did he ask you to look at any other films. What, if anything, did you take away from the films that you watched and how did they help or not?

Craig Roberts

They helped because I liked them. They were really good. I hadn't seen any of them before and The Graduate was fucking amazing. It's so good. I watched that six or seven times.
I thought you'd say Harold & Maude was the real surprise.

Craig Roberts

I do like Harold & Maude, I just really connected with The Graduate for some reason. I just really liked Dustin Hoffman.
Did he make you watch any French New Wave stuff as well?

Craig Roberts

No, I think Yasmine watched a bit of French New Wave, but French New Wave is what really inspires him and he's really taken with it.
So he made you watch different movies? That's interesting.

Craig Roberts

Yeah. Like, she had to watch a lot of – who's the actress that's in Casper the Friendly Ghost? Christina Ricci! Yasmine had to watch a lot of Christina Ricci films.
Did you watch your films together?

Craig Roberts

No, I didn't watch any of her films.
Did you know Yasmine at all before you started filming?

Craig Roberts

Not at all, no. We just became friends from the screen test, from not knowing what was going on. And she's really easy to get on with.
Had you seen The Sarah Jane Adventures?

Craig Roberts

I hadn't seen them. What's really funny is I did this programme called Young Dracula and Young Dracula got cancelled so that Sarah Jane Adventures could have another series, so basically she put me out of work!
I hope you didn't bring that up on a daily basis.

Craig Roberts

No, I didn't mention it at all, but now it's all coming out.
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Content updated: 21/03/2019 15:34

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