At the end of another season of Victoria, we couldn’t help but dip back in to our collection of conversations with the cast and creative talent behind the series to offer some highlights that didn’t make it through in our original podcast episodes. Hear from Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, Rufus Sewell, David Oakes, Jordan Waller and Daisy Goodwin about life, death and behind-the-scenes scoops from Victoria, season two.
Jace Lacob: I’m Jace Lacob, and you’re listening to a special bonus edition of MASTERPIECE Studio.
When we talk to the actors and talent behind the MASTERPIECE programs you love, we cover everything.
Tom Hughes: He’s recognized that the world is changing and in a way that it’s irrevocable, it will never be the same, and perhaps this is this is the avenue he can travel down where he can have the greatest of impact.
Jenna Coleman: It’s the loss of her mother and the person who’s kept her safe and the person who is most trusted, really to Victoria in the world…
Rufus Sewell: For them to have hugged would just actually create more discomfort and embarrassment it would actually have taken them out of that moment.
Jace: The rise and fall — and, occasionally, death — of major characters, the dramatic tension playing out on air, the emotional core of the series on screen, historical fact and fiction checkpoints — we had it all this season of Victoria on MASTERPIECE Studio.
Daisy Goodwin: Absolutely yes she was, Yeah…
Well that is I’m afraid fiction, however….
Well no, I think I’m afraid that is fiction again…
So I do make things up in the series, but wherever possible I stick to the facts because they’re usually better than anything I could make up.
Jace: But our conversations with the cast and creative team behind Victoria often went beyond what you get to hear on the podcast. And, in the interest of keeping our episodes focused, we often have to leave some of these side conversations on the editing room floor. Now, for the first time, you’ll get to hear some extra bits from our last few months of interviews. Like this charming anecdote from Victoria star David Oakes on his alleged affection for canoes.
Jace: True or false: you have a massive collection of canoes.
David: That is…that is apocryphal. I could give you the full account of what happened with that. I did an interview recently where I lambasted that Wikipedia lie out of the water. That’s been on my Wikipedia page for about eight and a half years. But if you if you type in amphora wine and David Oakes you’ll find an interview that tells you why that is on my Wikipedia page. But no. I have owned a canoe, I have canoed through canals of London, unnecessarily. But no, I do not own a large collection of canoes.
Jace: I’m mean some might say one canoe is a collection, or the beginnings of one.
David: Well true, it’s certainly the start of it. I mean, I don’t own it anymore actually, though, unfortunately. I’m a wannabe canoeist, sorry.
Jace: Or this illuminating aside from actor Jordan Waller about how it felt to appear in the Oscar-nominated film, “The Darkest Hour,” taken from our conversation with him on the day the 2018 nominations were first announced.
What is it like being in a best picture-Oscar-nominated film?
Jordan Waller: Amazing, amazing. I only wish I was in it more, to be honest with you. It was an incredible experience I feel very honored to be part of it. To work with Joe Wright, in particular, who really is just a class act director and tells a story so seamlessly and so, so uniquely. It was an honor, I must say, and Kristin and Gary — just brilliant. And I found the whole thing totally intimidating, as you might imagine. I mean, you know I’m only a couple of years into this game and yeah, I was sort of trembling when they did my close up which made it in, so I’m glad. It was a real experience. And I loved every moment of it and I’m thrilled that it’s getting the recognition that it clearly deserves. Script, actors, directors, all brilliant. Why not just shower it with all those little gold statues, I’d say?
Jace: Occasionally, my questions surprise our guests. Like this fact or fiction segment about the famous Ciro’s Restaurant of London with show creator Daisy Goodwin.
Now, Drummond and Lord Alfred Paget make plans to dine at Ciro’s Restaurant, but the London branch of Ciro’s didn’t open until 1915. Where was this scene filmed?
Daisy: Oh didn’t it open until 1915? Well then you’ve caught me out. I’m embarrassed. I’m not entirely sure where it was filmed. I actually wanted to have them eating at Simpson’s, but because Simpson’s in the Strand still exists, I couldn’t do it for legal reasons, so we got it wrong.
Jace: And sometimes, the most gut-wrenching recent performance for our actors wasn’t necessarily the one just viewed on MASTERPIECE, as actor David Oakes recounts here, describing his recent star turn in director Patrick Marber’s production of “Venus in Fur.”
David: It’s traumatizing. A man starts the play with everything, and ends the play with nothing, and every single night you walk off that stage feeling like you have been justifiably reprimanded for the sins of mankind. And that’s not fun, but it’s a 90-minute comedy. So it’s that wonderful oxymoron. I think a lot of what I’ve been cast in has been about trying to bring humor, fun and humanity to darker aspects, and through that sort of counterbalance, you end up with something actually quite fun to watch. So I think I’d be a bit bored if I was just playing someone who was happy, or just playing someone who was sad. I think trying to dribble complexity through drama is this is the responsibility of any actor.
Jace: Before this next question, a brief word from our sponsors…
Masterpiece Studio is brought to you by Viking. Explore the world in comfort, by river and sea. Learn more at vikingcruises.com.
Jace: Our guests often speak of their childhoods, early career starts, or their families — or, in Jordan Waller’s case, of “the beauty of not having a father.”
Jordan: I think we’re often given this depiction of a normal family, or a natural family. And we identify ourselves, or rather we anchor our identity in this sort of genealogy which is based in the two zygotes of a man and a woman who produce us, and that is what we are and that is who we are. What was interesting for me was that, you know, that side of me is necessarily a mystery because there’s no way as a sperm donor child, that I can find out the true identity of my father. For a long time I think you know when I was I was bullied a little bit at school, and people, you know, kids and adults actually made this sort of pernicious link that because I had gay parents, I was somehow gay say you know how kids call each other gay in the playground because they’re kids and they haven’t got any other words to use and their parents are idiots. I felt like a part of me was missing, somehow, because I didn’t have a dad and I was I was a weirdo, and I was different to everybody else, and it’s only kind of growing up that I really actually how wonderful it is to be a weirdo and actually how you can identify yourself. It basically puts you face to face with this sort of existential choice where you’re not really necessarily so much defined by my mom and dad as I am I get to choose who I kind of want to be, and it’s actually quite a liberating force, not having a father.
Jace: Above all, we appreciate our guests’ ability to let loose and enjoy themselves when talking with us.
Rufus: I think he’s just such a kind of charming and interesting character and very in his way very natural and free because he came from a period that was before Victoriana. Victoriana was a reaction to the Romantic period that came before, there was a lot more kind of loose and open and sexy. That’s why The Rolling Stones would dress up as Shelley and Byron you know that was the look that they aped, and as a reaction to that, Albert came in — more Albert than Victoria — and started to kind of button everything up and close everything down. The Victorian period was was a reaction to the kind of laudanum-laced sexual exploits of the previous lot, you know.
Jace: I mean the pendulum always swings back.
Jace: Yes, sadly.
Tom: Leopold has a knack of turning up at the most inopportune moments… I know as Tom Hughes and looking at the side of the story, I don’t think it was intentional from Leopold but it was definitely a brutality, an emotional brutality in the way that he told Albert you know his choice of timing the moment that he told him and also to say that he can’t be certain at that point of Albert’s extreme vulnerability is very, very, very tricky for Albert to take and believe that there’s any kind of compassion there.
Jenna: I’m just going to stop for a minute because our lights have turned off…
Jace: What was it like shooting this intense scene both physically and emotionally?
Jenna: Cold. It was very, very cold. It was tricky because obviously there was lots of limitations of being in the water for so long and the space where we had you know the tank for the hole, for example wasn’t huge so storytelling we had to keep it going and keep it tense and really you want that real sense of danger obviously, and it’s really quite graphic and gruesome when you begin to consider that reality.
Jordan: When you get lots of groups a group of actors together, there’s always silliness, and there’s always fun and games. And when it is not our scene, and if we’re in, you know, in sort of big group scenes, and poor Tom and Jenna, they’re obviously having to act quite seriously but we’ll do our utmost to make each other corpse in the back set as much as possible. And I’ve got quite a good track record for making other people corpse and I’m very proud of that but hopefully the producers aren’t listening in because I would hate to make them think that I’m unprofessional in any way.
Jace: Thanks to the whole cast and crew of Victoria for another wonderful season of deep conversations here on MASTERPIECE Studio.
Stay tuned for the next episode of the podcast, an interview with Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas, who will talk about the upcoming seventh season of her beloved midwifery drama on PBS. Heidi appears in your podcast feeds Sunday, March 18.
The VICTORIA Sweepstakes is happening now through March 15, 2018! Enter daily at pbs.org/sweepstakes for a chance to win the Grand Prize, a Viking Ocean cruise for two adults in the British Isles. You may also win monthly prizes of VICTORIA merchandise. For Official Rules, including eligibility restrictions and prize limitations, visit pbs.org/sweepstakes. Void where prohibited.
MASTERPIECE Studio is hosted by me, Jace Lacob and produced by Nick Andersen. Elisheba Ittoop is our editor. Susanne Simpson is our executive producer. The executive producer of MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton.
Sponsors for MASTERPIECE on PBS are Viking and The MASTERPIECE Trust.
The prince is pleased to find an opportunity to playact as an ordinary husband and father in a small Scottish cottage…small Scottish cottage. Scottish cottage. Scottish cottage. Scottish cottage.
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