Callum Woodhouse Interview: Creatures, Cars & Characters
In his third season of All Creatures Great and Small, Callum Woodhouse, who plays the lovable and hilarious Tristan Farnon, has driven all the cars and met all the dogs. Which were his favorites? Find out, and get some advice on managing Siegfried, in his Season 3 interview with MASTERPIECE.
Tristan is really growing and changing in Season 3, and we see his growth in actual, concrete things, like buying his car. What can you tell us about that?
Oh, the car was amazing. But I’ve got to be honest, it was very, very difficult to drive that car. It got to the stage where I was sort of dreading the days where I had to drive it just because it’s crazy. There were no brakes. There was only the hand brake, and even the hand brake was on its way out, so if you wanted to stop the car, you sort of needed to pull the hand brake on roughly around a minute before you wanted to actually stop, because that’s how long it would take to trundle. There was no door handles on the inside, so I had to always reach my hand out of the car, open it from the outside, to get out. It was sort of weirdly at the same time tiny and huge. I felt so cramped in there, but also, it felt like driving around a living room. It was just insane.
I’ve been lucky enough to drive Siegfried’s Rover, which is an absolute dream to drive. It is so much fun getting to drive that car. So, going from that to this one was such a fall from grace. I remember being told by the guy who does all the vehicles, they came to him and said, “We need a car for Tristan this series.” And he said, “Okay, what type of car do you want?” There’s the Vauxhall that Nick drives, that’s quite a battered-up old car. It’s way harder a drive than the Rover. But they basically said, “We need something that’s about 10 times more difficult to drive than the Vauxhall,” and they found it. Yeah, I mean, it was really cool to look at, but just driving it was…[Laughs]
Were there any particularly challenging animal moments for you this season?
Yeah, the scenes with the cats. It’s impossible to fill a dog up—you never show a dog a treat, and the dog’s like, “I’m good, actually. Thanks.” They always want the treat. They’re always hungry. Whereas cats get full very, very quick, and once they’re full, they’re not doing a single thing for you. I think there was a day where maybe the cat got full, and we just did not have the shot at all, and it was just so hard, because this cat was just like, “Leave me alone.”
Who’s your favorite dog you’ve worked with? I know you love that dog, Clancy…
Yeah, that’s a lovely dog. Jess is great. Obviously Derek [Tricki Woo]. Derek doesn’t need a mention—he knows how special he is. There’s a little sausage dog called Frankums who’s really, really sweet. I think they managed to stick him into the train journey in Episode 5. Yeah, there’s honestly just so many dogs!
Did you have a favorite animal moment this season?
Yeah, maybe the scene in Episode 1 where I get woken up by Jess the dog licking my face. That was lovely.
“Maggie, you’re a married woman!”
Exactly! Yeah, I never do this, but that was actually the one and only thing where I asked them to change something in the script, because I didn’t think it was right for Tristan. They’d put that I wake up and see that it’s just the dog, and I’d go, “Oh, Jess, get off, for God’s sake.” And I said, “No, I don’t think Tristan would react like that. I think he’d wake up, and he’d see it was Jess, and he’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s just you,'” and let her carry on licking his face. And they all agreed, so I was quite happy with that.
If you had a friend who was going to meet Siegfried, what advice would you give them about the best way to handle him?
Well, number one would just be to try and keep up with him. He’s going to be moving at 100 miles an hour and speaking at 200 miles an hour, so you’re going to need to really try and be on the back of his heels, following his every step, really listening to everything he says. Because if he’s going to have to repeat himself, he’s really not going to be happy about that. And then, just try and take an interest in some really odd thing, and Siegfried will probably think you’re quite cool for that.