Skins is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and we sit down Sean Teale, who played Nick Levan on the E4 series alongside the likes of Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Joe Dempsie, Jack O’Connell and Daniel Kaluuya.
While Skins may have jumpstarted his acting career, it’s his myriad projects (both television and film), that have cemented his name as one of Britain’s top, young artists.
Sean played the lead in the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-produced SyFy thriller Incorporated, which will be airing on UK screens soon.
You will also recognise him as Franco from Mr Selfridge, Prince Louis Conde in Reign, and he starred in independent feature-length film, We are the Freaks. Presently, you can watch Sean on The Gifted as Eclipse.
Sidestepping his busy schedule, Candid caught up with Sean Teale to talk about working with Hollywood's most-legendary producing duo and what what his ultimate role would be.
Can you tell us about your background? When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Well my background ethnically is all over the place. I’m part Spanish, Venezuelan and Welsh. [I was] born and raised in London, which will always be home even though I’ve hardly been able to see her the last few years. As for acting, I didn’t really know I wanted to be an actor until I was in college between sixteen and eighteen. Those were, I suppose, quite formative years for me. Before then I'd always intended on studying law, although I was always fascinated by journalism and the idea of being a war correspondent – stories about Ernie Pyle And Sir Don McCullin excited me. But from sixteen onwards studying Drama became the most important thing in my life. I just wanted to inhale everything related to it. I had no idea there was a possibility of a career in the industry – there might not be one in the future, to be fair!
What were some of your first acting roles?
I played a Stoat in The Wind in the Willows in my first secondary school play – pretty sure I messed up my two lines every night in some way. During school, we worked on some great plays – Patrick Marber’s Closer blew my mind at the time playing Larry. I loved playing Ben in The Dumb Waiter by Pinter too. Devising stuff ourselves was always a thrill.
You starred as Nick in the hit teen TV series, Skins. Can you tell us about your experience in Skins?
Before we started our series, Jack o’Connell and I were talking. He said I’d never have a work experience on- and off-set like it and he wasn’t wrong. It was terrifying and exciting at the same time. [It was] super-hectic, super-enlightening, and at times super-difficult. I was a huge fan of Skins from the beginning and what it stood for so it was a privilege.
Did you enjoy being part of an on-going series? How did your character develop?
I loved being a part of the show. It was my first series role. It was such a huge learning curve and experience really early on, which I'm grateful for. There was admittedly a lot of pressure following the success and talent of the guys that came before us. As for my character, Nick was fun because he was more than a two-dimensional jock; he was goofy and immature and puppy-like, which I enjoyed. Looking back there’s obviously things I’d like to have done differently but I was just learning. Hopefully I still am!
You have appeared in the British series Mr Selfridge; what did you enjoy the most amount being part of such a popular series?
I never thought I would work on a period project before then so that excited me. The cast and crew on Selfridge were so lovely to work with too – Trystan Gravelle and I worked together a lot and he’s wonderful.
You star in the thriller Incorporated, which is soon to be released in the UK; can you tell us about your role?
Incorporated is, amongst other stories, about a man who takes on a mega-corporation in the near future to save the woman he loved and lost years before. I played Aaron Sloane, who takes on this company after creating a new identity and turning himself into Ben Larson. Gradually this new identity and his quest consumes him and starts to tear at who he is and what he stands for.
How did it feel to star in such a huge film produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon?
It felt amazing. I invested more into that series than ever before and slept less than I could possibly imagine to try and earn back the right to be on a project run by the guys who ran it. It was hugely demanding but I loved every minute of it. I’ll always be grateful and owe the guys involved for the opportunity – The Pastor Brothers, Ted Humphrey and of course our producers. It was very hard to let it go.
If you could choose any character/type of role to play, who/what would you pick?
I’m not sure really. I don’t have a specific preference. I want to try my hand at everything, although really, it’s what story is being told that matters. But to be able to play multiple nationalities, and people in all kinds of professions would be a pleasure – everything from superhero or soldier to addicts and delinquents. This is outrageous, far-fetched and unrealistic, but who the hell doesn’t want to be Bond?!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This industry is so volatile and erratic, it’s hard to say. I guess what I'd like to be in five years is employed!
Finally, can you tell us your plans for the next year?
The next year or so will be spent working on the show we’ve started filming in Atlanta called The Gifted. It’s part of the X-Men and Marvel universes and I play a mutant called Marcos Diaz or ‘Eclipse’. He absorbs and emits light and fire from his hands so I'll be flailing my arms about for the foreseeable future!
See Sean Teale in The Gifted is on FOX now. The season finale will air in January.
Photographs of Sean Teale by Joseph Sinclair.
Read more in Film & Entertainment here.
Follow Candid Magazine on Instagram, here.