We sat down with rising star and actor Leo Suter to talk about his career, his new role in the second series of ITV’s Victoria alongside Jenna Coleman and his favourite spots to dine in London. Later this year the young actor will also be starring opposite Adelaide Clemens in Music, War and Love; an epic love story following the lives of a singer and a violin player who are separated by war and given another chance to reconnect.Leo Suter, photographed by Mike Blackett
Hi Leo, thanks for joining us today. How old were you when you realised you wanted to become an actor?
I had a really inspiring English teacher at school – he got me into drama when I was 11. I did an extract from Macbeth (ambitiously) and it was after that that I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. Then through secondary school I kept performing in plays and loving it – I got my agent after my final school play, Romeo and Juliet.
You're currently starring in the popular period drama, Victoria, which returned to ITV last week. Were you excited when you got the role?
I was over in LA when my agent called me to say I had got the part. That was exciting because the read-through was only in a couple of days time, so I had to hop on a flight home and start reading up on my Victorian history sharpish. Filming has been wonderful. The whole cast and crew are talented, warm and friendly people. Staying up in Yorkshire with the other actors was always a big laugh and just a lot of fun. We get together as a cast each Sunday night to watch the show and we will all stay in touch I’m sure.
We've been following your character, Drummond. Can you tell us more about him and in particular his relationship with Lord Alfred? What can we expect?
Certainly. Mr Drummond and Lord Alfred have been catching each other’s eye from across the room for much of the series so far, but things hot up on a royal trip to Scotland in Episode 7. Drummond is the young private secretary to Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel during a politically turbulent era. He’s engaged to be married but is trying to come to terms with strange, exciting and dangerous new feelings.
Last year you starred in the film Fallen and the series Ransom, how would you compare the two characters and which was your favourite?
Fallen was great fun. My character, Trevor, invites Luce back to a log-cabin but is then killed when the whole thing goes up in flames. It was brilliant experience to be involved with so many special effects and pyrotechnics on set. We filmed it out in Budapest and the rest of the cast were lovely. For Ransom I got to play the villain, which is always fun because you get to say and do shocking things.
Another of your roles was in the hit comedy Bad Education – can you tell us about your character?
Yeah, that was my first professional job! I played a pupil from Jack Whitehall’s former school and had to play a football match. I scored a 30-yard screamer but we had to lose the match so that bit didn’t make it into the final edit.Leo Suter, photographed by Mike Blackett
You’re set to star opposite Adelaide Clemens in the epic love story Music, War and Love later this year. Can you tell us about your role?
Music, War and Love is set in Poland in the Second World War, so I firstly made sure I knew what happened to Poland over the course of the war, and how that information would have affected my character. As soon as I got out to Poland I got to meet Adelaide and we would hang out in the hotel or go for dinner when the shooting schedule allowed.
That was great, and it was so important because our love story is the driving force throughout the film. My character, Robert, faces up to some extraordinary challenges and is witness to many horrors – it was a really rewarding, complex and meaty part to play. He’s also an opera singer, so getting to grips with some of the music was a great challenge. Working alongside Stellen Skarsgard was also a total privilege.
You've been lucky enough to star in some great films and TV series; would you ever turn your attention to theatre?
Certainly. I cut my acting teeth on the stage – I was in plays all through school and university – and I was in the Thelma Holt International Shakespeare Tour to Japan. So it would feel great to get back into theatre. It’s something I really enjoy.
How would you compare acting live on stage in comparison to filming for a film or series? Which do you prefer?
They’re all subtly different and have their own perks. On stage you can feel the audience contributing to the show, and it’s exhilarating to work off them and create something unique every night. But the skill of camera acting is to know where the camera is but to totally forget its presence too. It’s a juggling act. You then develop a precise character over weeks and months of filming. So you have to be really prepared and know the intricacies of the narrative arc. I couldn’t say which I prefer.
Where are some of your favourite spots to eat and drink in London?
The National Theatre and the Southbank in general are lovely places to hang out with friends. I grew up in Camden Town, so that place is pretty special for me. And late night jazz at Ronnie Scott’s is hard to beat.
Finally, can you tell us some of your plans for the next year?
I’m looking forward to the release of Music, War and Love, but there are also some potential film projects I’m excited about. Watch this space.