Misfits: Matthew McNulty plays Seth
We were introduced to the character of Seth at the end of the last series. For those with short memories, who is he?
Seth is a power dealer. He can give and take powers, but he can't actually use them himself. In the last series we didn't really get to know anything about Seth. I originally thought he was just a plot tool, a useful character to have to develop Misfits. And although he is that, in this series you get to know Seth as a person. There's less of him in the grey suit and pointy shoes, and more of Seth as a guy wearing a hood and some nice t-shirts and jeans, which I'm more comfortable in.
You say that as someone who's done costume dramas in the past. That must involve wearing worse stuff than a grey suit?
The period stuff is completely alien though, whereas this suit could be somebody trying to look cool, and not succeeding. Which is how I feel sometimes when I'm wearing it. I feel like a cheap car salesman. But I think in the environment of Seth's layer, and with the grading and stuff, it does look cool on camera. We don't have that benefit in real life, though. And there are five Misfits who will gladly take the p**s out of you.
You've done Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford. Misfits must be about as far from those as you can get?
[Laughs] It is. I think they're at opposite ends of the scale in terms of the way a set is and the atmosphere on set. Cranford and Lark Rise were good fun. Maybe it's what you're wearing - and they are gentle, nice programmes - so there was a very cordial way of being on set. On this, you've got Joe Gilgun, who's so far removed from that. Lauren as well. But the bunch of them together? It's madness, absolute chaos. I wonder how we get through the day at times, to be honest. They're a little bit unhinged!
When we met Seth in the last series, did you know he was going to play a much more prominent part in this series, or did you think he was just in that one episode?
I was optioned for the next series, so I knew there was a possibility, but there was nothing in the script, and I wasn't told there were any potential storylines. There wasn't much for me to grab hold of with Seth, I didn't really know who he was, so you can't really think forward and think how Seth can be part of that group. So I didn't really think about it. But it was nice to then find out that I'd be in it more, and there's a way for Seth to be amongst it a bit more.
So Seth becomes a lot more involved with the group in this series. Having talked about costume, are you glad you don't have to wander round in an orange jumpsuit all series?
I don't know, because I feel like a bit of an outsider. I'm the only one that hasn't got one. And the jumpsuits look cool. So I think that makes what I wear even worse. And they've all made it their own. Simon's got a little half-mast going on, and Joe makes his look cool - I dunno if it's just cos Joe's cool. They're almost iconic, really, the jumpsuits. So I'm a bit gutted I don't get to wear one. Or anything orange. I'm Mr Grey again.
Seth turns out to have quite an interesting backstory, doesn't he?
We see Seth in the first episode, and he's holding a photograph. That's his ex-girlfriend. He's got a history and a sadness there - she died. He's lonely, I suppose. Being a dealer, he's probably had to be a bit ruthless at times, and he's not really got many friends. He's a nice guy, I think, he wants to do the right thing. At the end of the second series, he seemed like a bad character, and that's how I thought it would go. He's hard, there are things he has to do throughout the series that a lot of people wouldn't do, but ultimately it's for the good of the group.
And a bit of romance comes into his life as well, doesn't it?
Through Kelly. I wouldn't have put Seth and Kelly together, but it works. They bring out the best in each other. Seth's so controlled, he plans out everything he does, and Kelly's the complete opposite. That's what Seth needs, so that's why they work well together.
Is it difficult coming into an established cast where they're all really good mates?
I hadn't seen the first series, I knew of it, but I wasn't into it. So I watched it before I started filming, and I was blown away by it. I'm a massive fan now, it's just a shame that I'm in it. The week before I started filming I watched the series, and then I was there, amongst them. And they're all a cool bunch, and I don't feel like I'm cool, so I was properly intimidated. I think the first scene was when they all approached the table, to get their final powers. And I'm sat down, trying to be all cool, the one in control, and I just have the Misfits in front of me, having just watched them and thought it was amazing. I thought "What the hell am I doing on this show? I'm not worthy of that!" It's hard to get over that. But they're a sound bunch, and after the first day you realise that they're just normal people.
One of the strengths of the series is the way it combines tense drama with very funny scenes. Do you like that aspect of it?
It really works, it's such a great thing about the show, that balance of drama and outrageous humour. That's one of the things I love about it, although Seth is very serious. But the introduction of Rudy is just hilarious. Working with them all as well, it's so funny; some of the lines that have to be uttered by Joe or Iwan, you think ‘How the hell did we get through that?' We laugh a lot. Especially when it's the full group, it's so hard not to corpse. And you do take after take, and it just builds up. Everyone turns to jelly. You see their shoulders start to go from the corner of your eye, and you think ‘They're going to go,' so you look at someone else, and you think ‘They're going to go as well,' and you're trying to do your lines. And it goes on, and you begin to see the crew looking pi**ed off, so you think ‘Right, we'd better get this done.' But it's almost impossible sometimes.