Acts Of Godfrey is an original new British film from writer/director Johnny Daukes which began as a poem, progressed into a story and then a full-length screenplay - entirely in verse.
Q: When you heard that Acts of Godfrey was written entirely in verse, and subsequently read the script, did you have any concerns that you’d committed to doing something that might not work or did the unique format and the possible challenge it represented make it more attractive to you?
Not at all. I thought “A film in verse? How can this fail? This film will surely beat all Inbetweeners Box Office records”. What made the film especially attractive to me as an actor was the huge fee.”
Q: Tony Schlesinger, the producer of Acts of Godfrey, is also the owner of spudulike. Is it purely a coincidence that Wayne and Waynetta Slob’s second daughter was called Spudulika?
Complete coincidence. I did not meet Tony until a decade after Spudulika was born. Coincidentally Spudulika, who is now 14, has two daughters of her own called Toni and Shlesingetta.
Q: One of your co-stars in Acts of Godfrey is fellow actor, comedian and writer Doon Mackichan, who began her TV career working on Harry Enfield’s Television Programme back in 1990. Is this the first time you’ve worked with her since then and were you in any way instrumental in bringing her on board?
It is the first time I’ve worked with her since and I certainly had nothing to do with bringing her on board. She is a frightful woman and talentless compared to me.
Q: Celia Imrie has said that it was a pleasure to be seduced by Harry Enfield. Was it fun to be the seducer?
She is also a frightful woman and talentless compared to me. However, I’ll shag anyone.
Q: Your character is bit of a wrong-un. Is it more fun to play the baddie?
It’s weird for me to play anyone who is not an upright member of society and a moral example to the younger generation. I am the Hugh Bonneville of comedy. So this was a challenge. But I rose to it and am quite marvellous.
Q. There must have been lots of rehearsal time or did the cast take to it quite easily?
The others had to rehearse a great deal but I find raw talent is a fine substitute for rehearsal.
Q. As a writer yourself, did you stick exactly to the words on the page or were you able to improvise at all and interact with the other actors, Simon Callow for instance?
I tried not to interact with Simon Callow. In fact he and the others had strict instructions to avert their eyes and bow their heads in reverence if they saw The Dear Actor (me) coming, Simon is a frightful man and talentless compared to me. However, I’ll shag anyone.
Q: As well as appearing as a regular character (Jim Stonem) in Skins, you’ve also directed a couple of episodes of the series. Is directing something you would like to pursue further?
Yes. And from now on everything I direct must rhyme.
Acts of Godfrey opens at UK cinemas today, and is also available video-on-demand from www.actsofgodfrey.com