We interviewed Thomas Turgoose, star of British drama, This Is England
DtL: Hi Thomas, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into acting?
Thomas: When I was younger I was raised in really rough areas – living with just my mum and my oldest brother, Karl. As a stubborn kid, I didn’t like being told what to do so I never really spent much time in school and would bunk off most days. I used to go to this centre called the Space Project which was a group for kids who struggled to fit in with normal school. I spent most of my younger days there with some of the most important people I have ever met. One day, I saw a huge crowd of people outside the centre – my instant thought was ‘is there a fight going on?’ – but it was Shane Meadows and Des Hamilton casting for a film. Des asked me if I wanted to audition, (something I had never done before in my life!) so I decided to charge Des a fiver as I thought I’d never be on telly and at least wanted something for my time. Des then went back and showed the tape to Shane, telling him how cheeky and real I was. After all, I had always been told from a young age, don’t ever be anyone but yourself for anybody. Shane Meadows then came down to Grimsby to meet me and my mum and, from that day, my life totally changed for the better. I owe Shane everything.
DtL: If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Thomas: Mate, don’t stand on lego – it hurts.
“Never let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something”
DtL: What advice would you give to others who may be experiencing bullying?
Thomas: My view with these things is that – although it’s easier said than done – it is possible. If someone or a group of people are treating you differently, you can’t control it – but what you can control is your reaction. I always say, never let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something. Try your hardest to keep going and ignore them.
DtL: What are your most prominent challenges and how do you overcome them?
Thomas: I think in life everyone, at some point, comes across something they see as a challenge. But then, what would life be if you never left your comfort zone or took on challenges? I’d rather remember the times I tried and failed than the times I gave up before I tried.
“What would life be if you never left your comfort zone or took on challenges?”
DtL: What has been your proudest moment so far?
Thomas: For me, my proudest moment is an easy one. While filming This Is England, my late mother managed to spend every day on set with me. Unfortunately, my mother passed away at the end of 2005 – so sadly she never got to see the finished film. However, Shane had made a short 4/5minute clip and he showed it to a select few people in his trailer and my mum was one of them. She watched and cried her eyes out, bless her. Easily the proudest moment knowing my mum could see a future for me.
DtL: What are the best/worst things that come with being famous?
Thomas: This question comes up a lot with interviews and to be honest the word ‘famous’ doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s strange sometimes, being out and about when people recognise you and, of course, it’s flattering to be appreciated for my work. But what annoys me is that there are plenty of doctors, nurses, firemen etc out there and they don’t get this treatment when they are saving lives every single day.