Alex Lawther on The End of the F***ing World, his creative influences and more

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I read somewhere, someone much more eloquent than me, saying “it doesn’t matter if [a character is] likeable but they have to be interesting“. You don’t have to like them, but you have to want to know what happens next. Even if you hate them or you’re scared of them or if you… as long as they’re not boring you, because boring is passive.  It’s not so much not being liked… they cause you to be interested in them actively and to see where their objectives are going to take them. Which I think is the analytical way of putting it, yeah.

This is one of my favourite interviews I’ve ever done, because I absolutely loved talking to Alex Lawther – he’s just wonderful, I’m a huge fan. I promised to learn French for him, in fact. (At time of writing, and by writing I mean editing all my old posts for the new wordpress site, my duolingo streak is 177 days.)

(I would continue to talk about how great I think he is, but… well, I don’t want to overdo it, you know?)

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Why you should watch Channel 4’s The End of the F***ing World

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A confident, even elegant piece of television from writer Charlie Covell, The End of the F***ing World must first and foremost be celebrated for its characters. Focused on two isolated teenagers who have always lived their lives in liminal spaces, the series functions as a nuanced character study; use of cleverly constructed cutscenes and some of the best voiceover sequences since The Handmaid’s Tale lend James and Alyssa a real, and rare, sense of interiority. It creates a certain intimacy with self-diagnosed psychopath James and the intense Alyssa, one that serves to emphasise the poignancy – and in some ways the tragedy – of the journey they undertake.

I absolutely loved this show, though admittedly in hindsight this article is perhaps a little too slight to convey just how good it is.

If you liked this article – or if you didn’t like the article, but you did like the show – you might also be interested in my interview with the wonderful Alex Lawther. I’d quite like to interview the presumably similarly wonderful Jessica Barden, if anyone who can arrange that happens to be reading this.

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Black Mirror review: Alex Lawther is fantastic in Shut Up and Dance

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Of Black Mirror’s first three episodes in this new season, Shut Up and Dance is the most impactful; it’s chilling and discomforting in a way quite unlike its predecessors. No doubt this is a story that’s going to stay with anyone who watches it for a long, long time – just like the best of Black Mirror, really.

One of those rare episodes of television that you love so much, and find so impactful – but know that you’ll literally never, ever watch it again. It’s just too much. This one left me reeling for hours. It’s an extremely powerful piece of drama.

It also started my ongoing, decidedly one-sided, friendship with Alex Lawther, which culminated in this terribly exciting interview.

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