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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Comedy Central's Threesome: Chat with Emun Elliott


The cast of Threesome
I recently got the chance to chat to Emun Elliot one of the three stars of Comedy Central UK's new comedy Threesome. We chatted about the series as well as the success of HBO's Game of Thrones which he was also involved in. The series, which begins on Monday 17th October is a modern day comedy which centres around the close bond between 3 friends. Alice is going out with Mitch and they best friends with serial puller Richie. After an eventful night their lives change forever when Alice ends up pregnant Things take an even stranger turn when Mitch, Alice and Ritchie discover that Rich is the father of the baby and if that wasn't difficult enough for the friends to come to terms with its harder for Ritchie who is gay.


We've all seen comedies about friends in their twenties and their crazy relationships what makes Threesome unique alongside similar series like Friends or Coupling?
Well the fact that's it about three people trying to bring up a baby. Its a couple and their gay best friend and that's a relationship or dynamic that's never really been explored on British Television before and in a stylistic sense its less safe than shows like friends. We've taken our own approach at trying to convey this story. It really stands alone in terms of the style we've tried to go for. Its a mixture of naturalism and complete wackiness that I've never seen before in British Comedy. And the idea of these friends bringing up a baby seems a very original idea.

I found it wacky but also very believable at the same time..
Definitely! I think in comedy as soon as you stray off the path of what’s real usually you’ll falter so we were keen that no matter how wacky it went we always tried to root it in a dramatic truth that felt right for the characters.

Do you find it easier to play more relatable character?
To be honest I prefer playing people that are less similar to myself. I've been lucky enough to have the chance to do that working in completely different worlds, whether it’s a medieval piece or a fantastical piece. I'm an actor who has always liked having the excuse to wear some sort of mask. But when it came to Ritchie I decided to play it very straight in more than one sense of the word.

Before Alice discovers she's pregnant Ritchie's role is almost to "babysit" or look after the other two. Is he more mature than his friends?
I’m not sure he’s more mature. He’s probably more secure than the other two. They are all mature but in different ways. I think if these three were one person they'd be the perfect parent but individually they can be completely useless. If you took any one of them out of the equation then it would all fall apart. The triangle they have acts as a strange support mechanism for all three.

Do you think Ritchie will make a good father?
Of course. Ritchie thinks he’ll be a good father but he has his insecurities and his worries. And it goes back to the support system that they have with it being the three of them that he knows it could work perfectly well.
Threesome, Comedy Central

You've done a lot of dramatic TV and film work of late were you interested in doing a comedy?
Yes, in terms of a career move I liked the idea of doing something outside of my comfort zone. I’m always looking to learn and hopefully make myself a better actor. And it was a very exciting script and a very modern idea.

You say out of your comfort zone. Were you nervous to do comedy?
I was nervous about that when I got the job but I think actually the nerves come back when the series is about to be shown and you know the public will see all the work you've done. Its when you start doing press and when you start seeing teases and trailers coming that it dawns on you that people are actually going to watch this.

Did you pick anything up from the rest of the cast? Stephen Wight (last seen in BBC2's Whites) has done a lot of comedy.
Yeah Stephen's one of the funniest guys I've ever worked with and now a close friend. He would happily improvise his way through scenes and add in all sorts of inventive ideas so yes I learnt a huge amount from him.

The tone of the show as we've said is very wacky and there's a lot of partying  and just general fun happening did that atmosphere transfer to the set?
Not to disappoint but I think it was much tamer on the set. We were shooting 14 hour days so there were no late nights and no drugs. We just tried to make each other laugh as well as the crew. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a job.

There are a few guest stars in the series. It must've been fun to work with Pauline McLynn (Father Ted and (Shameless)
It was great. She's a master. She knows exactly what she's doing and is extremely funny both off and on camera. It was reassuring to be working with someone who has had a lot of success in comedy and she’s someone I’ve grown watching on television and its always exciting to break that fourth wall.
She plays Alice’s mother Elaine and she’s so different than her roles in Father Ted or Shameless she just seems to transform
Let's talk about Game of Thrones. That's gone down really well. Are you proud to have been inolved with something that big?
Of Course! Its gone down a storm. HBO have done an amazing job with it. Every episode is like a movie in terms of its quality. I’m proud of most things I’ve done but Games of Thrones was the first time I’d worked on anything of that scale it was like stepping into a new realm on that job. But its also nice to do something like threesome which is very different with a small crew, small sets and you’re working at a very fast rate.  
 
Threesome is the first original British comedy from Comedy central. What are your hopes for it? Do you have any preconceptions of how well something you’ve worked on will do?

In terms of expectations I just hope people find it funny. I hope that people have as much fun with it as we did. If it goes on for a second series I’d be interested to see where the writer would take it because once the baby comes it’ll have a very different feel about it.

What do you love and hate on television?

To be honest I don’t watch a lot of television because I don’t have one. I’m always looking for a boxset I can just sit down with and enjoy. But TV does seem to be getting better and better and I like how a lot of people from film are stepping over into television. I saw Dexter last night I was impressed by that and Mad Men too but I’m not really the one to comment.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m just about start work on a new TV thing called Labyrinth which Ridley Scott is producing. Its another epic mini-series. Its based on a novel. I’m very excited about it. Its very dark, epic and violent.

Watch Emun in Threesome. 9.30pm Monday 17th October on Comedy Central.

More on Emun
Comedy Central's Threesome Page
Emun in BBC3's Lip Service - Buy the DVD
Buy BBC1's Paradox

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