This Christmas ITV has a brand new comedy drama for the whole Family. Fast Freddie, The Widow & Me stars Lawrence Fox (Lewis) as narrow-minded car dealer whose attitude is challenged when he is forced to do community service with youngsters at the Moonbeam Club. There he meets 18yr old Freddie Copeland played by Jack McMullen (Waterloo Road) Freddie is older than his years and a daemon on the playstation but Jonathan is surprised to discover that this smart and self assured young man has a terminal illness, has never known a his family and that he’ll be lucky to see Christmas. This heartwarming story centres around Jonathan and Freddie’s relationship and how Jonathan might just be the only person to make Freddie’s final wish come true.
The Film also stars Sarah Smart (At Home With the Braithwaites) and Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders, Vital Signs). I recently spoke to Jack McMullen about what it was like playing a teen with a Terminal Illness and what we can expect from this warm piece of Christmas television.
|Lawrence Fox and Jack McMullen|
What can you tell us about the story of Fast Freddie?
Well its about Freddie who is a young lad who’s not very well. He’s got a kidney problem which needs operating on or it will kill him but he’s got a heart condition which is preventing the operation. He’s an orphan so he’s never had a family Christmas so he’s fascinated by Christmas and the story’s about this wealthy and obnoxious man that he meets who can make his dream of a family Christmas a reality for him.
Is this something that everyone can enjoy over Christmas?
Yes definitely. I think what drew me to the script is that it makes you appreciate what you’ve got and how special Christmas is. You feel you’re not in Freddie’s situation and it makes you appreciate the family that you’ve got at that time.
What’s Freddie’s attitude towards his disease?
I think he’s kind of accepted it. That’s another thing that drew me to the script. I was interested by the fact that I guy his age could be so at ease with the fact he was going to die. He’s not scared at all and that’s a really interesting aspect of the story.
How would you say his upbringing and has affected him?
He values you the friends he has and the people at the Moonbeam Club become his family really. He’s protective over them which is why he and Jonathan don’t get on when they first meet because Jonathan is rude about other Moonbeam members.
In lots of ways Freddie’s more mature than Jonathan despite the age difference do you think that’s why they bond because they balance each other out?
I Think so yeah. Freddie’s been through things that lads his age shouldn’t have been through so here’s had to grow up quite quickly whereas Jonathan’s not had to grow up at all and he’s always been able to have whatever he’s wanted. They’ve both got different values but I think they both learn from each other.
|Sarah Smart, Lawrence Fox, Jack McMullen|
Freddie’s also very protective over Laura who runs the Moonbeam Club why is that?
Laura’s always supported Freddie and I think when Laura became widowed he was there for her so they’re the closet thing each one has to a family.
What are the other members of the Moonbeam Club like?
They’ve all got huge characters. They’re a girl with Asperger’s, there’s Terry who is hyperactive everyone is very different. The different personalities work well together.
Freddie & Jonathan grow closer as the drama progresses did you get on well with Lawrence Fox?
Yes. Lawrence is a great actor. We had a laugh aswell. We did long, long hours and when you spend that much time with somebody you do bond. He was a really great guy and really good to work with.
What do you particularly love and loathe on TV?
I thought Top Boy was absolutely brilliant. I always keep an eye out for up and coming British Drama. ITV have done some really good ones. I’m enjoying Downton Abbey I think its one of the best new dramas to come out of Britain in a long time. I don’t really want to slate anything. I’ve got a couple of friends in Hollyoaks but I’d never watch it!
Will you and the family watch Fast Freddie or do you prefer not to watch yourself?
Yes we will do. I don’t know if you have ever watched or listened to yourself back but there’s something about it that makes you cringe but I think you have to watch it to know what you’re doing right and what not you’re not doing right. You have to critique yourself or you’ll never learn or improve I suppose so yeah I’ll have to watch begrudgingly.
And obviously got to ask you about Waterloo Road. The next ten episodes of this series will be on in the New Year are you following it to Scotland when they make the move?
Well nobody knows anything yet so I can’t really confirm anything. The producers are talking about it but they’re being really guarded at the moment so we don’t know anything at the moment.
You can watch Fast Freddie, The Widow & Me on Tuesday 27th December at 9pm on ITV1.
all pics courtesy of ITVpictures