Robert Emms discusses moving from comedy to disaster drama and gives us the lowdown on upcoming series, 'Cleaning Up' and 'Chernobyl'

In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, Robert Emms speaks about the roles he plays in both his upcoming series, 'Cleaning Up' and 'Chernobyl'


                            Robert Emms discusses moving from comedy to disaster drama and gives us the lowdown on upcoming series, 'Cleaning Up' and 'Chernobyl'

Robert Emms is an English television actor who is known for portraying Pythagoras in the BBC One fantasy-adventure series 'Atlantis'. He also appeared on 'War Horse' and 'Kick Ass 2'. Recently Emms also starred in Daniel Kokotajlo’s debut indie feature 'Apostasy'. He also played roles in 'Mirror Mirror' opposite Julia Roberts. In the forthcoming year, Emms will be seen in ITV's new series, 'Cleaning Up'. He will also be seen playing a pivotal role in HBO's 'Chernobyl' that is set to release in 2019.

In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, Emms spoke about the role he plays in both his upcoming series. Starting off, he talks about 'Chernobyl' that is about the 1986 disaster and how the world’s worst man-made catastrophe translates to the screen.

Credit: David Reiss
Credit: David Reiss

 

"It’s a five-part series for HBO and Sky Atlantic. It was a huge undertaking for the crew and cast. It’s an epic retelling of the story from every perspective in that community. Visually stunning and compelling scripts," the actor revealed. Talking about his role in 'Cleaning Up' a six-part comedy drama, Emms said, "I play Glynn who moves in as a lodger into Sam's (Sheridan Smith) house. The two become friends and Glynn becomes a big part of her family."

Following that, the 32-year-old actor spoke about the challenges he faced while filming for both series. Revealing that no matter how challenging the role is one should always relate to each part they play, he said, "With Glynn he was a light-hearted, caring and genuine guy with a quirky side so he was fun to play."

He added, "With Toptunov in 'Chernobyl', there was a lot of research to delve into as he was a real person, and you have to be sensitive in your approach and delivery. The emotional impact of the story and political backdrop of the time was a big influence in terms of the characters journey and physicality."

The England-born star also revealed that 'Cleaning Up' was an immediately exciting concept to him. And the idea of exploring modern London today through the lens of the cleaners as an invisible workforce is what drew him into the script. He then added, "Sheridan's character is a real draw, a cleaner working on zero hour contracts with a gambling addiction sees an opportunity to transform her life. It felt a very current story that challenges peoples perceptions whilst being really fun."

Credit: David Reiss
Credit: David Reiss

 

Revealing what drew him into 'Chernobyl's script, he said, "With 'Chernobyl', it was the scripts and the real-life story. The scripts were phenomenal. I read all five in a day. The story has never been dramatized in this way and it was something I had to be a part of. Visually I knew it would be very unique and to represent a real person who was fatally affected by the accident was a privilege."

When asked what viewers can expect from both series, he revealed that "'Cleaning Up' will hook people in and be a real binge-worthy series. It’s got a real buzz to it. And 'Chernobyl' will grip people hugely. The visuals and the performances combined will create something really special."

Apart from his new series, Emms also acted in 'Apostasy' which received a TIFF award this year. He played the role of Steven. Talking about the research that went into his character while playing the role, he said, "We were lucky enough to be able to interrogate our director who was an ex JW, his insight was the most invaluable.  I also watched some documentaries about JW’s. I love documentaries — they are a great source of research." 

Credit: David Reiss
Credit: David Reiss

 

The actor also revealed that Rick Buckley in 'Broken' was his favorite role he played till date and that it was a really emotionally challenging role which had many layers to explore.

What some might even miss is that Emms had a role to play in 'Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom'. Talking about his most fond memory from the movie he said, "My favorite moment was having to do the classic Jurassic park slow turn to see a T-Rex. Something I'd been practicing for years." 

While our conversation drew to a close, we asked if there was anything he would like to share with aspiring actors. He said, "I would say to any actors starting out to see plays, exhibitions, music, documentaries, Art, all sorts of culture. To be a sponge. But also to live your life and experience as many things that aren’t related to culture or acting. These experiences will be the things that shape you."