An Unlikely Friendship
Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, based on Jeff Lemire’s DC comic, is available to watch now and here’s two of its stars, Nonso Anonzie (Jepperd) and Christian Convery (Gus) talking about their roles in the show…
“There are lots of sub-stories (in Sweet Tooth),” explains Nonso Anozie, who plays Jepperd. “You have Dr. Singh’s storyline, and then you have the Aimee storyline, and then you’ve got the Abbot storyline, but at the heart of it is definitely the relationship between Gus and Jepperd.”
While Sweet Tooth has a sizeable cast, the characters don’t all interact, and some don’t meet Gus until deep into the story. But Jepperd spends nearly every scene alongside the young deer-boy.
“It was really important that we connected with each other,” acknowledges Anozie, “and it was important to me that we did that off-screen as well as on-screen.”
Fortunately, the veteran actor—who has been seen in shows like Game of Thrones, Zoo and Doctor Who—had no problem bonding with Christian Convery, the 11-year-old performer tasked with bringing Gus to life.
“Christian is a bit of a genius,” Anozie gushes. “I don’t want to make his head big, but he’s very clever. He knows how to take direction and change what he does accordingly on a dime, which is a really rare thing in adults, let alone children. For me to be able to portray Jepperd, where you’re just going to be acting with a kid most of the time, to have someone who’s as mature and talented as Christian was a great help.”
“You cast a wide net,” explains Sweet Tooth executive producer Susan Downey. “You look at professional kids, you look at kids doing theatre in their local schools. You look everywhere. But we actually saw Christian really early on and it was so perfect that we were like, ‘It can’t be this easy.’ We followed through and did our due diligence, but Christian is just amazing. He is Gus. He embodies his sense of hope, his spirit, his curiosity. He’s both wise, but also kind of innocent and vulnerable at the same time. He’s physical. It’s just great. And he’s also a pro, which makes the practical production side of it a lot simpler.”
“Before I booked the role, I never was into comic books and I had never heard of Sweet Tooth,” Convery admits. “But after researching what Sweet Tooth was and learning that there were comic books, I bought the whole series. It turns out now I love comic books and I read them a lot.”
The frightening thing, at least for Gus, is that the boy knows almost nothing about this, having been shielded from the truth by his father for much of his life.
“His father talked to him about how there were fires (out in the world), and everywhere there were bad people, and there was all this chaos,” explains Convery. “It was kind of like a living hell. But there’s a scene in the pilot where he crosses the fence for the first time and he doesn’t see any fires, and he’s confused why there’s not. He runs back into his father, and then he gets in big trouble.
“But later, after he sees Jepperd, he goes to run away and I feel like, because he knows his father lied, because there are no fires, he crosses the fence thinking there’s no danger out there.”
“Jep is incredibly layered because there’s the man we meet at the top who wants nothing to do with us,” says Downey. “Then we start to understand that there’s such a tender heart underneath it all and that he’s obviously suffered a lot, in different aspects, both with what his job had been before the great crumble happened as well as with his own personal story.”
“Jepperd has a past that he’s trying to get away from and just trying to survive day to day,” shares Anozie, who turns in a remarkably nuanced and layered performance as the damaged character. “Obviously, I’m privy to the backstory, so I make up scenarios that I’ve been through and try to carry that with me as I play the character. I use kind of dark things that have happened in my own past that I carry with me. It all seeps through on the screen, hopefully.”
Read the whole chat here
The post Nonso Anonzie And Christian Convery Talk About Their Unique Bond In Netflix’s Sweet Tooth appeared first on TRIPWIRE.
An Unlikely Friendship Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, based on Jeff Lemire’s DC comic, is available to watch now and here’s two of its stars, Nonso Anonzie (Jepperd) and Christian Convery (Gus) talking about their roles in the show… “There are lots of sub-stories (in Sweet Tooth),” explains Nonso Anozie, who plays Jepperd. “You have Dr. Singh’s storyline,
The post Nonso Anonzie And Christian Convery Talk About Their Unique Bond In Netflix’s Sweet Tooth appeared first on TRIPWIRE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE