Dylan chats about Derry Girls and sex scenes in his new series Big Boys (Picture: Getty / Metro.co.uk
Derry Girls actor Dylan Llewellyn, 29, on intimacy on set, the Tarantino role he would love to play and his new comedy series, Big Boys.
How’s life been since the incredible response to Derry Girls’ final episodes?
The response has just been unreal with Derry Girls, and so sweet. It’s touched a lot of people, this show.
It’s hard to imagine another sitcom with such a killer cast and brilliant scripts as Derry Girls but your new show Big Boys, which focuses on a gay/straight-male friendship, is it. How did you get involved?
It was after season one of Derry Girls that I landed the [unbroadcast] pilot for Big Boys. Then I invited all the girls to my apartment in Belfast when we were shooting Derry Girls season two to watch it with me.
It was lovely. They gave me big hugs at the end of it. We were praying it would get picked up and it did, by Channel 4.
What’s it like playing comedian Jack Rooke when he’s written it and done the voiceover for the TV version of himself?
Jack is a legend. It’s his truth and he was on set every day. It was good to play ideas off him.
When did your Derry Girls pal Nicola Coughlan first introduce you to Jack?
It was at the Edinburgh Fringe after we’d shot season one of Derry Girls. Nicola was doing a play there and Jack was doing a play around the same time. Nic and Jack became friends.
I didn’t know him too well but I’m so happy I know him now. I really cherish my friendship with both of them.
Dylan shot to fame after playing James Maguire in the recently wrapped-up Derry Girls (Picture: Channel 4)
Part of the gang (Picture: Adam Lawrence / Channel 4)
Where is Jack in his life when we first meet him in Big Boys?
It’s the aftermath of losing his father. We see his beautiful bond with his mum Peggy, played by Camille Coduri, and their closeness.
They go through it together and try to have each other’s backs. It’s just a beautiful mum-and-son friendship.
You’ve said Jack’s story resonates with you as you lost a family member early in your life. How did you cope?
I was about 16 so I really can relate to Jack with his story. Jack’s genius as a writer is that he beautifully mixes important subjects such as grief, mental health and sexuality with humour.
Big Boys’ handling of sexuality is as fantastically full-on as It’s A Sin or Queer As Folk. Was this the first time you had worked with an intimacy coordinator?
It was. I’d only ever heard of them but I think they are brilliant. It’s needed in the industry. It makes things so much easier.
It’s making sure you don’t accidentally cross a boundary, making sure everyone is comfortable.
Dylan plays the introverted Jack in Big Boys (Picture: Phil Galloway / Channel 4)
From a technical aspect, is it like having two directors on set for those scenes?
They teamwork it, for sure. The director will say, ‘Here’s how I would like it to be. How can we go about doing that?’
Then the intimacy coordinator will say, ‘OK, then we can do this, this or this.’ It’s the same as directors of photography asking, ‘How are we going to light this shot?’
Jack Rooke says Camille Coduri is like his real mum. Is Peggy anything like your mum?
Peggy is like a lot of mums. She is just a mother to all. My mum probably swears less. They are both sweethearts.
In Big Boys, Jack has a pet goldfish called Alison Hammond. Do you have any pets named after This Morning presenters?
My family have got a dog called Bentley because my dad always wanted a Bentley. So that’s awesome.
Before him, we had a bulldog called Tubbs. Rest in peace, Tubbs. The Llewellyn family is a real dog family.
As a Quentin Tarantino fan, which character of his would you most love to have played?
Christian Slater’s character, Clarence, in True Romance. Of course, Tarantino didn’t direct that, but he wrote it so it still counts.
Which Derry Girl would you want to play the Patricia Arquette role of Clarence’s girlfriend – Saoirse-Monica Jackson or Nicola Coughlan?
Neither! They’re like my sisters! Actually, I guess they could. Why not? Thinking of her as Erin in Derry Girls, Saoirse could play her.
But I do see them as my sisters and I’m their little brother so I don’t think we would go there.
Saoirse-Monica Jackson (c) plays Erin in Derry Girls (Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images)
What happened to the drawings of James and Erin that the caricature artist did in the Derry Girls finale?
Oh, I can’t remember what happened to those. I think Saoirse might have kept one. They were really good. I would love to have one.
What are you doing with the rest of your day?
The sun is coming out a little bit so I might chill out on my balcony, make some dinner – something simple like poached eggs and avocado on toast. Nice and healthy. Just hanging out.
Watch Big Boys on Thursdays at 10pm on Channel 4. All episodes are available on All 4 now.