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Russell Tovey, Being Human - Regular Voltaire

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September 16th, 2010


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01:28 am - Russell Tovey, Being Human
And so, for much of the past week, haha, I have been immersed in a cultural phenomenon that's still largely unknown in these parts, to date. Well, it's not super big yet, but it is growing.

I am talking about the BBC series Being Human. About a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who share a flat in Bristol. It's a fantastic mix of comedy, drama and action / horror, with the supernatural being depicted matter-of-fact style. There's been two seasons so far, and I watched the episodes all, as well as outtakes and deleted scenes. And also video diaries made by the actors and the website editors.

Anyway, how I really got to know about it - I found out about an actor named Russell Tovey. I saw a short video clip about his latest sitcom, Him & Her, on Guardian. And I thought he was interesting looking and maybe someone I had seen elsewhere before. Turns out he was in History Boys (which I have not watched in full, and I do not recall him from the show). After a bit of boredom-induced browsing, I found out about his hit series Being Human. Tovey plays George, the werewolf.

There is a big emotional scene at the beginning of Episode 6, season one, that I think is a really great display of what Tovey is capable of. Well, I found it really moving. It is the scene where George first meets Mitchell, the vampire. Vampires hate werewolves in the show's universe, so Mitchell's then-associate bloodsuckers beat up poor George, who has been on the run since discovering his new condition, and is working a shitty late shift job at a cafe. Mitchell turns up and decides to do a good deed - something he apparently does occasionally despite being allegedly one of the baddest among the vampires.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who finds this scene really big. Russell's Mum is said to have felt really bad about it because it was like watching her boy getting beaten. Haha, know what? I think I can totally relate to Russell in real life.

Actually, I think I might have a lot in common with Russell. He was a history buff as a child (like me), and he'd wanted to be a history teacher before deciding to be an actor instead, around 10 or 11. Clearly comes from a close-knit family, being especially close to Mum. Spoilt too, so he claims - a neighbour gave him a toy car so that he would keep quiet, threatening to take it back if he screamed again.

Quite exceptionally for a young actor, he's made friends with established figures in diverse areas within the arts and letters world. He almost worships playwright Alan Bennett, whom he met on History Boys. He's close to (in)famous artist Tracey Emin, who calls him 'pokey' because of his ears that 'poke out'. He's clearly ambitious - wants to write plays and maybe other stuff.

Oh, and he's got a fairly new twitter feed @russelltovey. I think it's pretty entertaining as far as twittering goes. What's really interesting to me is that he took some trouble to figure out what to call his twitter fans. He started by thinking that 'twits' sounds unbecoming, so then he tried 'witters'. He seems to have settled on 'wittys' which does sound far more positive than the first option. I think that such thoughtfulness is rare in cyberspace, and I should commend him for that!

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