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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

Kadiff Kirwan talks 'The Stranger' and acting roles alongside his best friends

Film News
Shirt Scotch & Soda

Actor and writer Kadiff Kirwan has had successful roles in comedy bangers Chewing Gum and Fleabag, and you may perhaps recognise him from his lead role in Timewasters. The actor has a resume that is not only impressive but wide-ranging, proving to the world you do not need to be typecast and can move freely outside the world of comedy.

With impressive acting credits including the BAFTA award-winning show Black Mirror, and feature films such as Mary Queen of Scots, Kirwan returns to our screens as DC Wesley Ross in Netflix's British mystery thriller The Stranger.

We sit down with Kirwan at trendy spot Iron Bloom in bustling Shoreditch, London, to discuss what it is like having acting roles alongside your best friends (Michaela Coel & Hannah John-Kamen), life as a rising star in acting, and most importantly, why you should or shouldn't visit The Box nightclub.

You’re a rising star in the acting world, but are you the biggest star in your family?

That’s actually a hilarious question because as much as I would like to think I am, I’d be lying if I said so. I would say the star in my family is my mother. Her name is Matilda and she is a wizard in the kitchen. You name it, she can cook it. She’s one of those people who can open the cupboard, find five different things and chuck them together, and make something absolutely delicious.

If you, me and Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel got separated in a supermarket of your choice, in which aisle would I find you? And where do you think we would locate Michaela?

You’d find me in the bakery section, gorging myself with pastries and bread until I make myself sick. Then, I’d take a trip down the booze aisle to find myself a nice gin to go with my baguette. Michaela you would find in the vegan section, reading the labels and ingredients on certain foods; she’s a rather curious being.

Shirt Scotch & Soda, Trousers Obey

You recently starred in series 5, episode 2 of Inside No. 9 – did you revel in the Psychoville connection?

I did, yes. What an episode to be a part of. When I got the script, I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. Having the Sowerbutts grace our screens once again was pretty freaking dope. Steve and Reece (the writers) are geniuses and they were a pleasure to work with.

You play DC Wesley Ross in the new Netflix mini-series The Stranger in which Adam Price sees a secret destroy his seemingly perfect life. Who do you trust with your secrets?

This is an easy one, and it actually ties into The Stranger. I would trust the stranger herself (Hannah John-Kamen) with my secrets! No, really! She’s my best friend of 12 years. Honestly!

We went to drama school together and we were in the same class. So, when we both got cast in The Stranger it was a dream come true. It’s not often you get to be part of such an epic show with your best mate.

(L-R) Jacket Levi's, Shirt Adidas, Jacket Guess by Marciano, Trousers Levi's

Anyone who has seen the first episode of The Stranger knows about the silent rave and the alpaca. What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve encountered on a night out?

Oh gosh, there are many things I could say – I live in London after all. The live shows at The Box, need I say more? If you’ve been to The Box, you’ll know what I mean – and if not, then be thankful, stay pure.

You’ve portrayed a Detective Constable who participates in complex criminal investigations. What real-life crimes have fascinated you?

I have an obsession with cowboy builders getting caught and taken to court. I love those tacky Channel 5 shows about all that, it fills my soul with joy.

What do you do in the half-hour before an audition?

I stick on a jam on my iTunes and I try to zone out. At the moment I have Sufjan Steven’s 2015 album Carrie & Lowell on repeat. It sends me into a zen place. Then about 5 mins before I go into the room, I get up, have a stretch, and go over my lines for the last time.

The Stranger is available on Netflix's now

Photographer Sarah Tahon


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