Posted on May 11th, 2011 by admin

Luke Treadaway could be about to eclipse his twin brother Harry – thanks to his role as a plummy stoner in space invasion movie Attack the Block

Does Luke Treadaway have attachment issues? In his first film, he spent the summer strapped to his identical twin, Harry: they were playing conjoined twins and proto-punk rockers in the disturbingly brilliant Brothers of the Head (2006). Later this summer, he will appear handcuffed to a rival rock star in David Mackenzie’s You Instead. This week sees the opening of Joe Cornish’s eagerly awaited Attack the Block, in which Treadaway plays a plummy stoner whose attachment to weed brings him in close contact with the “big alien gorilla wolf monsters” rampaging through a south London estate.

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Off screen, of course, there is the press interest in his relationship with his acting twin, Harry. Both were inspired by their drama teacher while growing up in Devon; both attended the National Youth Theatre when they were 16; both studied at Lamda, the London Academy of Music and Drama; both got their big break in Brothers of the Head. The fact that there are two of them is certainly not dampening the demand for either, and yet Harry, the younger by 20 minutes, is arguably better known (he currently trumps Luke in terms of Google hits): he has had roles in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Anton Corbijn’s Control, while Luke has toiled in the theatre, appearing in War Horse and Saint Joan, alongside Anne-Marie Duff.

This year, however, Luke strikes back. As well as Attack the Block and You Instead, filmed over just four days at the T in the Park festival, he is currently finishing Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, a costume drama with Felicity Jones and Mackenzie Crook. The Whistleblower, in which he played a corrupt soldier alongside Rachel Weisz and Vanessa Redgrave, is now on the US festival circuit; it’s a film he says he is “proud of” for telling the story of sex trafficking in Bosnia.

Are the brothers fiercely competitive? Nothing would be more exciting than if the Treadaways became the Milibands of the acting world. “He is obviously a huge part of my life and I love him dearly,” Luke says of Harry. “I want him to do well, I want him to get great jobs. We have the same job, but I have a lot of mates who are actors, and I want them to do well, too. There’s no bitterness if one of us gets a job and one of us doesn’t.” They have gone for the same jobs in the past. There is a tussle between Treadaway’s perceptible discomfort with personal questions and his scrupulous manners, and he apologises for the “predictably boring” answers about his brother. “It fascinates me,” he says of his relationship with Harry, but then “other actors don’t have to talk about their brother or sister all the time.”

After Brothers of the Head, the Treadaways performed again as twins in Over There by Mark Ravenhill. Harry’s character feasted upon Luke’s dying body, and Luke was quoted afterwards as saying: “When you’re working with other people you have to maintain a certain level of professionalism, which Harry and I don’t.” Would he work with his brother again? “You have to say ‘no’ to a lot of twin parts because you don’t want to be just put in that pigeonhole,” he says coolly. “Maybe it will happen again, maybe it won’t.”

Attack the Block has all the makings of a big hit, with its verve, wit and uncompromising but warm depiction of London gangs and the British class system. Treadaway says he loved working on Cornish’s first feature. The director is best known as one half of 6 Music’s Adam and Joe, though Treadaway describes him as “the most effusive, film-minded person in the world”: “He wanted it to be like La Haine, crossed with Alien, via early-80s B-movies and ET.” Treadaway plays an amusingly uncomfortable upper-middle class student, a character Cornish admits is partly modelled on himself. “Maybe it’s Joe turned up to 12, but it was fun talking to him about his forays on to estates when he was that age and things he might have got up to,” Treadaway says. His character is terrified that the alien invasion will stop him getting to a house party in Fulham on time, particularly after extraterrestrials trash his father’s car. Did anything similar befall the teenage Treadaway? “If we had a party, all the windows would be open for a couple of days before mum and dad got back,” he says. “We were pretty good at cleaning up after ourselves and not getting busted.”

The son of an architect and a teacher, Treadaway enjoyed a bucolic childhood in the village of Sandford in Devon. He always enjoyed getting on stage; his first role was as a daffodil in the village pantomime. “My dad was the big bad wolf, so I remember seeing him with big ears panting his way across the stage. That’s my inspiration from when I was three,” he smiles. A second inspiration was the drama teacher at his local comprehensive, Phil Gasson, who “really pushed the boundaries of what a drama class may be at school”; they remain friends. The Treadaway twins also formed their own band, both of them singing and playing guitar. Was it a bit like the Libertines? “A bit like that but with less heroin,” he pauses, deadpan. “No heroin.”

Not so long ago, the twins were labelled leaders of a “Treadaway Set”, on the strength of Luke and Harry being friends with Doctor Who Matt Smith and other twentysomething actors such as Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell and Carey Mulligan. “A Treadaway set? God, I don’t want to take responsibility for that,” Luke says, squirming. “A lot of my mates are actors and it’s lovely to be able to work with friends. But I wouldn’t like to do any of them the disservice of claiming them to be part of my ‘set’. They are all their own beings and doing fabulously well.”

The squirming increases when I ask Treadaway if he has a girlfriend. He was photographed at the Attack the Block premiere last week with Ruta Gedmintas, his co-star in Mackenzie’s You Instead. “Should I say? Should I not? I don’t know.” It’s entirely up to him. “There is a lovely lady in my life at the moment, yes.” He blushes again. “I’m not saying any more.”

In Brothers of the Head, the Treadaways played all the songs, and music remains Treadaway’s passion. He is a big fan of Radiohead, and still writes and jams with friends. “It’s been too many years since I’ve played live as myself as opposed to in a fake band for a film,” says Treadaway, who is acutely aware of the rocky road facing actors who want to be musicians. “I saw Keanu Reeves [and his band] at Glastonbury and he had tangerines thrown at him, which I thought was slightly unnecessary,” he says. “All I’m thinking is, instead of playing guitar in my living room I might say to my mates, ‘I’m playing at Camden tonight.’ I’ve got no major designs on conquering the music industry.” Would he form a band with Harry? “Maybe. I wouldn’t rule him out. He can audition.”

He recently directed a music video for girl band the Boxettes; Bellatrix, the band’s beatboxer, comes from his village. Never mind the Treadaway set, what about the Sandford scene? “There’s a great scene in Sandford,” he enthuses. “Get down the Lamb Inn for open mic night. My dad’s been playing a couple of Bob Dylan songs there recently. He loved it.” I wonder if tiny villages sometimes generate more creativity than cities. Treadaway agrees. “Maybe there’s less oppression growing up in a small village, and fewer rules, and less danger. London is full of creative people – you can never say that it’s not. But certainly my experience growing up was of this great sense of freedom.”

Source: The Guardian


Posted on May 7th, 2011 by admin

The 26-year-old star of new BBC drama The Night Watch made his name in a run of dark roles, but tells Benji Wilson he’s found light relief battling zombies.

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As he clambers into the back of our cab, Harry Treadaway doesn’t look much like a bright young screen star. He looks more like a street cleaner – high-visibility tabard over tattered jeans.

Harry has just come off set in his lunch break for our ride. He’s filming Cockneys vs Zombies, a movie that needs little further explanation, and he’s been having a ball. ‘It’s a real caper. It’s funny – very different from everything I’ve done. It’s nice to do something lighter.’ Harry, 26, built his reputation in hard-boiled indie films such as Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Anton Corbijn’s Control. Next, he appears in BBC2’s haunting adaptation of Sarah Waters’s bestseller The Night Watch, alongside Anna Maxwell Martin, Jodie Whittaker and Claire Foy.

‘It’s split into three parts – 1947, 1944, 1941 – and you trace the story in reverse. The backdrop is wartime but it’s a look at personal wars: there are lesbian characters, and my character Duncan is gay. It’s a beautiful story about the pains of dealing with what you are.’

‘The Night Watch is a beautiful story about the pains of dealing with what you are’

What Harry Treadaway is right now is a little beaten up. That’s emotionally – he’s just coming out of a relationship that he’d prefer not to talk about; and physically – he has two splints on his fingers from a recent chase scene where he was running at full pelt – ‘stacked it’, as he puts it – and bent his pinkies right back. But he is also in the busiest period of his career, with two films already set for release later this year, Albatross and Hideaways.

We pick him up in the middle of the City and drive. Harry is always trying to get out of the city – he lives in North London, but was brought up in Devon and he considers himself a country boy at heart.

‘When you’ve lived there for the first 18 years of your life, the fields and the trees and the rivers are in you. I may live in London, but I’ll go back to the country one day. My dad’s an architect so I would like him to design me a house. I’d love to be in the countryside when I’m older.’

It was playing around in the family garden in Devon with his twin brother Luke that first gave him the acting bug.

‘You know the way that children play make-believe in the garden? I did that and I thought, “This will do for life. Why would I want to do anything else?” I was lucky, I had support from Mum and Dad – they said as long as you work hard anything is possible. I never thought past those two things – that I liked living in imaginary worlds and that it is possible to do that for a living. I didn’t need imaginary friends because I had Luke, so there was always someone there to play with.’

Luke is also an actor. They started doing National Youth Theatre at school and went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art together at 18. They have appeared twice together, too – once as conjoined twins in the film Brothers of the Head, and four years later, in 2009, at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in Over There. Being ‘the Treadaway twins’ was a useful calling card to get them started, but both are now keen to establish separate careers.

‘I’m not over-eager to talk about it but I understand the interest. I think it’s time to let us go our own ways. Maybe in the future if there’s the right project we’ll think about working together again, but we have no immediate plans.’

We pull up for photos, get moved on several times and then finally find a quiet spot. Harry jumps on the bonnet. The labourer look is working for him, I say.

‘Some days you might find me dressed like this!’ he says, before taking a more detailed look at his costume. ‘Although the last time I wore a hi-vis was when I was working on a building site in Devon.’

The Night Watch will be shown on BBC2 in the coming weeks

Source: The Daily Mail


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