EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Alfred Enoch at Collectormania
Transcribed by Jean Bachen, Nicole Beck, Rachel Iversen, and Tisha Dunstan
Toni Cooper (TC)
Alfred Enoch (AE)
TC: Hi, Alfie.
AE: Hi, Toni.
TC: Okay, so it’s been nearly three years since the end of Potter. Does that still seem really surreal to you?
AE: Has it been three years? That’s…
AE: I don’t really know. Yeah. I mean, Anna [Shaffer] and I have been talking about this, and we were trying to work out how long it’s been, so that’s interesting to know. So it’s three years since the last movie came out?
TC: Yeah. It would be July 2011 it came out.
TC: Three years.
AE: Yeah, I suppose it is odd. It’s surreal when… for example, I think this is maybe the first time I’ve seen Anna since, which is bizarre.
TC: Yeah, she was just saying exactly the same thing, that she hadn’t seen you in all that time. So you’re just like, “Whoa, where’s the time gone?”
AE: Which feels weird. Exactly. I suppose it’s like one of those things that it feels like a long time ago, but also not that… Do you know what I mean?
AE: At the same time, it sort of also doesn’t. I remember particular things, and you sort of think, “That wasn’t very long ago,” and then you think, “Well, goodness, it was actually a really long time ago.” Because so much has happened to me in between. So yeah, I suppose it’s a bit surreal how much time has passed and not at the same time. That’s very inarticulate.
TC: No, I get what you mean. It is so long ago, but I guess sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that you were filming or when it just started or something.
AE: Yeah, that’s it. Sometimes you think, “Goodness, was that that time?” You remember a particular scene or something that happened.
TC: [laughs] Yeah. It can still seem so vivid, but it still seems like it was a long time ago as well.
AE: That’s it.
TC: So do you still keep in contact with other members of the cast? Or do you see them on…
AE: We sort of… it depends. Some of… yeah, I see some people with sort of varying regularity. You tend to sort of bump into people, like seeing Anna today. I saw Harry Melling because I went to see a play he was in. A play which he wrote as well, which was terrific, actually…
AE: … called Peddling.
TC: Oh yeah, yeah. I remember we did something on that on MuggleNet.
AE: And it was really impressive. So impressive. So you sort of run into people, I suppose. But yeah, sometimes I sort of… I’ve seen… I need to actually see… Jessie Cave. Oh, I saw Freddie Stroma. I happened to be in LA.
AE: Over in LA. So yeah, I take my opportunities to catch up with people as and when they present themselves.
TC: Yeah. So [are] events like this really good? If other members of the cast are going.
AE: Yeah, it’s always nice.
TC: Like with Anna. You haven’t seen her in so long, so it’s nice to catch up in that sort of way.
AE: Absolutely. So it’s good. These kinds of events are very good for that. Because it’s been three years, sort of amazingly.
TC: So I was just about to ask if you enjoy doing this sort of thing.
AE: Yeah, I do. I do. Because not only is that a nice thing about it, but people are always very friendly, always very nice. It’s nice to be able to come and meet people, if people sort of have put in the effort and want to come and meet you. People have said, “Oh, I came from Manchester.” “I came from wherever.” And you sort of think, “That’s quite an impressive effort.” So…
TC: Oh, we’ve come from Wales.
AE: There we go! But that’s exactly it. To sort of see that people…
TC: Just want to make the effort.
AE: Well, exactly. It’s a very sort of kind, generous gesture, I think.
TC: And there'[re] so many Potter fans as well [who] are always going to be around. There’s always going to be those people there, coming out just to meet you.
AE: Exactly. That’s one of the things. Potter fans are incredibly… not just Potter fans, I think. People who really care about shows and stories are important. It’s impressive the level of dedication that people show to go and support that. That is… I did a thing called LeakyCon.
TC: LeakyCon London?
AE: There we go. That was it.
TC: Yeah, I was there too.
AE: I was going to say, I think that’s probably very well known. “A thing called…”
AE: It’s rather ridiculous. But yeah, so doing that was amazing. Just because there were so many people, and it was such a nice vibe, and it was just…
TC: It was the first one in London as well. So everyone was so excited because it was finally coming to the UK.
AE: [laughs] Right. Well, there we go.
TC: So we’ve been waiting for so long for it. [laughs]
AE: And it was amazing. It was so cool.
TC: That was such a good weekend.
AE: It was lovely.
TC: Everybody was just like one big happy family. We were all making friends and stuff, as if we’d known each other for years.
TC: It was just so good. We were even running around the hotel, sticking sticky notes on everybody’s doors and stuff to do with Harry Potter. Other guests must have [thought], “What is wrong with these people?”
AE: “What is going on?”
TC: “What [are] all the Post-its about?”
AE: “What happened?”
TC: It was so funny.
TC: It was brilliant.
AE: But yeah, so I do very much enjoy it.
TC: Cool. So I know that recently you were in Sherlock, and obviously, you’ve been onstage as well with Tom Hiddleston. So I was just wondering, how were those experiences different from working [in] film?
AE: Sherlock was different [from] working on Potter in a big way just because… was it the first time? Yeah, maybe it was. A lot of what I’d done since Potter finished was stage play. So you meet on the first day of rehearsals, you get to know each other over the course of rehearsals, and you do the run. You get to know each other better and better, and you sort of work together and everyone more or less starts from the same point. It’s a different thing if you’re on something like Sherlock for a short period of time because you sort of rock up and it’s a well-oiled machine. So everybody knows each other. They’ve been doing it for however many seasons before that – two seasons before that, in my case. People are comfortable in the way that we were comfortable on Potter, but you’re not part of that. Not that you feel excluded. That was one of the best things about it, was that everyone was so, so lovely. I did five days’ work on it, but I had an amazing time. Everyone was fantastic.
TC: Just welcoming.
AE: Yeah. And it sort of makes you feel fantastically comfortable. But it was interesting coming at something from that different perspective. It’s a testament to everybody on Sherlock that it was such a pleasure to work on. Potentially, that’s something where everybody knows each other and you’re just the guy who’s only in for a couple of days, that it could be a bit awkward. Whereas Coriolanus, as I said, it’s a different thing. You’ll rock up on the first day of rehearsals and get to know each other. And that’s technically different than working onstage, but yeah, I love working onstage. It’s a real pleasure. And I had some lovely people. One of them is here today, and again, the chance to catch up with people is always a nice thing about doing these things. But when I heard that he was going to be here today, Peter De Jersey… fantastic in Coriolanus. He’s a fantastic actor. And just the most lovely man. So I think, “This is great!” It’s nice to be able to catch up with people.
TC: So going back to television as well, I know that you’re going to be appearing in an upcoming television series called How to Get Away with Murder.
AE: [laughs] Right. Yeah. Very good research.
TC: You just have a first clip coming up, so we just covered that. So I [was wondering] what it was like working on an American set, and is that a lot different from over here?
AE: It was very different. It was great.
AE: I mean, I had an amazing time. It was so much fun. But the thing that really [struck] me was that everything moved so fast. On television, things tend to be quicker than they did on Potter, for example, where [in] the second film… The dueling scene between Kenneth Branagh and Alan Rickman in the Great Hall, that’s two central characters, so the scene was two characters facing off. But then there’s everybody else, so all these reaction shots to shoot in the Great Hall with hundreds of people. It took three weeks to shoot.
TC: Oh my God.
AE: And we did that whole pilot in three weeks. You wouldn’t have that, really… Well, I’ve never experienced anything like that, working on television in this country. But the first scene we did, we did it in like an hour and I was like, “Is that it?”
AE: I was like, “It’s gone. I was just warming up, really.”
TC: Waiting for a few days to do just one shot.
AE: Yeah, I don’t know.
TC: “Whoa, what is going on?”
AE: Exactly. So it’s a real change of pace. But everyone is so slick and so professional – as they are here – but it had a pace to it that was kind of exciting. I loved it. I loved everything about it. It was great.
TC: How was it to try [to] get an American accent?
TC: Did you find that very hard?
AE: It required a lot of hard work and I hope it was…
AE: … not unsuccessful. I don’t know. I find it very difficult to judge. But I had a fantastic dialectic coach who worked with me. We worked together an hour every morning before shooting, as well as working around the times and at other times before. So I did a lot of work on it. I hope it came out okay.
TC: I’m sure. I’m really looking forward to it. Like I said, I saw the trailer and the clips the other day, and it just looks really interesting.
AE: Oh, great. I saw the trailer… the trailer was amazing. The feat of editing to make something like that. It looks so cool. You’re just like… and I’ve seen the episode. The episode is fantastic as well. So it’s a good source material. But it’s an amazing sort of thing, fashioning a trailer, a shortened version that just gives you tidbits. It must be a cool job. It’s amazing.
TC: It certainly got me interested. It’s coming out in autumn, yeah?
AE: Yes, in the autumn.
TC: Is that just in America? Or is it…
AE: I think it will just be in America. I think hopefully, eventually, it will come over here.
TC: I hope so.
AE: To be honest, I know very little about that side of things. But it was great. And there were some amazing people in it. To get the chance to work with… I mean, all of the cast was great, but Viola Davis…
TC: I was going to ask, was that something…
AE: She is amazing. She is so good. I mean, obviously, she’s great. Anybody who has seen any of her movies will know that.
TC: I’m sure she’s like some sort of force to work with.
AE: Oh, it was a real pleasure. It was so exciting professionally to get to work with someone of that caliber.
TC: Yeah, and Oscar-nominated twice or something.
AE: Exactly. And to be doing scenes just me and her, which are proper sort of full-on scenes, was so gratifying. It was great. It was lovely. So yeah, very cool.
TC: Is there anything you can sort of tell us? A sneak peek about it?
AE: I can’t tell you anything, I’m afraid. Everything I would be able to tell you is on the Internet.
AE: So I better say nothing. And I’m sure you can…
TC I thought I would try. [laughs]
AE: Yes. Well, that’s good journalistic impulse on your part.
TC: Yeah, this is something like my third interview, so I was like, “I’m just going to ask that.”
AE: [laughs] Get the scoop.
TC: You see people ask that all the time. I was like, “I’m going to try it.” [laughs]
AE: I’m sorry I can’t…
TC: It’s okay. [laughs]
AE: … satisfy that particular curiosity.
TC: Okay, so I have one last grueling question for you.
AE: Oh, grueling.
TC: What is your Hogwarts House, and is it the same as your Pottermore one?
AE: Is it the same as my…
TC: Pottermore House. So if you’ve got a Pottermore account.
AE: I have to say, I don’t have a Pottermore House. I mean, it sounds like a ridiculous thing to say this because you sort of feel like… Anyway, in my head, I think I’m a Gryffindor. [laughs] Now I feel like a bit of a douche for saying that…
AE: … because it’s like… yeah, I think I would be a Gryffindor. It’s just the best House. Is it the best House? I know that’s arguable.
AE: But in my head, it’s the best House, so maybe that’s why I think that.
TC: You’re obviously a Gryffindor as well as Dean, so…
AE: Exactly, so I know all about it!
AE: And with that knowledge, I think I would… no. I mean, it’s something… I have a friend who loves playing “What Houses would people be in?” It’s like, “Oh, so and so is such a Hufflepuff.”
AE: And I’m like, “Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” and he goes, “Oh, but… yeah, definitely a Hufflepuff.” And I was like, “But on what basis?” He’s the Sorting Hat of the group, so…
TC: Yeah, I don’t like it when people think that Hufflepuff is a bad thing.
AE: It annoys me as well.
AE: I think that’s quite a good House. If you sort of think about all the stress and strain… you’ve got this like, “Oh, the Slytherins being all Slytherin and bad.” That’s something else he loves to hypothesize about. He goes… [laughs] he’ll be chuffed up, talking about it.
AE: He sort of goes, “Obviously, all Slytherins are evil.” That’s obviously ridiculous. He was like, “I’d be a Slytherin.” But he sort of prides himself on being a bit evil, being a bit… I don’t know, cutting the rye in a way that he thinks is very Slytherin. But in his mind, Hufflepuff isn’t as interesting. It’s just not as interesting.
AE: I was like, “I disagree with that one.” Just because…
TC: Yeah, I always thought of myself as Hufflepuff. Then I went on Pottermore, and they Sorted me into Slytherin. And I’m like, “I’m not quite sure how this happened. I’m not cunning enough to be in Slytherin.” [laughs]
AE: To be in Slytherin. [laughs]
TC: But I just see myself as a…
AE: Is that why you’re repping the Slytherin colors today?
TC: Yeah, I thought I would embrace it. But I’m Slytherpuff. I see myself as a Slytherpuff.
TC: Slytherpuff. [laughs]
AE: Amazing. Goodness, I’ve never heard that.
TC: I don’t want to get rid of my Hufflepuff genes.
AE: Right. Okay. Of course.
TC: They are still there.
AE: Still celebrate them.
TC: Yeah. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with them. They’re nice people. [laughs]
AE: Absolutely. It’s true. I think it’s a good House. As is Ravenclaw. It’s because people always sort of go, “Gryffindor, Slytherin.” It just takes up a lot of focus.
TC: Yeah, so nobody ever thinks…
AE: And then people sort of discard… not knowledge people, but casual Potterphiles, such as my friend sort of was a bit like, “Yeah, but actually…”
TC: Yeah, I know a lot of people who see themselves as Ravenclaws.
AE: I think Ravenclaw…
TC: There’s a lot of them.
AE: Over the other Houses, I don’t think I’d be a Ravenclaw, but I think they are quite cool. In my head, I think Ravenclaws are a bit hipster.
TC: Yeah. I think every House in itself is quite a good House. Even though Slytherin… They are seen as evil and things, but I don’t think they are. I think there are probably some good Slytherins.
AE: Of course. Exactly. Obviously, there’s an abrasive characteristic, but there is so much diversity within the clag. In my school, we had houses, and houses definitely had characteristics. It’s weird. I think it’s sort of self-fulfilling. It’s not like you’re selected into a house on the basis of your characteristics – well, not my school – but then these houses develop certain characteristics. But you had a range of very different people as a whole. So yeah, there’s definitely a variety in that.[/su_spoiler]