Iwan Rheon has been Simon Astell’s love interest in the brilliant BBC 2 comedy Grandma’s House. He outshone everyone for his anarchic takeover of the West End in Spring Awakening. And the 27 year old Welsh actor is probably best known for playing Simon in E4’s Misfits, the awkward sensitive one with superpowers and a surprisingly super body to boot.
But before most of that, Iwan appeared in a debut short film for Channel 4. ‘I Don’t Care’ – released today as part of a series of gay shorts on Peccadillo Pictures – is the work of first time writer Pete Jordi Wood. Based on Pete’s own experience as a gay carer living in small seaside town looking after his mother, ‘I Don’t Care’ sees Iwan’s character Luka find adventure on a rare day off.
“It was filmed on Canvey Island in Essex, “ says Iwan down the line to us on a Friday evening in his strong Welsh brogue. “It was meant as like a vague seaside town away from the exciting Londony type place where all my character Luka’s friends ended up moving to. So he’s kind of left there really.”
In the film Luka gets into a situation with his bloke in van where they have an intense conversation and then a bit of a pash and the scene is basically about Luka putting his sexuality in real terms and how scary that can be. “He probably experienced the feelings before but when he meets this guy it’s awkward,” says Iwan of his character. “This actual guy and what he stands for, the kind of freedom…and he just thinks wow he’s the opposite to me, this is amazing, and then you know, he kisses him and its this crazy thing and he offers him a way out of his really…difficult life in a way. I think that’s what it is.”
Iwan has notched up quite the number of gay characters on his Imdb profile, most recently as the object of Simon Astell’s affection in Grandma’s House. Does he go to gay friends for advice on how to play gay, then? “Fortunately I haven’t portrayed it in an offensive way because that would be bad,” laughs Iwan, ”I haven’t received any bad critique. I can’t think if we’ve actually discussed it. I think it’s a general thumbs up.”
BOYS ON FILM: CRUEL BRITANNIA is out on DVD now and can be ordered here amzn.to/wunCpp