News

Michelle Keegan ‘made prat of herself’ so new Brassic series is best yet


Cult TV comedy Brassic is coming back and Michelle Keegan has worked overtime to make it bigger , ­better and dafter – often at her own expense.

Writer and co-star Joe Gilgun says the third series – starting next week – sees Michelle, 34, centre stage in a special episode.

Joe, 37, plays Vinnie, the skint pal of Michelle’s character Erin, and Damien Malony, 37, co-stars as Dylan. They live in fictional Hawley and the crime scrapes Joe’s gang get into are hilarious.

But in this series, single mum Erin and Hawley’s women play a bigger role, as former Corrie and Emmerdale star Joe explains.

He says: “They are powerhouses, all of them, they really are. We were doing them all a disservice by not putting them at the front.

“So we just poured everything into a proper all-girl episode.



Michelle in Brassic
(

Image:

Sky UK)




“And we want to continue to do that, ­actually. Because, I mean, they ­carried it. The whole episode, they carried it brilliantly.

“It’s hilariously funny all the way through. Michelle worked her arse off because the conditions she had to film in were not nice, I mean, all-night shoots, that’s rough. I’m eternally grateful to her for making a prat of herself for this show.”

The episode sees Erin and pals Sugar and Carol (Joanna Higson, 38, and Bronagh Gallagher, 49), embroiled in the underworld after biting off more than they can chew with a local gangster.



Michelle isn’t afraid to muck in
(

Image:

Sky UK)




Joe says he realised they weren’t using the female stars enough and praised Michelle for leading the episode.

And he says Michelle – who found fame in Coronation Street before starring in Army drama Our Girl – takes charge when the cameras stop rolling.

Joe says it was her brains as well as talent that encouraged him and Brassic co-writers Daniel Brocklehurst and Alex Ganley to base the episode around her.

He also reveals Michelle, who is married to former TOWIE star Mark Wright, 34, turned quiz queen in lockdown. He reckons she is obsessed with history – ­particularly the Tudors.

Joe says: “This is the fascinating thing about her. She loves figuring s**t out. She’s not thick at all.



The much loved show is making a comeback
(

Image:

Sky UK)




“If anyone’s sat at home thinking she’s a ditzy girl that likes to go out clubbing, you’re so wrong about her. She’s really smart.”

With a glint in his eye, he quickly adds: “Weird but smart!

“You know, ask her about the Tudors. Tell her to tell you a fact about the Tudors, she’s got a ­hundred. It’s remarkable.”

When Brassic first aired in 2019 Michelle’s co-stars admitted she would drink them under the table on wild nights out – and for series two they said she would go toe to toe with them in the gym.

But while filming during the pandemic she found new ways to entertain the crew – organising quizzes between shoots.

Joe chuckles: “Honestly, dude, she can’t help it. Michelle’s ­obsessed with quizzes.”

Brassic’s success follows a string of screen hits for Joe.

He began acting aged 10 after landing a role in Corrie, playing tearaway teen Jamie Armstrong for three years.

He later played Eli Dingle in Emmerdale.

And there have been stand-out roles in hit film This Is England – alongside Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure, 38 – and the big-budget US series Preacher, in which he played a drug-addicted vampire named Cassidy.



Joe Gilgun as Woody, Vicky McClure as Lol and William Travis as Mr Squires in This Is England




But while Joe might be a great actor and a riveting storyteller with bucket-loads of charm, he admits his mental health hampers his happiness.

Describing himself as a “difficult child”, Joe was prescribed anti-depressants.

But they didn’t work and by the time he hit his late teens he struggled with volatile mood swings.

The stress sent him fleeing to the local woods, where he slept rough for weeks, awash with a sense of homelessness.

It wasn’t until he was 26 that he was diagnosed as bipolar and he admits that, despite his medication, his mood still fluctuates.

Joe has been ­extraordinarily open about his mental health and even made his character Vinnie bipolar. So it’s perhaps no wonder that Brassic can be a source of stress.

He goes on: “For me, it’s everything. It’s stories about my life, it’s my dad, it’s my mental health, it’s the pills I’m on. You know, it means a lot.

“The big fear for me always is, are people going to ­understand this, or do I just come across as a t**t?

“It’s one of the worst feelings as a human being. It’s that thing of just wanting to be liked. I just want people to like me even though I’m messed up.”

Despite his huge appeal, Joe says he still feels like an impostor. He adds: “I assume that every single person I meet is much, much older and wiser. Miles more experienced.

“The mad thing is, and I’m ­going to sound like a right idiot, but I’ve made my money now.

“I could disappear back to the woods, not do anything and, you know, just go and be homeless again. I was happy doing that. But I still feel like an impostor even then.

“You know, if you’re sat firmly in your comfort zone, you then start panicking that it’s all going to be taken away from you.

“But then when you’re out of your comfort zone you’re panicking that everyone will think you’re s**t, so you can’t win!

“I think part of being human is just that constant struggle.” For three years, Joe has kept his fans locked in a guessing game about the antics of Vinnie and how much of it blurs with his real life.

So, after admitting many of the wild escapades seen on screen are loosely based on his own life growing up on the outskirts of Wigan, which of his screen scams are fact or fiction?

“They’re all kind of true!” he laughs. “Apart from finding body parts. I have never found a body part!

“But a lot of the theft, the stealing of objects, it’s all happened in some shape or form!”

It begs the question of whether one of the new scams fans will see in this series – which involves the lads stealing a prize bull to harvest and sell its semen – is also based on true life? “It wasn’t a bull,” he says with a massive smile on his face. “It was a horse! Dude, it’s the worst.



The Dingles of Emmerdale
(

Image:

ITV)




“It was a bad job. We had frozen sperm being passed to different houses for weeks and weeks. I’m not even joking!”

The pressure he puts himself under means Joe always brings his A game and he believes the third series of Brassic is the best yet.

And, naturally, he says it’s his cast who have made it happen.

“It’s like, ‘Where’s that rule book? F*** it, throw it out the window!’ We’re a good team, mad, the lot of us, but I love every single one of them. It’s the hard work of every single one of them that gets this show on the road. I couldn’t do it without them.

“I was nervous this time around. I get that people want more but sometimes it’s nice to leave them wanting more.

“It’s scary trying to meet expectations but sometimes you just have to say, ‘F*** it!’ and take that leap of faith.”

  • Brassic returns to Sky Max and streaming service NOW on October 6 at 10pm.




Source link

Back to top button