If you’re looking for a new favourite TV show to get into, we’re pretty happy to recommend The Outlaws.
Created and directed by the multi-talented Stephen Merchant, The Outlaws follows a group of offenders sentenced to community service, each character with their own story to tell. Warm, funny and full of depth, it’s a must-see this autumn.
We recently sat down with one of the stars of the series, the brilliant Gamba Cole, who was happy to tell DDW a little more about the series, his future acting aspirations and his career highlights so far…
You’re currently starring in The Outlaws! Could you tell us a little bit about the series?
Of course! The Outlaws is a Comedy/Drama about seven people who come together via community payback. Everyone you meet is what you would call a stereotype of some kind, but over the 6 episodes we show that the characters have so much more layers.
What’s your character, Christian, like?
Christian is a bouncer at a nightclub and he is also the sole carer for his younger sister Esme. From the exterior you may look at him and see the tattoos and silver tooth and then cast a judgement about what you think he may be like, but that’s the purpose of this show, to examine our reasonings for making judgements based on a person’s appearance. Christian is a good guy. Someone that has been brought up in tough circumstances but doesn’t let that define who he is. He is more lover than fighter.
How did your upbringing in Bristol influence your performance in the series?
Bristol is such a vibrant place. It is so bold, from the beautifully artistic murals painted on the walls in Stokes Croft to the amazing views you get when looking over the Bristol suspension bridge.
Most of my family still live in Bristol and so when I was preparing for the role of Christian I spent more time with them, my cousins especially, absorbing their accent and style. It was vital that the character I played represented the Bristol that I knew and grew up in.
Were there any stand-out highlights whilst filming the series?
There have been so many! There were some really special moments on this job and unforgettable memories, one of which that stands out is when Christopher Walken was singing the Pussycat dolls ‘Don’t Cha’ on set. He had the whole cast and crew in hysterics!
Fans might recognise you from The Protege, where you worked opposite Samuel L Jackson and Michael Keaton. What was that like?
The Protege was such a fun job to be on. Working on a job that had Samuel L. Jackson attached to it felt surreal. I grew up being a fan of his and to have an opportunity to be on a film set with him was incredible.
I felt very lucky to be surrounded by legends and I enjoyed being on set just soaking up knowledge from these great Actors.
What inspired you to start acting?
If you ask my Mum she will tell you I have always been ‘performing’ as such from when I was a young child, but for me, it wasn’t until Secondary school when I had to decide my Year 10 options that I chose to get into performing.
I wanted a varied learning experience at school, so the practicality of the Performing Arts’ was a welcomed break from the heavy academic subjects I also studied. Performing Arts’ allowed me to escape my realities at the time and I knew from then on, this was something I wanted to pursue in the future.
If you could portray anything or anyone in the future, who/what would you choose and why?
Portrayals are tough. For me, I would try and stay away from portraying a past or present icon/world leader. However, I would love to be a part of either the Marvel/DC universe one day playing a superhero.
What’s the ultimate goal for you in your career?
The ultimate goal is to build a legacy for me and my family. I want to be an example to those coming up after me to find what it is you love doing and pursue it wholeheartedly.
The things we most desire out of life take hard work, dedication and sacrifice but you’ve got to learn to enjoy the journey.
Once The Outlaws has aired, where will fans get to see you next?
After The Outlaws airs I do not have anything else coming up – after a job this long I just want to reflect and re-energize before starting another job.
Finally, what’s your life motto?
Worrying won’t stop the bad from happening, but it will stop the good from being enjoyed.
The Outlaws airs Mondays at 9pm on BBC One. Catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer.
Photographer: Lee Malone @lee_malone_photography // Grooming: Nadia Altinbas @nadiaaltinbas // Styling: Michael Miller @millermode @stellacreativeartists