thomas brodie-sangster gets knocked out by love! (and the monsters of the maze runner)
You might remember him as the lovesick tween in Love Actually but Thomas Brodie-Sangster’s on an adventure much bigger than heartbreak now as he tackles snakes and runs through labyrinths in The Maze Runner.
"Well, the truth is… actually… I'm in love." Those three little words, uttered by eleven year old Sam in Love Actually cemented Thomas Brodie-Sangster forever in the minds of the nation as the world's youngest heartbreaker, unfortunate enough to experience the total agony of falling in love. But in case you didn't realise how fast time passes, here's a reminder - Thomas is now 24 years old, enjoys Top Gear and is in love for real. He might be tall and gangly today but he's still got the same butter-wouldn't-melt grin and shaggy blonde locks of everyone's favourite character in everyone's favourite Christmas movie. Since then, the South Londoner has bagged the parts of Paul McCartney in Nowhere Boy, Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones and Newt in Hollywood blockbuster, The Maze Runner.
You and Newt seem quite similar in character…
There are definitely similarities. I think there always is, with every character I play. You have to find a link to yourself, otherwise it's not very real. We're both creative, we both like making things. I like to build things. I build bikes - restore them and ride them - and tinker with mechanics. We both have quite a relaxed attitude towards life, he doesn't let too many things bother him or get to him, I think I have that as well.
Did you get on with everyone on set?
Yes, very much so. When we were shooting in Louisiana, we stayed in this hotel in the middle of nowhere, and the only thing we had was one another to not get bored out of our minds. We all bought BB guns and would just shoot each other 'til 5 o'clock in the morning. Silly stuff, fun stuff, it was like boarding school.
Who's the loudest of the group?
Dylan's the silly one, he's hilarious. But Will's really the joker. Dexter's pretty loud, he's the type of person who, when you go to a club, will be able to get anyone in anywhere. He'd pretend to be our publicist so we could go out in New Orleans at the weekend.
How did it feel to have a part in cult TV show, Game of Thrones?
It was great. I'm very privileged to be able to do something like The Maze Runner and then go and do Game of Thrones, they're both fantasy but very different. Now I'm doing this thing called Wolf Hall, which is a six part BBC drama all about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII, which is another completely different thing, which is why I love doing what I do, it kind of throws you about.
[SPOILER] Did you know you were going to get killed off in the last season?
How did you find out?
On the plane, flying over there to film.
Were you sad about it?
Yeah, I was sad! They sent me all the scripts and by the time I actually got through to reading the last episode, I was already on the plane flying over to film it.
Did you ever study drama?
No, I wasn't very good at drama. I didn't really like it. People just expected me to be good because I was an actor, so everyone in the class would just be like, "go on, act," and I was like "what do you mean, 'act'?" My drama teachers were both lovely and they came up to me in private and were like "I know you're an actor, but I'm going to have to fail you," and I said, "that's fine!"
Did you carry on with school after you started acting?
I carried on to A-levels but never went to uni. My patience for education at that point was wearing thin! But I did my GCSEs and A-Levels, scraped through with everything and it was fine, ticked, done! School was alright.
When was your first acting role?
When I was ten. It was a really cute little BBC TV film called Station Jim. I had to have a Cotswolds accent and a little bowler hat, it was all set in Victorian times. It was that that Richard Curtis watched and how I got an audition for Love Actually. I hadn't done anything before that. It's funny how something that small, can lead to something like Love Actually, which is still the main thing that I get recognised for today.
In Love Actually, you first fell in love when you were 11, when did you first fall in love in real life?
Hmm, probably about a year and a half ago, with my current girlfriend.
Was it love at first sight?
I fancied her an awful lot and I don't fancy girls very often. I've probably fancied three, ever. I think you slowly end up falling in love with someone but it's only in that moment [clicks fingers] that you realise "Oh, I'm in love with them." So I think it can start at the very beginning - love at first sight, but you may not necessarily be conscious of it.
How did you meet her?
I went to school with her, she was in the year above. We didn't really speak but then I was doing a short film and she was helping out on that and we ended up together.
Can you find real love on the internet?
I don't know, I've never tried! Apparently people do.
Have you ever used Tinder?
No, I've watched other people get addicted to it though! It actually looks really fun, I do know someone that got together from that, he moved out to LA and bought her a ticket and she flew out and they're still going out! It brings people together but the odds are quite uneven I'd say.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Harry Carr