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Thespis gets a one to one exclusive interview with actor
Here is what "The Medici’s" Callum Blake had to say when we had a brief interview with him last week for our blog, finding out about his time on the show.
Callum, how did you find working on the show?
Mad. Italy is a fantastic place absolutely brimming with culture and art and history, and its people are the best thing about it. So, going to work every day with them was always a brilliant adventure, I loved it. The cast were a unit. Even though we had some people flying home and coming back one, two, three weeks later for their next block of filming, there was always a solid group of fantastic people to be around.
Was it your first time filming a job abroad?
In Italy it was, but I’d had a role in the movie Dunkirk and I went to shoot that on location out in France.
What, if you could choose just one, would be your favourite location that you filmed The Medici at?
That’s really - that’s tough... well, I mean one of the obvious benefits of television work is always getting to film on location, and The Medici was pretty blessed with these endlessly impressive historical locations, and they all made your jaw drop. One week we were in a Roman villa somewhere, the next a fortress in a magical looking valley. But I think for the sheer feeling I got while I was filming, cliché as it may seem, we were shooting this riding scene outside the Castel Sant’Angelo, it was at dawn, and Rome hadn’t woken up yet so it was almost deserted, and I was riding around this iconic piece of history like a kid in a sweet shop. Big fat grin. And I had to be the complete opposite for the scene we were filming. History is one of my greatest loves, so marrying my work with a location like that... Really, I challenge anyone not to fall madly in love with Rome after spending some time there.
What did you know about the Medici family coming into the project?
Gosh, I wouldn’t say I was clued up on all the little intricacies and politics of the Medici, but I was made aware of them from my schooldays. Now I love history - did I mention I love history? - But I think we studied the Medici’s influence on European banks - and as a much more lazy teenager, it’s fair to say I think barely a sliver of that knowledge remained. But I watched the first series before going for my audition for the show and I remember totally falling in love with it - the story, the cast, and that music! - and then after getting on board with it, the more research I did, the more I was just in awe of this family and what they achieved. The amount we owe to them is pretty astounding when you dig into it.
Father Carlo being this devoted priest, I’m curious how you found the religious aspect of the role?
Well I was raised a Christian, but if I’m being honest, I’d really stopped engaging with my faith early on in my teens, so approaching the part was a real education.
Well Carlo’s so driven by his faith, which is the drive behind most of his conflicts, how his love for his faith is constantly coming to blows with his love for his family, so.. I felt I had a mountain to climb to understand what faith meant to him. I tried to live by Carlo’s standards and his practices for a while, and it wasn’t always easy.
What did you do?
I couldn’t really list it all, I mean I had about two months to prepare right before we shot season 2, but it was a lot of early starts, a lot of praying the rosary once I understood it, in Latin I’d add, don’t go thinking I flaked on the Latin! and a lot of time studying the bible, but like I said, that’s just a snapshot. Some of it helped, some didn’t, some was easy, some was awful. It’s cooking. I think my girlfriend would have a lot to say on what my “cooking” was like for her, but the experience as a whole was eye-opening, and there were definitely a couple of really, really moving moments for me personally while discovering the character.
Would you say you’re religious now the show’s ended?
Big question. I’ll leave that to you to figure out if you want.
Was that the most challenging part of filming then for you?
Actually, that would probably be recreating solitary for the scene where we meet Carlo in season 3. I won’t say anything on it just yet, but I spent the better part of a couple of days locked away on my own getting prepared for it. That was tough. You may think it seems too much for what it’s worth, but if it gets you closer to the reality of what’s playing out, I’ll take it.
Anything coming up in the future after COVID?
Ah the future, that thing we all had once. It’s hard to say because of everything that’s going on at the moment, and I’d have expected filming to be one of the last things to get back to normal, seeing as it relies on so many other parts to work, but I’m no expert. Wait and see is all I’ll say. Stay safe.
Catch up with Medici Season 2 on Netflix now, with Season 3 about to hit Netflix in the USA, UK, India and many other countries on May 1st.
Lookout for the follow up interview here after the release of Series 3 with more inside information from Callum Blake
Callum Blake as Carlo Medici: The Medici the Magnificent Series II After the massive success of series 1 "Medici : Masters of Florence" ,starring Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden, the sequel "Medici : Lorenzo The Magnificent Series II"
Canadian director Christian Duguay (“Belle & Sebastian,” “Coco Chanel”) is directing the third season of Frank Spotnitz’s “Medici” television saga, which has started shooting in Rome with Italian actor Francesco Montanari attached to play radical preacher Girolamo Savonarola, who became leader of Florence after the Medici family’s overthrow in 1494. Duguay succeeds Jon Cassar , who helmed “Medici: The Magnificent Part I,” which was the show’s second season.
In the third “Medici” season, “Medici: The Magnificent Part II,” Florentine statesman and ruler Lorenzo de Medici, played by Daniel Sharman, “has become a man who will have to fight against his demons and defend Florence from new internal and external threats,” Callum Blake continues in the role of Carlo de Medici with many struggles to overcome. Cameras have started rolling on “Medici: The Magnificent Part II” in Lux Vide’s studios in Formello, outside Rome
New Mills Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society has assembled a talented cast of 22 for this ambitious show which is expertly directed by David Carlile and choreographed by Carolyn Dent. The set and costumes are excellent and imaginative and the stage is well-lit. The nine-strong band propels things along nicely. Gomez Addams and Morticia in full swing. Stunning. Addams Family, New Mills Art Theatre. Just a snippet of the Arts Beat Review
All new show for the 2019 - 20 season from the Thespis studios
We’ve all shared in the fantasy of never growing old, eternally living our youth, foregoing all those horrid, loathsome ‘adult things’, and instead living a life of adventures, magic, and pirates! No doubt the hero that epitomises such a dream is J.M. Barrie’s ‘boy who never grew up’, of course, the flying hero: Peter Pan.
Addams Family Costumes Rattonians"Excellent costumes" Very refreshing to have such a complete service and good quality costumes. Really made the show work. Thank you so much!
Sister Act costumes
Sister Act costumes Hi Margaret,
Hope your Sunday delivery went well, and you have caught up with some sleep. We are all very sad that the show is over!! The costumes were amazing and definitely contributed to the overall success of the production.
Thank you very much for the fabulous costumes you supplied for our production of the Addams family. Everyone was very pleased with their costume, especially with all the accessories and shoes that were supplied with them....
Shine Youth Music Theatre
Phantom of the Opera costumes "Highest quality"
The Phantom of the Opera. Thespis is a very professional costumiers and our dealings with them have been very efficient. The costumes are of the highest quality, and beautifully made and we...
The Phantom of the Opera.
Reviewed By: Susan DuPont
Norwich Play House
"Where do I begin with this production?
It was ambitious, professional, brilliantly cast and sung, innovative in staging, groupings and movement, wi...
"We went to Stoke on Trent last night to see your costumes at "The Addams Family and were extremely impressed!"
Bryan Craven LIDOS
Costumes look fantastic Stage Productions
We`ve had the costume call tonight with our wardrobe team and the cast and I must say the costumes look fantastic!
Phantom of the Opera
Beyond my expectations WW1 Uniforms
Coward or Hero
"Thank you so much for the fabulous job on the costumes....they really enhanced the show. Beyond my expectations.
We have had our first performance and it was exceptionally well received"
Play By Bill Snell.
The Addams Family NODA West
The Addams Family
So much attention to detail
Review By: Rachel Miller Newcastle Amateur Operatic Society. Addams Family Musical. Stoke Repertory Theatre
"I was very excited to go and see Newcastle Operatic Society’s production of ‘...
We had so many great comments and feedback on the costumes - that you sourced most of them to fit our specific cast which made such a difference and it's rare to find a costumiers that caters...
Made in Dagenham Costumes
Just messaging to say thank you. All the costumes arrived and are absolutely perfect.
I'm so impressed with the quality of the costumes and professionalism of Thespis hire.
Again many thanks to you and for my mug .......
Thank you Margaret. Who knows, maybe one day our paths will cross again. I hope so as I do think your company is one of the best I've ever worked with and I've been doing wardrobe for over 20 years.
St Albans Musical Theatre Company
Phantom of the Opera Stage One Youth
Phantom of the Opera Stage One Youth
Thank you Margaret and thank you for taking the time to compliment our cast. We try to instil a sense of pride and professionalism in our young people and it is great to have an 'outsiders' view. Your costumes were wonderf...
Phantom of the Opera Daily Echo Review Perins School
Phantom of the Opera Daily Echo Review Perins School
The Phantom of The Opera, Perins School, Alresford
Having seen some excellent youth company productions I was uncertain how a school would fare with such a demanding musical. I needn’t have worrie...