Colin Hoult/Bryan Medici Interview: Medici and The Holy Trinity Outtakes to Feature Heavily as DVD Extras
Colin Hoult has the amazing ability of swiching from one comedic character to another in the blink of an eyelid. Although famous for a plethora of personas, one that has gained him a great deal of critical acclaim recently was his hilarious portrayal of Warwick Davis’ spiritual adviser, Bryan Medici.
Other recent television appearances include the likes of Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Three), Al Murray‘s Multiple Personality Disorder (ITV1, 2009), Comedy Shuffle (BBC Three, 2007) and Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1). Followers of the highly popular series Being Human will most likely recognise him as he had a recurring role in the fifth season. Right now he’s focusing on a brand new radio show and two shows he intends to take to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we had a chat to see how his projects are developing and to find out how filming on the Life’s Too Short set went down.
So Bryan Medici made a welcome return last week in the Life’s Too Short Easter Special. Given that no second series was commissioned you must have been quielty surprised and delighted when you found out a special episode of Life’s Too Short was going to be made and that you’d be appearing in it?
I was really happy to be playing Bryan again. I knew they wanted to continue with it somehow but didn’t know for sure whether I’d be in it or not.
Do you actually base Bryan Medici on anyone in particular or is it just someone you came up with yourself and play it by ear?
You must have been over the moon when you found out that you’d be doing a scene with Les, Keith and Shaun this time round too.
I certainly was. I think they’re one of the funniest parts of the sort of Extras / Life’s Too Short Universe. And having them together was a terrific move. They’re all great at sending themselves up but also playing it totally straight.
Do Ricky and Stephen allow for improvisation or do they tend to prefer to stick fairly closely to the script? I know Les Dennis said that when they were in a scene with you it was such a riot as you came up with so much ad-lib stuff.
They gave me loads of free room to improvise, both times I’ve been Bryan. This time particularly. They got me to run a whole improvised workshop with the guys, making up stupid exercises and just let the cameras run non stop, occasionally shouting out the odd direction from the next room. I just tried to play it as for real as possible. I think it’s going to be added as a DVD extra in full which is great as there was a lovely bit where Les had to shout a mantra ‘My name’s Les. I’m a very big Les and I won’t take no for an answer!’ Which I was particularly proud of. But its lovely for me. I’ve been improvising as various comedy characters for years so its wonderful that Ricky and Stephen can pick up on that and really embrace it. Ricky also interviewed Bryan at the end of the shoot, some of which made it into the scene so I was really happy with that.
I would have really liked to have seen you provide spiritual advice to Mr. Val Kilmer. What would Bryan say to Val in a session?
Sadly Bryan never got to meet Val, but if they had I think they’d really clash both being very dominant high status types.
Apart from the Life’s Too Short Special you have a load of stuff on the cards. You’re in the Being Human cast for the 5th season, got a radio show coming soon and also taking two shows up to this year’s Fringe? How are you going to juggle everything?
Not entirely sure to be honest. Being Human has been and gone and the radio show will all be recorded mid May so that gives a least a few minutes to focus on the shows. I’m having to make a lot of plans and calendars and things. If I don’t get the shows together for the Fringe it’ll just be a show of calenders. I’ll just read those out.
Will you be touring these two Fringe shows a bit around the UK to preview them and what can we expect from them?
So in the past my shows have always been a sort of mix of comedy and (often quite dark) theatrically tragic moments and this year I’m going to separate the two. Characthorse will be a fast paced, silly, ridiculous whirlwind of a character show and Real Horror Show is a very dark series of interlocking plays which is a sort of look at the underside of life in 2013 through a horror set up. I’m really excited about both to be honest and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ll be previewing both in London and Characthorse at Mach Fest, Cardiff and elsewhere. I’ll be tweeting all the dates (@wheeliemancrow) and they’re all up on my website.
Will the radio show be based on the original stage show you did back in 2006 of the same name, Carnival of Monsters, or will it take on a whole new format?
It uses a lot of the characters and themes from that show (and the follow ups) but is much more comedy I’d say. A lot of my stuff is very physical so I’ve had to do a lot of reshaping and cram everything with gags rather than just relying on character tics and mannerisms but it’s been great discipline and an interesting challenge.
So one final question for Bryan now. What does the future hold you you? Can you foresee any spin-offs in the future? Possibly either a Bryan Medici late night spiritual guidance show or a Keith Chegwin, Les Dennis and Shaun Williamson variety show?
Having consulted the stars, my and others’ palms and various tea cups in cafes I can definitely say ‘Possibly’. There is a strong shift in the public consciousness away from Science or what I call ‘Lie-ence’ and a much more spiritual / true awakening. For thousands of years people worshipped the sun. People have only not worshipped the sun for the last couple of hundred years? What’s bigger; thousand or hundred? Thousand. Need I say more?
You can catch up on everything Colin Hoult is up to over on his official website here.
We’ll leave you with a short sketch in which he plays a really hard, good looking guy (as per)… His words, not ours.