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Joe Alwyn on Playing Bob Cratchit in FX’s “Dark” and “Uncomfortable” Version of ‘A Christmas Carol’

From screenwriterSteven Knight(Peaky BlindersTaboo) and director Nick Murphy, the iconic ghost story A Christmas Carol (premiering on FX on December 19th) delves deep into a dark night of the soul for Ebeneezer Scrooge (Guy Pearce), a successful businessman who prefers to search for the worst in people than to see their goodness or struggles. As he is faced with his past, present and future, and the consequences of all three, it will be up to Scrooge to determine whether he is even worth redemption.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, British actor Joe Alwyn(who plays Bob Cratchit, overworked and underappreciated employee of Ebeneezer Scrooge and family man to two young children, including Tiny Tim) talked about the relatablility and universality of A Christmas Carol, what excited him about this telling of the story, the dark and uncomfortable subject matter, what he identified with in Bob Cratchit, exploring the family dynamic, the Cratchit-Scrooge relationship, working with co-star Guy Pearce, the experience of walking onto a set like this, and his own holiday family traditions. He also talked about his upcoming film Last Letter from Your Lover, about a young woman who becomes obsessed with a series of letters she discovers that recount a love affair, and the TV series that he’d love to do a guest spot on.

Collider: I’ve loved a variety of different retellings of A Christmas Carol, and this one is so interesting because it’s set in the time period, and yet still somehow feels very modern and relatable.

JOE ALWYN: Good. It definitely tries to stir things up, a little bit. Nick Murphy, the director, was clear that he didn’t want us to slip into the old, very Dickensian way of things that often can happen when you see interpretations of Dickens. There’s nothing bad about that, but he wanted a more irreverent, modern feel, even though it’s still within the structured framework of the story. That really comes down a lot to Steve Knight. His writing is so brilliant. He just took the original novel and drilled deeper, and looked between the lines and beneath the surface. Consequence brings about things that are, oftentimes, a lot more uncomfortable to see. It’s certainly a little more twisted and darker, but it’s good fun.

Everybody is so familiar with this story, and even just the title of the story, so when A Christmas Carol came your way, was it something that you were immediately intrigued by and curious to read, or did you need a little bit of convincing to sign on for something that so many people have done?

ALWYN: I didn’t, no. I had to hold my hands up and say, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a proper full version of A Christmas Carol before. I know there are so many of them, but somehow I had a deprived childhood and was never shown one.” I read the book again, which I must’ve read when I was younger. I read it again, just doing my homework. I’ve since been told about The Muppets and that Kermit is my main competition. I’m going head to head with a frog who played Bob. But I didn’t know a huge amount about other interpretations. The descriptions were so complete, unto themselves, and there was so much in them to mine and go off of, that was attractive, in itself. I knew the people surrounding it. I’d worked with Guy [Pearce] before and really got on with him, and I think he’s just fantastic. So, with the combination of him, Andy Serkis, and everyone, really, it was an exciting opportunity.

It definitely says something about the work and the themes that are in the work, when it can be interpreted as a drama or a comedy, and it can even be told by The Muppets. That’s certainly a wide range of things that most stories can’t do.

ALWYN: Yeah, definitely. It’s that idea that we always seem to come back to stories of redemption. The themes in it are universally significant to who we are as humans, about remembering who we are, and why we behave the way we behave, and about family, love, redemption and hope. It’s wrapped up in this amazing, powerful Christmas fable, and Christmas keeps coming around every year, so we keep coming back to it. It’s just a story that we keep going back to, and the fact that it’s been done in so many different ways really speaks to the strength of its core.

This is definitely a darker and more twisted telling of the story, with some difficult subject matter and some adult language. I was actually a little surprised by the swearing that was in it. Do you think that this is still something families can watch, or do you feel like this version is geared a little more toward an audience that’s a bit older?

ALWYN: Yeah, it’s undeniably darker and the themes explored are more uncomfortable, compared to what we’re used to seeing. I think it’s suitable for families, but I don’t think it’s suitable for a seven year old. I don’t know what that line is. For some reason, since the novel was written and the story seems to have been told, from what I understand and from what clips I’ve seen, it’s progressively gotten cheerier and cheerier, and almost glossy, with the Ghost of Christmas Past as a Santa Claus-like figure, and we all know who Scrooge is, but he’s an old, removed miser. Here, they’re the characters that we recognize, but they’re darker and more relatable, and hopefully the characters translate as 3D humans, as well. The things that are explored probably were there, at the time, and were an implicit path to the story, but it’s beneath the surface. [Steven Knight] has just read beneath the lines and has gone deeper into looking at why Scrooge is the way he is. He looks into his pain and has asked, “What could have made this man become this man?” And the answers that he’s come up with are certainly uncomfortable.

What was it about this version of Bob Cratchit that you found yourself most identifying with and that you also most enjoyed getting to explore?

ALWYN: I like that Bob, in this version, has got a little bit more pluck and spine, and he fights back and bites back with Scrooge, as much as he can, within the workspace. There are these great scenes between the two of them, where he doesn’t just lie down and stand down. He pushes back on Scrooge, as much as he can. Whether that’s through wit or sarcasm or dishonesty, he pushes back. He doesn’t just let himself be trampled all over. At the same time, there’s obviously a line. He knows what the stakes are and the stakes are huge, and he can’t afford to cross it because he has to provide for his family. But I liked that he had a bit more backbone to him, and he isn’t just completely submissive. And I also like that we spend more time with his family and we get to know his wife, Mary (Vinette Robinson), and his children. Mary has her own story with Scrooge, and it’s a secret that emerges within the family and these cracks begin to form. I don’t think that’s ever been explored before, in a telling of A Christmas Carol, and I thought that was pretty interesting. 

I love that you really do get to experience that family dynamic and see what they’re like together, because it helps you to understand why they might be willing to endure certain things, in order to keep that together.

ALWYN: Yeah. Obviously, Bob is in the dark. He doesn’t know what’s happening. Often, if you see a family portrait, and it’s all completely happy and cheery and smiley, for all of the love that’s in this family, they’re also struggling and this secret is pulling them apart. Their conversations are quite fractured and full of tension, but that’s truer, in a way. Not everything is cheery and sanitized and 2D. Hopefully, it’s a little more rounded.

What was it like to have those young actors to work with?

ALWYN: They were amazing. A girl called Tiarna [Williams] played Belinda, and a boy called Lenny Rush played Tim, and they were both fantastic. Lenny, in particular, is just brilliant. It was so great to have both of them on set because the whole thing would just become more magical. The excitement and enthusiasm is infectious, whenever you have a child on set. It lifts everyone else. There’s a production of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic in London that’s been going for a few years now, written by Jack Thorne, and Lenny plays Tim in that. I think he’s the only cast member who’s returned, consistently, for that production. He’s a master of that role. He’s such a lovely boy.

The dynamic between Cratchit and Scrooge is so important. How did Guy Pearce affect your approach and performance, throughout this?

ALWYN: Firstly, I was lucky enough to have worked with him before, on a film called Mary Queen of Scots, and got on with him really well, and so, I was so happy to have the opportunity to work with him again ‘cause he’s not only phenomenally talented, but he’s also a really, really good person and I got on with him. So, that was great. More than maybe any actor I’ve worked with, he’s been the most interesting to watch the way he works, and the way that he approaches a scene and asks questions, and the way that he conducts himself on set, within a scene, is amazing to watch. I like that his Scrooge is younger and has a swagger to him. Where often Scrooge can be a character that’s retreated from the world, there’s a cockiness to his and an upfront-ness that makes you engage with him. He’s not just twiddling his thumbs, sitting in a corner and grumbling. He meets you and he’s present, whereas I feel like with other older Scrooges, there’s something more passive about them. He’s younger, he’s active and he’s engaged, and that was great.

What was the experience like, being on the set, in these costumes, and surrounded by all of these actors? What are the most memorable aspects of walking onto a set like this and seeing all of that come to life?

ALWYN: Well, it was summertime, so it was very hot and very sweaty. We did it in May and June, and it was a really hot summer in London. The costumes all look amazing, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be washing them, at the end of the day. It was pretty unpleasant. But it was amazing, the way they’d close down roads in London and cover everything with fake snow. It just makes your job easier, when you’re placed into a setting in a world like that, that’s so amazingly built around you, with costume and production design. You just need to turn up and know your lines.

When you do something that is such an epic production like this, and you have such great writing to work with, and a great director and cast, does it affect what you want to do next? Every time you do a project of this caliber, does it then make you think about what the next step is?

ALWYN: It makes me want to continue to try to work with great people. I feel lucky, in my career so far, to have worked with some really, really great people and great directors. That’s all I just want to keep trying to do, and this was another version of that. It was the first time I’d done television. I hadn’t done TV before. And it didn’t really feel any different than film. We had a fair amount of time to do the three episodes. Also, it’s a real mini-series, with three episodes. We were not doing 10 episodes, or a multi-season. It’s just the attraction of trying to tell interesting stories, in new ways, with great people. I grew up watching films like Memento and, later on, The Proposition, which I absolutely loved, so getting to work with [Guy Pearce] and [Andy Serkis] and Stephen Graham, as well as Steven Knight, I just want to find people like that to work with.

Do you know what you’re going to do next, or are you in that stage of trying to figure out what you’re going to do next?

ALWYN: I just wrapped something two days ago (this interview was conducted on December 17th) in London, which was a film called Last Letter from Your Lover, and that was directed by a woman called Augustine Frizzell, who directed the new HBO show Euphoria. That stars Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley. And then, I think there’s something I’m going to do, near the start of next year, but it’s still being figured out and is not set in stone. So, I’m just reading lots and trying to figure things out, for next year.

What’s the character you played in Last Letter from Your Lover?

ALWYN: It’s a story in two parts. It’s a modern day story and a ‘60s story, and it jumps between the two. My storyline is in the ‘60s with Shailene and Callum Turner, who’s a British actor. I play Shailene’s husband. We’re a couple, and this other figure comes into our life and disrupts the balance.

Is there a current TV series that you watch, that you’d love to do a guest spot or guest arc on?

ALWYN: I haven’t finished it, but I love watching Succession. That’s been pretty amazing. The writing on that and the performances in that are incredible.

Is there anything that you would love to do that you feel would really stretch you, as far as a genre or a character, that you just haven’t gotten the opportunity to do yet?

ALWYN: In one sense, no. It’s not as specific as that. I just want to find really good people to work with, and that could be on anything. But I would love to do a World War film. I don’t know what or how, but I think that would be really fun.

For Bob Cratchit, the holidays seem to really be about family. Do you have holiday traditions that are important to you? Is it about a sense of family, or are you a crazy decorator?

ALWYN: There’s a bit of decoration going on, with wreaths and stuff. But, yes it’s about seeing family and keeping up with weird family traditions. There are these ponds in London, near my family’s house, and for some reason, on Christmas morning, we go and jump in the ponds, and it’s absolutely freezing. It’s ridiculous, and you’ve gotta get out quickly, or you aren’t getting out. But for some reason, that starts the day on Christmas.

A Christmas Carol premieres on FX on December 19th.


Joe and Guy Pearce did a bunch of press for A Christmas Carol yesterday, December 17, in New York City. The costars did interviews for Good Morning America, Strahan, Sara and Keke, Buzzfeed’s AM to DM, ET Canada, and BUILD Series. Joe also did an interview with Collider which you can read here. You can watch all the interviews below and see photos of Joe throughout the day in our gallery.

Good Morning America

Buzzfeed’s AM to DM

Buzzfeed News

BUILD Series

Leaving BUILD Series

Joe Alwyn concedeu uma nova entrevista onde fala sobre Harriet Tubman, sua admiração por Joaquin Phoenix e mais, confira:

“Eu apenas pensei que era uma história incrível sobre uma mulher incrível da qual eu não conhecia nada”, diz ele quando nos encontramos no hotel Rosewood, em Londres. ‘Ela é extremamente importante. Obviamente, há toda a saga de 20 dólares – ela deveria estar presente, mas Trump atrasou isso”

Em maio, o presidente dos EUA vetou que sua imagem fosse usada até que ele deixasse a Casa Branca. Alwyn acrescenta: “Fiquei chocado por ninguém ter feito um filme sobre ela antes”.

Abençoado com traços delicados, olhos azuis e cabelos loiros, Alwyn é um material clássico de protagonista (ele já foi modelo da Prada), então como foi interpretar uma pessoa tão vil.

“Achei difícil, com um personagem como Gideon”, ele admite. ‘Conectar-se com alguém assim é praticamente impossível. A ideia de escravidão é obviamente repulsiva, então onde você encontra uma maneira de entrar?

Pessoalmente, Alwyn é discretamente confiante, embora cauteloso quando se trata de perguntas sobre seu relacionamento.

Como você vê a crescente fama?

“Eu realmente não me sinto diferente, então tento não pensar nisso”, diz ele.

Você encontrou uma maneira de lidar com isso?

Eu apenas ignoro – Ele responde sem rodeios

É mesmo possível?

Cada vez mais, sim. Só por não se entregar demais. Ser privado sobre o que você quer que seja privado e ser público sobre o que você quer que seja público … apenas mantendo as coisas para si mesmo.

Um olhar determinado o invade.

“Algumas pessoas podem ceder [à fama] se quiserem e outras não”, diz ele. “E acho que escolho não fazê-lo.”

Mas isso é fácil quando você está namorando alguém muito famoso?

“Não … quero dizer … apenas mantenho a vida privada em particular” “Tomei uma decisão clara de ser privado sobre o que é privado e o que não é para outras pessoas”.

Talvez Alwyn ainda esteja atordoado. Mesmo antes de se formar na escola de teatro, ele ganhou o papel principal no longa de Ang Lee, Billy Lynn Long Halftime Walk (2016). Ele nunca esteve na América até fazer um teste em Nova York. Ele conseguiu o papel e teve que permanecer, inesperadamente.

O produtor correu comigo até a GAP e me comprou um monte de meias e cuecas, ele sorri.

Antes disso, a vida no Tufnell Park, no norte de Londres, era maravilhosa.

“Passei tanto tempo correndo em Hampstead Heath”, diz ele. Seu pai fazia documentários na África. “Nos dias em que ele podia trazer coisas pra casa, na bagagem de mão, ele trazia lanças, arcos e flechas, enrolados em tapetes!”

O que está por vir? Bob Cratchit no mais recente ‘Uma canção de natal’ da BBC, uma participação especial em ‘The Souvenir Part II’ e ‘The Last Letter From Your Lover’, com Felicity Jones. Só não espere encontrar muita coisa sobre isso nas redes sociais dele.

‘Eu tenho Instagram, mas acho que não sou muito bom nisso ‘, ele ri.

Se Joe ALWYN pudesse escolher trabalhar com qualquer ator , seria Joaquin Phoenix. ‘Eu acho que ele é incrível em tudo. Definitivamente ficaria intimidado, mas adoraria trabalhar com ele’. Alwyn recentemente viu o desempenho de Phoenix no Coringa.

“Eu gostei”, diz ele. “Eu li muito sobre e li várias resenhas e a controvérsia a respeito, foi muito difícil de assistir com isso passando pela minha cabeça. Eu estava monitorando enquanto assistia.”

não foi a única performance de Phoenix que ele viu recentemente, tendo assistido ‘You Were Never Really Here’ para uma segunda visualização.

Fonte | Tradução e Adaptação – Joe Alwyn Online

Harriet estreou nos cinemas do UK no final do mês passado, por conta disso o Joe concedeu uma entrevista exclusiva para a ‘Evening Standard’ falando sobre os lugares que ele frequenta em Londres e muito mais. Confira:

Minha Londres: Joe Alwyn

O ator faz compras na Redchurch Street, senta-se para assados no domingo no Royal Oak e deseja poder multar as pessoas lentas no metrô.

Casa é…

Norte de Londres. Eu cresci no Tufnell Park e sempre morei perto de lá. Eu amo isso.

Qual foi a última peça que você viu?

Recentemente, fui ver Fleabag, pouco antes de encerrar. Eu tinha visto a série de TV, que é hilária, brilhante e inteligente.

Hotel Favorito?

O Covent Garden Hotel. Gosto que seja pequeno e discreto, e nada pareça muito novo ou moderno.

Ônibus, táxi ou metrô?

Eu tento andar por toda parte. Mas se for preciso, ônibus ou metrô.

Onde você mais gostaria de ser enterrado?

Mórbido! Não posso dizer que penso muito nisso, mas… O cemitério de Highgate é realmente bonito. Ou eu seria cremado e teria minhas cinzas espalhadas em Hampstead Heath, para todos os passeadores de cães.

Onde você recomendaria para um primeiro encontro?

Eu diria uma caminhada ao longo do Tamisa, ou talvez ao longo do canal em direção a Broadway Market. Há um bar de coquetéis divertidos chamado Off Broadway, por London Fields.

Se você pudesse comprar qualquer prédio e morar lá, qual seria?

Não sei se moraria lá, mas gostaria de comprar um pub realmente velho de Londres, com um belo jardim e muitas lareiras.

O que você faria se fosse prefeito por um dia?

Eu baniria muitos carros e as pessoas andariam mais. E eu também aplicaria uma penalidade para as pessoas que andam devagar no metrô. Isso me deixa louco. É um curso de assalto!

Bar favorito?

Para um assado de domingo, gosto do Royal Oak na Columbia Road.

O que faz de alguém londrino?

Um senso intrínseco de liberalidade e tolerância. É uma cidade que é celebrada por suas diferenças, o que nos torna únicos e fortes e quem somos.

O que você coleciona?

Pequenas bugigangas de feriados ou cenários de filmes e caixas de fósforos de hotéis.

Em quais lojas você confia?

Gosto da Livraria Muswell Hill, que sempre tem uma boa seleção, e as lojas, cafés e pubs da Redchurch Street. Também o BFI, Kipferl em Camden Passage e Toff’s em Muswell Hill para peixe e batatas fritas.

Você já teve uma briga com um policial?

Nada sobre o que vamos falar.

Para quem você liga quando quer se divertir?

Eu tenho um grupo principal de cerca de seis amigos que conheço desde os 12 anos. Todos moramos em Londres e conversamos praticamente todos os dias. Temos um grupo do WhatsApp, mas o nome é muito embaraçoso para compartilhar!

Onde você se exercita?

Joguei muito tênis enquanto crescia e estou tentando começar de novo. Eu também tenho alguns amigos que escalam, então eu tenho entrado nisso.

O que você está fazendo de trabalho no momento?

Eu tenho Uma Canção de Natal saindo com a BBC. Acabei de começar a trabalhar em Last Letter From Your Lover, com Felicity Jones e Shailene Woodley. E também participei por alguns dias no novo filme de Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir 2.

 Fonte | Tradução e Adaptação – Joe Alwyn Online

Joe attended the 22nd British Independent Film Awards on December 1 2019, in London, England. Joe presented the award for Best Documentary to “For Sama”. You can watch a video of Joe presenting below, and see photos of Joe at the ceremony in our gallery.





Posted by Tracy on 28.11.2019

Joe recently had an interview with the Evening Standard where he shared some of favourite places and things about London. Check it out!

The actor shops on Redchurch Street, sits down to Sunday roast at the Royal Oak and wishes he could fine slow walkers on the Tube

Home is…

North London. I grew up in Tufnell Park and have always lived near there. I love it.

What was the last play you saw?

I recently went to see Fleabag, right before it closed. I’d seen the TV series, which is hilarious, brilliant and clever.

Favourite Hotel?

The Covent Garden Hotel. I like that it’s small and tucked away, and nothing feels too revamped or modern.

Bus, taxi or Tube?

I try to walk everywhere. But if I have to, bus or Tube.

Where would you most like to be buried?

Morbid! Can’t say I’ve given this much thought, but… Highgate Cemetery is really beautiful. Or I’d be cremated and have my ashes scattered on Hampstead Heath, for all the dog walkers.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

I’d say a walk along the Thames, or maybe along the canal towards Broadway Market. There’s a fun cocktail bar called Off Broadway by London Fields.

If you could buy any building and live there, which would it be?

I don’t know if I’d live there, but I’d like to buy a really old London pub, with a nice garden and plenty of fireplaces.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I’d ban a lot of cars and have people walk more. And I’d also enforce a penalty for people who walk slowly on the Tube. It drives me mad. It’s an assault course!

Favourite pub?

For a Sunday roast I like the Royal Oak on Columbia Road.

What makes someone a Londoner?

An intrinsic sense of liberality and tolerance. It’s a city that’s celebrated for its differences, which makes us unique and strong and who we are.

What do you collect?

Little trinkets from holidays or film sets, and matchboxes from hotels.

Which shops do you rely on?

I like the Muswell Hill Bookshop, which always has a good selection, and the shops, cafés and pubs on Redchurch Street. Also the BFI, Kipferl in Camden Passage, and Toff’s in Muswell Hill for fish and chips.

Have you ever had a run-in with a police officer?

None that we are going to talk about.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

I’ve got a core group of around six friends who I’ve known since I was about 12. We all live in London and speak pretty much every day. We have a WhatsApp group, but the name is far too embarrassing to share!

Where do you work out?

I played a lot of tennis growing up and I’m trying to start again. I’ve also got some mates who go rock climbing, so I’ve been getting into that.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I have A Christmas Carol coming out with the BBC. I’ve just started work on Last Letter From Your Lover, with Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley. And I also popped in for a few days on Joanna Hogg’s new film, The Souvenir 2.

‘Harriet’ is out now



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I wonder if the person who suggested BR would film in the UK late May-July was confused by the casting call. I think - think! - this is what they were referring to (www*projectcasting*com/casting-calls-acting-auditions/brideshead-revisited-cast/). It does say it's a casting for BR, and it does mention May-July as the filming date, but it also says it's for a two-part Sky series, which BR is not. Have two separate calls been mistakenly merged? If so, there's still hope these aren't BR's dates!

the one I looked at originally wasn't an article like that, it was like a job post on the website for the casting but I've just checked and it doesn’t come up anymore


scenes of joe in the billy lynn movie were shown a few times for the ang lee tribute at the baftas! 🥰

i watched a video of last night but now it's been deleted, but anyway, yeah they showed I think 3 or 4 clips of Joe as Billy Lynn during the montage which was nice! '

What do you think of each of joe’s upcoming / unreleased projects? Are you worried about any or super excited about any? What do you think?

i'm excited about all of them especially CWF! And I love that there all different, like Joe's role in each one is different from the others. I am a bit worried about Brideshead Revisited, just because it may conflict with CWF for filming, but hopefully he can still do it

I’ve seen that “last letter from your lover” will be postponed till August (if I remember correctly) in Germany at least

yeah looking like a summer release now, which is for the best! let's just hope it doesn't need to be delayed again!

I can confirm that Felicity's Graham Norton ep isn't on iPlayer right now. The most recent one is series 28, ep 23

thanks! i wonder if maybe they'll air it next week instead

This is so cute! Some fans shared their signed CDs, and they found WB's signatures and also a doodle. It seems like a door. Maybe it is "I'm leaving out the side door". They are so lucky! https://weibo.com/6491233822/Ka9KCvBlr?type=comment#_rnd1618072862921

omg i love when people find WBs

I read that they didn’t air the episode of the graham norton show yesterday because of the princes death

that's what i read too, maybe it's available on the BBC iplayer 

Metal Lords Actor Isis Hainsworth Takes Major

Did Felicity go on Graham Norton?

she did but I haven't seen much about it, this Daily Mail article (x) mentions some of the stuff she talked about

Hey Tracey :) could you please create a time line with all the release dates for Joe’s projects? That would be awesome!!

Hi, I'd love to but we don't know any of the release dates ...The Souvenir Part II will come out later this year according to this article x

"The distributor is planning what it describes as an "ambitious full cinema release" for later in 2021 [in the UK]″


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