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Cameron Chapman

Rising actor Cameron Chapman might be fresh to the acting game, but his role on Lockwood & Co. proves he's ready to takeover the industry.

Rising actor Cameron Chapman might be fresh to the acting game, but his role on Lockwood & Co. proves he’s ready to takeover the industry.

The rising actor’s supernatural action-adventure series Lockwood & Co. is one that keep you on your toes (and make you check your room for ghosts before bed). A lover of all things eerie and eccentric — including an affinity for the play Macbeth — Cameron Chapman trained at the prestigious Royal Welsh College and Drama to the dashing and secretive Anthony Lockwood; his rise is meteoritic. His performance has garnered wide praise from critics thoroughly impressed. His laidback demeanour and kindness make him easy to chat with about working on the show to plays and ghosts.

Approaching the character of Anthony Lockwood is not something Chapman took lightly. Knowing the much-loved fanbase of the character from the original novels, Chapman meticulously devoured the books and scripts to ensure his portrayal of Lockwood is one that would not just translate from book-to-screen, but would excite viewers.

1883 Magazine chats with Cameron Chapman to talk about Lockwood & Co., learning how to use a sword for stunts, the existence of ghosts, and more.

 

Hi, it’s nice to meet you. How are you?

Good, I’m well. How are you?

 

Not too bad. Let’s crack on. So, firstly, congratulations on the show! It’s great. You do an amazing job. I was surprised to find out that this was your debut role. As far as post-graduate jobs go, that’s pretty amazing. How’s it been?

Yeah, it was weird. I got signed with an agent around Christmas 2021, whilst I was at my drama school in Cardiff. I was at the Welsh College of Music and Drama School. Lockwood was my first audition after signing with my agent. Then we didn’t hear back for a while until around April and they asked if I could come to London. I met the team and did about a week of intensive auditions. It was a whirlwind. I got a call a couple of days later saying I had the job. It was very surreal, my life flipped upside down in the space of a day.

 

That’s amazing. You’ve kind of set the bar for the rest of us because now I have no excuse. 

[Laughs] I think you’ll be fine.

 

The show is an adaptation of Jonathan Stroud’s books. How was it working with him? Was it really daunting or really exciting? 

Yeah, before I met Jonathan I made sure I did all of my homework. As soon as I met the man, those worries went out the window. I think the fear is that this is someone else’s creation. Essentially, the foundations of it are someone else’s baby. You want to respect their creation and respect their vision of what they want. But there is also a difference — translating something from a page to a four-dimensional scene with actual human beings and not characters on a page. Jonathan was incredibly supportive and totally understanding that there would be slight differences and things would have to be altered to work in a different format. I could always go to him for advice on stuff or the lore of the world that we were inhabiting. 

 

That’s nice because I always imagined that with adaptations, particularly when the author is involved, there’s always this pressure. It’s like, “I need to be like Anthony Lockwood, I need to go very method.” 

Yeah, exactly. That is the fear that he was. We were very lucky, and the production team was supportive as well. Reading the books and reading the scripts provide you with a lot of information and that’s where I went from.

 

Were there any moments you really enjoyed recreating on-screen after reading them in the books?

There’s a scene in episode one where Lucy gets interviewed by George. I remember reading that in the book and thought it was a cool scene. It was fleshed out and was given space. I think there is always that worry that it can be a bit cliche — the two characters meeting or, in this case, three characters meeting for the first time. Jonathan’s writing and the script were really good, and the characterisation was really clear.

 

That scene does sort of establish Lockwood’s character. I found him very full of contradictions. He’s very careful yet careless. He hands someone a haunted skull when he first meets them. What did you think of his character and did you find any similarities between the two of you?

Yeah. I think I’m not someone who does “method” or any type of method. I think it’s really important to leave the character on set for me and my process. But, other people have different processes. 

 

You mean you didn’t walk around London with a rapier on your hip?

No! [Laughs] I don’t hang out in graveyards at night as Lockwood does, but that’s the excitement of it all. Being able to play a character so differently and stepping into a different worldview is the luxury of the job.

 

I do have to ask you this because a friend and I were debating it — can you tell us what is in that room?

No! You’ll have to wait or read the books, and I’m not in the business of spoilers. I think I’d get in trouble.

 

Very kind of you! A big part of the show is the rapiers used to fight ghosts and you do some cool fight scenes. I loved the scene that you did with The Golden Blade. What was it like learning to do those stunts?

That was the first scene we filmed. We had about two months of prep time before we started shooting and the first month was essentially just full-on stunt rehearsals every day, which was nice for me. I think it takes away the surrealism and stops you from overthinking about what’s going on in the job because when you act, there is sort of tangible growth. It’s more important to be confident in your growth, ability, what you’re learning to do, and how you’re doing it. With something physical, like sword fighting, it’s like I know what I did wrong in that rehearsal. I know the points where I could do better. These are the bits where I need to improve.

The choreography takes a lot — I couldn’t nail it down right away because it’s so precise. We’re proud of that. I hope people enjoy them as much as we enjoyed crafting them in a sweaty gym.

 

Another big part of the show is Lockwood’s friendship with Lucy and George. Was it really easy to bond with Ruby Stokes and Al Hadji-Heshmatii? You all looked like really great mates and had a great time 

Yeah, we are. When you get on with the people that you’re working closely with, day in and day out, it makes the job easier. I guess because it’s in this series one, a lot of world-building has to happen and a lot of that is done through the lens of the trio. It’s every day for 18 months together. It is such a cliche, but we did become a family unit and we’ve stayed that way throughout the whole process. They’re both very, very talented people, but also very kind and generous people and both very selfless actors. It is a privilege to work with people like that.

 

Any really fun memories from the set?

I remember when we were on set at the Tate Modern for a day, which was cool. We saw there was some exhibition going on and we had an hour free and snuck into some exhibition and we were fully in costume.

 

Do you think they thought you were part of the exhibition?

Probably, yeah. They probably thought it was a promenade or something. 

 

They were like, ‘wow, such a lively display!’ The fan reaction and the reaction from the critics have been overwhelmingly positive, which must be great for you.

It’s a massive relief!

 

 

I did see a comparison with another Netflix show, Shadow & Bone, particularly the character of Kaz Brekker [portrayed by Freddy Carter] and your character, Lockwood. He’s very stoic, leader of the group, and self-contained. Particularly the line where you call Ruby an asset in the show and he calls his love interest an ‘investment.’ 

I must be the only person in the world that hasn’t watched Shadow & Bone yet, but they’ve got another season – series two is coming out.

 

Next week! You have to get on it.

I will! I recently met Kit Young and Danielle Galligan, and they are in that show.

 

Kit is lovely.

He is. I will have to watch and see for myself.

 

Use it as inspiration for the next season of Lockwood & Co. Coming from the theatre, I know your school did many theatre productions. Did you find differences between TV and theatre that you liked or didn’t like?

You did your homework! They’re very different. Theatre is very physical; it’s very demanding physically and maybe I thought TV would be less so. I don’t know if it’s just because I was doing stunts, but it wasn’t. They’re both very different and offer exciting challenges for an actor. If the script’s good and the character is interesting, challenging, and exciting, then it doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t put me off or entice me more if it was there through theatre or TV.

 

Is there any play or book you would want to star in on the screen?

That’s hard. I like Macbeth, that is one of my favourite plays and my family is Scottish. They’re from a place that’s mentioned in Macbeth, a town called Forest, which is in the highlands of Scotland. So, I’ve always loved Macbeth and I think that’s a connection there. I don’t know if my parents would be particularly sentimental about it, but I think that would be cool. I’ve always loved Macbeth. I think it’s very dark and intriguing. I really think, like Lockwood, it’s named after the man, but it’s really about the woman. That’s the cool part I love. That’s not me saying I want to play Lady Macbeth, either!

 

I don’t know, put you in a gown and wimple, you could pull it off! [Both laugh] 

Thank you! 

 

That’s so odd because Macbeth is my favourite play and I love the darkness of it. It was the first play I ever saw when I was young.

Very morbid choice for a first play.

 

We are a morbid bunch! Maybe you just have a thing for ghosts: Macbeth, Lockwood. Have any experience with ghosts?

I don’t which is funny. I don’t know if I believe in ghosts that much. I actually said that to the director, Joe, who looked me in the eyes, and he looked at me sternly and said, “it’s the people who would say they don’t believe that they see it.” So I think I may have some karma coming my way.

 

You should visit the Globe, that place is very haunted. 

Yeah, we had one too. Where we filmed — Ealing Studios, apparently one of the stages there is haunted.

 

And you still didn’t see anything? 

All that gear we had on, maybe we scared it off.

 

Lockwood & Co. is streaming now on Netflix.

 

Interview Michaela Makusha

Talent Cameron Chapman

Photographer Pip

Groomer Alyssa Kraus

Styling Grace Gilfeather

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