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Curfew - Andi Osho interview (exclusive)

Andi Osho

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ANDI Osho talks about playing Jenny Donahue in new Sky One thriller Curfew, the new series from Peaky Blinders creator Colm McCarthy, co-starring Sean Bean and Adrian Lester. She discusses the appeal of her role, its contemporary relevance and how working at night fostered a great sense of camaraderie on-set.

Andi also reflects on her highly successful career to date, including appearing in Channel 4 hit Kiri, writing and working as a stand-up comedian and appearing in forthcoming superhero flick Shazam!. Andi can be seen in Curfew on Sky One from this Friday, February 22, 2019.

Q. Tell us about your role as Jenny Donahue in Curfew and what attracted you to the project?
Andi Osho: At first I thought Jenny was very different from me because she’s a fearful person and likes living under this curfew. She’s a stay-at-home mum who keeps the house hold ticking over. That’s not me at all.

But when I looked deeper I could see the similarities. I bury my fears deeper than she does but we both have them, we’re both over-thinkers and we both busy ourselves to distract from our worries. In terms of a genre or mash-up of genres, this project was just my cup of tea. High concept shows really appeals to me, so I was over the moon when I was offered the role.

Q. How was being directed by Colm McCarthy? What do you think he brings to it?
Andi Osho: I’m a massive fan of Peaky Blinders, so when I found out Curfew was created by the team behind it, I was gunning for the job so much so I had to stop thinking about it because I was like “you’re going to jinx this with your weird energy, Osho!”. But Colm is brilliant. He had the whole world mapped out in his head and knew every character’s journey which made for an amazing final product. As well as the small matter of co-creating this madness, he’s also a lot of fun to work with.

Q. Curfew is set against the backdrop of a totalitarian government, which has echoes of the current political climate [particularly if you look at the US and some of Trump’s proposals]. Would that be a fair assumption, that it has something to say as well as seeking to offer visual thrills and high octane spills?
Andi Osho: I think all good shows says something beyond just the story it’s telling and hopefully Curfew is the same. It touches on the ongoing fear in western societies that we might end up in a dictatorship. We complain about the nanny state but that’s pretty much what happens in Curfew when the government tells everyone, the curfew is for their own good. Some characters like Jenny are fine with it while others like Simon, Jenny’s husband played by Adrian Lester, are not fine with it at all. That definitely reflects where we’re at as a society.

Q. The cast is amazing, with the likes of Sean Bean, Phoebe Fox, Adrian Lester and Robert Glennister – how was working with them?
Andi Osho: Adrian is such a generous, lovely actor to work with. He’s also incredibly grounded and a great energy to be around. I can imagine, he’s always the papa bear on set. Phoebe was great too. To be honest, it was a dream squad. Grounded people make the job easier. I wish I’d had more scenes with Sean but I only had one and his character wasn’t very nice to Jenny!

Q. I’d imagine from the premise that a lot of the shoot took place at night? Does that foster a greater sense of camaraderie on set?
Andi Osho: I’ve never done that many nights so this was a real baptism of fire. I think my first day of filming was on a roof the night the beast from the east hit. it was absolutely freezing, so if you’re with people that have a good sense of humour, it makes the night go quicker. We got in the habit of playing pub quiz in the actors’ tent while we were waiting to go on set. Also doing crosswords together was a real life saver.

Curfew

Q. You come to Curfew off the back of the critically-acclaimed Kiri, alongside Sarah Lancashire. How was that experience for you?
Andi Osho: Most people know me for stand up comedy even though I started as an actor, so to get a role in a serious drama with such heavy weight actors was a complete surprise. I loved the role. It was perfect because I got to be on a great show but I wasn’t doing any of the heavy lifting. That was down to my phenomenal fellow cast mates, Lucien Msmati, Paapa Essiedu, WunmiMusako and of course, Sarah.

Q. You have also written for Sky Arts and E4 (Twin Thing and The Andi Osho show respectively). Do you have plans to continue writing? Or are you focusing on acting for the moment?
Andi Osho: I’m always writing. I’m currently working on a book, then there are a few pilots I’d like to write. I’m taking my lead from America where actors don’t just rely on people giving them opportunities. They create their own. As an actor, that’s how you have longevity.

Q. Will you ever go back to stand-up? And how did the experience of becoming a successful stand-up shape your career? What’s your favourite joke and best/worst heckle?
Andi Osho: I will go back to stand-up but at the moment there are so many interesting projects I’m involved in there isn’t really time. The break has been good too because I got quite jaded with the business
before. I can’t deny however that becoming successful as a stand up shaped my career because it gave me lots of opportunities. It got my name out there in a way that, had I just plugged away as an actor maybe I would still be struggling to find work. In terms of heckles, I’ll have to get back to you! Heckles can be great but they are an interruption to your work. I usually find them funnier when they’re happening to someone else!

Andi Osho

Q. You have also starred alongside Zachary Levi and Mark Strong in Shazam! What can you tell us about your character in that film, the film in general and working with fellow Brit, Strong? Does this promise to bring us a new spin on the superhero genre?
Andi Osho: Well, I would love to tell you all about working with Zachary Levi and Mark Strong but none of my scenes were with them! I basically play a character called Mrs. Glover who is a social worker and worked with Asher Angel. He plays Billy Batson who says the word ‘Shazam!’ and turns into a superhero. The film was kept under such a tight wrap that I have no idea what actually happens.

Q. Finally, how do you view your career to this point? It has been amazing, in my view. But what are your own highlights and biggest lessons so far?
Andi Osho: It may sound cheesy but the biggest highlight is just doing what I love. There’s a lot of risk involved with this business. You never know how things are going to work out so when they do, that feels really nice.

Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

Andi can be seen in Curfew on Sky One from this Friday, February 22, 2019.