Brassic | Damien Molony as Dylan Colding | Bradford Zone
What is Brassic about?
Brassic is about a group of mates up North getting into harmless mischief. They’re tearing around having the time of their lives. It’s about friendship, it’s about having a laugh, and trying to make a quick buck along the way.
You play Dylan, what’s he like?
Dylan is the brains of the gang. He’s a reluctant mischief-maker, because he’s smart enough to see the flaws in the plan. But he always ends up getting involved and he’s arguably at his happiest when he’s right in the middle of it all! He’s the brightest of the bunch, but probably lacks any real ambition to do anything with his smarts. He is the only guy in the gang with a girlfriend, Erin and she has a son from a previous relationship. But he is very much a father figure for Tyler and he loves them both very much. And that’s a huge responsibility, so there is a bit of tension dividing his time and attention between the lads and his relationship with Erin… she’s not exactly delighted with what he gets up to with the gang.
Vinnie is his best mate, Erin’s his girlfriend. Does he feel torn between the two?
Absolutely, and he can’t really decide between them. He is being pulled in two different directions: Erin wants to leave town and make a career for herself and for their family. Dylan loves her and believes in her and wants her to be happy and successful. But Vinnie wants him to stay; they’ve got a great little business running, they’re best friends, and Dylan is a huge support to Vinnie. Vinnie suffers from bipolar disorder and Dylan believes that Vinnie would be very vulnerable if he were to be isolated. He loves them both and he doesn’t know what to do.
How much does Vinnie’s bipolar play into that sense of responsibility towards him?
The lads are definitely clued in to the fact that Vinnie suffers from bipolar disorder because they’ve been mates for years. They’ve become well used to noticing when he’s flying high and when he’s having a sad day. They’re able to deal with it and Dylan, especially, is able to deal with it because he knows the triggers, he can spot the warning signs and has developed tactics to help Vinnie. Whether that’s intervening or knowing when not to intervene. Away from all the jokes, these guys are best mates and they’re all coming from a very understanding and very loving point of view.
Joe Gilgun who plays Vinnie has bipolar himself, did that make it easier on set to really understand the disorder?
Yes, it really did. I didn’t have an understanding of bipolar before we started filming. So I could talk to Joe about it, talk about his life and the things that he has experienced, and his day-to-day experience was a real eye-opener. Having him to talk to about it, made the delicate scenes between Dylan and Vinnie more real. And Joe’s honesty and openness about his mental health made it easier for everyone else on set to be honest about theirs.
Has it been hard changing your Irish accent for this part?
I’m from Kildare in Ireland, just outside Dublin, so it was great craic getting stuck into Joe’s accent. I went to a wedding the day after I got offered the job, so I spent the entire wedding speaking in a Chorley accent. I had fun! And it was very strange talking to the other cast members on the train to Manchester for costume fittings, all speaking in their normal accents, and then hearing something completely different on our first day on set.
Did you find it easy to slip in and out of your accent?
Being surrounded by Joe all the time on set meant the accent was in my ear all the time, so after a while I didn’t need to worry about the accent, we were just in that world. That said, if you had been in Manchester in the days leading up to Day One you would have seen me ordering coffees in a Chorley accent every morning.
How did you find filming?
I laughed and laughed. I’ve never been on a job before with so many regular cast, so we had as much fun off set as we had on set. And we had a proper tour around Manchester, places I would never normally get to visit, Burnley and Bury and Bolton and Bacup, all the Bs, as well as lots of time shooting in Manchester. And each episode has a big adventure. Honestly, we did so many weird things on this show, my family would ask, “What are you filming today?” and I’d say things like, “We’re being shot at by a local farmer while we try to steal a Shetland pony” or “I’m getting sprayed on by an exploding fat berg, which is made up of custard, chocolate brownies and wet wipes!” Every day on set, I did something for the first time.
Do the lads have a regular income or is it one scheme to the next?
Their regular income is from a weed farm they’ve built from scratch, but they’re always open to the opportunity of a bit of extra spending money. The weed farm is an old lorry container that’s been buried underground, and inside of that is the weed farm, and it’s also their den.
Michelle Keegan plays Erin, what’s it been like working with her?
Michelle is great, very professional and very funny! Good luck to you if she gets the giggles on set. And obviously, she was our local guide. She told us where all the best restaurants were, all the cool places in Manchester.
You have sex scenes together, what were they like to film?
Oh wow! There’s nothing sexy about a Brassic sex scene! They’re always such bizarre things anyway but it was definitely odd having sex in a portaloo on your first day of a new job, definitely a tight fit. But you get on with it. It’s just a good laugh because you both understand the complete ridiculousness of the situation.
Why do they end up having sex in a portaloo?
We’re stuck in the underground weed farm because the police are out above ground looking for us and we’re hiding. Dylan just looks at the portaloo, Erin looks at the portaloo and we just say, “Why not?” From the outside, the portaloo is rocking furiously but I promise it wasn’t us, that was Chris, in the props department jumping around, not sure what he was doing in there.
Michelle was followed by paparazzi for the entire shoot, did you guys feel protective of her?
Not really because she can handle herself! What was really interesting was seeing the support that Michelle has. Everywhere we filmed, people wanted to come and talk to her, people really admire and respect her. That was really lovely to see, everyone was waving to her, taking pictures with her.
Did you guys have as much fun off cameras as it looks like you did on camera?
Oh yes. We were all pretty much staying at the same hotel, so we had some pretty great nights out in Manchester. We actually all had a HUGE night out on Deansgate, two weeks before filming to start the bonding process. That meant by the time we had the read through, we all knew each other pretty well, maybe too well?!
What was it like having Dominic West on set?
What a lovely man! We actually went to the same university in Dublin, obviously not at the same time, and it was great to be able to chat to him about his time there when we weren’t filming. And we had a mega night out with him too!
You mentioned a second series, so you would be up for another outing as Dylan?
I think all of us would love to see what Joe, Dave and Danny have got in store for the lads in series two! And there are a few moments for Dylan towards the end of this series that definitely need resolving…