Jonathan Blackburn chats to Craig Young, L.A.-based British actor and ex-90s pop star.
Craig Robert Young, star of Sky 1’s long-running series Dream Team and alumnus of the mid 90s pop band Deuce, has come a long way from his humble beginnings in Nottingham. Now a long-time resident and successful actor in LA, he chats to us about his part in the second series of TNT’s The Last Ship, how he looks back on his varied career and what the future holds for the expat.
So So Gay: Hi Craig. To start with, tell us a little about your upcoming character Declan on The Last Ship. Is he a good guy or a baddie? And is there a chance he’ll be back for more than the three episodes ?
Craig: Declan is a former British Navy Sonar Operator who agrees to join rogue brothers Ned and Sean on the nuclear submarine HMS Achilles, whose main purpose was to relieve the cure from Americans. In my eyes he’s a good guy and has not been told the whole truth of the purpose of the ship. He is definitely loyal and has Sean’s back throughout the series. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to see if the character surpasses more than three episodes!
Did you watch The Last Ship before you auditioned for the part and/or read the novel ?
I did not. It was all a very quick process. I got the call the day before the audition and knew I had the job the next day. Once I was booked I binge-watched season one and delved into the internet to research more.
What were the cast and crew like and did you spend any time on an actual Destroyer ?
They were brilliant. I knew a few of the actors beforehand, like Marc Rhino Smith and Nathan Sapsford and Paris Arrowsmith, but I soon got to know all the others. We are an all male crew so it was a bit like being back in the UK and on camp somewhere. I’d worked with the executive producer, Jack Bender, before on Lost, so it was good to reunite with him and everyone else on the crew were great. A warm and friendly set for sure. We shot at Culver Studios on a soundstage – the same soundstage where they shoot all the interiors on the Nathan James. So without firing away any spoilers, I did step on their set.
As critically acclaimed as he is, what is Michael Bay like both on and off set ?
I wish I could tell you but I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him. Hopefully one day. He didn’t make it to our set – he’s a busy man with a lot of different projects going on.
If you were playing another character on The Last Ship, who would it be and why ?
SLATTERY ! He’s bad ass ! Adam Baldwin and I love to give each other shit on Twitter after the episodes air. It’s all good banter but we love playing it up for the fans.
Obviously we need to talk about Deuce. What comes to mind when you think back on it ?
Amazing hair, brilliantly loud costumes, atrocious dance moves but really great pop songs.
It’s been 20 years since the group’s album was released. Would you ever follow the path so many other groups from that era have taken and reunite for a comeback ?
20 years is a long time. I doubt many would even know who we are! I loved my time then and we were young and having fun. I don’t know if my older body could keep up with these youngsters. I think it’s a good career for the young and us oldies should take up chess or something.
Over your entire career in TV, theatre and films, if you could replay one role for the rest of your life, which do you think you’d be happiest reliving ?
I was very fulfilled and proud of the work I did in the Noel Coward play The Vortex, playing Nicky Lancaster – a rollercoaster of a character, complex and layered. It was a personal achievement for me for sure.
Although in order to play Nicky for ever, I would need a portrait in the attic!
What’s does the future hold for Mr. Young and what would be your dream role ?
I have a film coming out in the U.S. October called Kiss Me Kill Me. It’s a modern-day film noir written by David Michael Barrett and directed by Casper Andréas. I had a great time shooting that. I’m spending the summer in London, taking some meetings, so I’m definitely looking for that next job and it would be great if it was in the UK. It’s been a long time since Dream Team.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing now ?
What does a relaxing day off entail ?
Hiking in Griffith Park, running errands, a nice glass of rosé, reading a book. Yay, welcome to the exciting life of C.R.Y.!
Is there anyone special in your life ?
Yes, we have been together for nine years and just got engaged in Cuba and are planning our wedding for September next year, but haven’t yet decided whether it will be in the UK or LA.
Do you ever miss the UK and want to leave Hollywood behind ?
I miss a lot about the UK. The people, my family and friends, but thanks to new technology we are able to communicate through Whatsapp and FaceTime, so the time in between doesn’t seem so long. Summers in the UK are great : everyone seems happy and in good moods. I have a very nice life in L.A., I’ve spent most of my adult life here. I have my dog, Dusty, and can’t leave her behind in Hollywood, so…
Do you have any life philosophies, outlooks or mantras ?
Be nice, work hard and leave a good legacy.
Tell us about ‘Brits in LA.’ Why did you set it up and is it successful ?
It was very organic, thanks to social media. I started it with my good friend Eileen Lee eight years ago and it’s a resource for the British expat community or for those thinking of moving over. We exist on Facebook and have over 9000 members. It’s a closed group for added safety : there are a lot of con artists out there and we want to be able to trust our members to be giving good advice.
Vimto or Ribena ?
Ribena, baby !
Most embarrassing moment ?
Falling off the back off the couch during a Big Breakfast interview.
What is your proudest moment ?
Perhaps it’s still to come. I’m proud of my family’s achievements.
Do you still keep up with British politics or would you consider yourself more invested in the American system, if any ?
I do keep up with British. And now after 16 years in America, I find it funny how the two countries differ in their elections. I remember going to my first Democratic convention when Al Gore was running against the victor George W. Bush, and being amazed at how much money they waste in their campaigns. When all the balloons dropped from the arena, I was like ‘did someone turn 90’? The British definitely seem to be a lot more serious about their issues. Anyway, in 2016 I’m looking forward to America having the first female president. GO HILLS !
Source : SoSo Gay (28.07.2015)