Robson Green interview: ‘Grantchester’ star on his new role in BBC’s ‘Age Before Beauty’

Grantchester star Robson Green is back on our screens this summer in a new BBC drama from the writer of Poldark.

Set in a Manchester beauty salon, Age Before Beauty is airing in the UK on Tuesday nights at 9pm on BBC One.

Watch the trailer:

Created by Poldark showrunner Debbie Horsefield, the six-part family saga is described as “an exploration of youth, age, instant gratification and long-term relationships set within the beauty industry.”

Here Robson Green chats about his role in Age Before Beauty

Tell us about your devious new character!

“On the surface Teddy Roxton is a very good, caring, loving individual who you think has nothing but positive things to say about life, people and relationships – but everything isn’t quite as it seems and underneath there is an undercurrent of something deeply uncomfortable.

“As individuals we all have a side to us where we will do anything for certain emotions we are experiencing, and one of them is love – and love can send you in very strange directions. It can make you feel euphoric one moment and absolutely traumatised the next, it plays with your mind and your heart and to be reckless with people’s hearts is one of the most harmful things to do in life – yet we all have it in us, including Teddy.”

Do you think audiences will empathise with Teddy?

“The way Teddy behaves affects every single relationship in this story on a massive level, which is amazing to play. He is a pathological liar but his actions are routed in truth and circumstance and everything Teddy does in this series stems from an absolute devotion to love.

“What he does is so devious, but you understand why he does it, and there will be moments when you really care for him and even feel sorry for him because we have all experienced similar emotions. I hope the audience will squirm watching Teddy because so many people will identify with these situations.

“This drama asks one very poignant but simple question: do you have to stay young and beautiful if you want to be loved? It’s a simple question that deals with growing old and whether holding onto a relationship is harder as you get older. We look at the idea of love and circumstance, the notion that you may be in a relationship but all of your life you have loved someone else, which does happen. Deep down your heart may be somewhere else and that must be very painful.

“That is interesting as an actor and the cause and effect of that is fun to play. Storytelling is everything, and Debbie Horsfield has beautifully structured the storytelling within this drama. Debbie has created endearing characters who I believe audiences will care about and will want to follow through the journeys they embark on. On top of that they sing and dance!”

How did you find filming the musical elements of Age Before Beauty?

“The great thing is I have sung for most of my life, so when the musical director and choreographer came it felt great to be able to exercise those muscles. It was a real joy. I love singing and recording and we got to record in the Abbey Road studios, which is incredible. The first big musical number we did was so colourful and joyous and to see the craft at the top of its game in the professional dancers we had on set was wonderful.”

Did you enjoy your newfound friendship with co-star James Murray?

“The bromance between Jim and I grew as soon as we found out we shared a love for fishing. We talk casting technique, river levels and water quality… we have been fishing whilst we have been on set a few times and we are off to Scotland when this wraps on a fishing trip together.

“He is a bloody good angler and fly fisher, much better than I am. He is also very good company; he’s a gorgeous man. The whole cast have been wonderful and in particular, Polly (Walker). She is effortless in her work, a class act.”

In what ways was playing a character like Teddy to be a new experience?

‘This character has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, which is a really good thing because you will never learn if you don’t do that. At no time have I played sinister in my life, I am not a sinister person so I have never come close to doing things like Teddy does in this series – he has sown seeds which are going to be so destructive.

“You just have to wait for the explosion of traumatic and collective emotional trauma to happen. That approach to a character who is hell-bent on one singular pursuit, but knowing that pursuit will cause so much emotional carnage, yet his reasons are clear to him, that is completely new to me. On the surface he is a very likeable man but suddenly he shows you his darkness because what he does, he does with a smile and that is interesting to play.”

Grantchester Season 3 is available now to buy on DVD.

Robson Green is currently filming the new season of Grantchester, which is expected to air in early 2019.