15th February 2023
Interview: Christopher Richmond
Photography: David Reiss
Styling: Ella Gaskell
Grooming: Paul Donovan
Carnival Row is back. The first season burst onto the scene in 2019 in a refreshing buzz of neo-noir fantasy, and now Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne are back for its second season alongside Andrew Gower, who we spoke to about his role in the show, as well as his role in the new series of You, his musical career which he juggles alongside acting, and working with Craig Potter from Elbow.
You can soon be seen returning to Carnival Row for Amazon - the first series was awesome so we’re looking forward to its return. Tell us about who you play and what appealed to you about the character?
I play Ezra Spurnrose - an aspiring socialite who is the son of a famous (Burgish) Watchmaker. He and his sister Imogen live an affluent life in Finisterre Crossing. At the end of Season 1 , Imogen abandons Ezra for their wealthy neighbour, Agreus (who is a Puck/ Faun), leaving Ezra alone to deal with the scandal. Despite being one of the shows villains, Ezra is the hero of his own story and Season 2 is all about getting his justice (with a sprinkling of revenge).
What I loved about the series is these are recognisable character troupes we have seen time and time again in all types of period dramas - However, this narrative has been reimagined by the shows creator (Travis Beacham) into a Fantastical world where victorian human society lives alongside Victorian Fae Folk including many a unique host of wonderful creatures. Creating a spectacle of scenes I’ve never seen on television before. Our showrunner Erik Oleson juxtaposes these two worlds (between human and fae) even further in Season 2.
Like all the best fantasy shows, Carnival Row explores big questions about our humanity and the society we live in today whilst making it relatable and relevant.
What was it like working alongside the show’s stars, Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne?
Weirdly, in high school I was a actually awarded the Orlando Bloom award. My classmates teased it was rigged because a member of the year book committee fancied me. Shame on them - and surreal for me - that I’ve now shared a television screen with him. Both Orlando and Cara were brilliant in supporting my characters story lines and arc in both Seasons of the show.
You’re also soon to be seen in Netflix’s hugely popular YOU. Can you tell us anything about the role?
I play Detective Peter Andrews who is one half of a London detective duo investigating recent murders that have occurred amongst a group of rich socialites. The majority of my scenes were filmed with Penn Badgley and shooting in London for the first time since 2016 was a treat.
What’s it been like diving into two already established and popular shows? How is it different from starting a show from the beginning?
In Carnival Row I was on board from the very beginning of Season 1 as Ezra. Diving into any established world is always exciting. As an actor, you have the luxury of visually seeing the pallet of the show beforehand. It’s a great way to see how best you can serve the world and maybe even shake things up a little.
Your other area of expertise is as a musician - you released an EP called The Jacaranda last summer. What’s the sound of the record and who are your musical inspirations? Who have you been listening to lately that you enjoy?
The EP is a homage to my favourite record store that I visited as a teenager ‘The Jacaranda’, in Liverpool. An iconic music venue where The Beatles used to gig. It’s an EP that shines a light on lyrics and stories that I’ve wanted to share for a long time .
If I was forced to describe our style I’d say it was Alternative Rock (from what I’ve been told…) We are influenced by The Beatles (of course, who isn’t) Alt J, I AM Kloot, Simon & Garfunkel and George Michael. One of the latest artists I am listening to is a band called Flyte. Their current album ‘This is going to hurt’ is incredible. Listen.
The album was co-produced by Craig Potter from Elbow. How did this collaboration come about? What was it like working with him? What’s your process for creating a song?
The EP was produced and mixed by Craig Potter of Elbow at the Blue Print Studios in Manchester. Craig composed the music on an independent film I played the lead in. He heard a few of our acoustic tracks and asked to produce our EP. Being a huge fan of his work (and Elbow!) it was a very quick and excited “YES!” from me.
The two weeks in the Blue Print Studios was an unbelievable experience. To collaborate with someone at the top of their game was invaluable. Since releasing the EP we’ve had amazing support from the likes of; Elbow, Craig Potter, Pete Jobson, Felix White, Bear McCreary and so many others. To have something out there that I’ve written and worked on from beginning to end is mind-blowing.
As an unsigned band, we are excited for the chance to make an album and continue our collaborations with some of our favourite music producers and artists in 2023.