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Joey Phillips

19th June 2023

Interview & Digital Editor: Pankhuri Bhutani

Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Photographer: Joseph Sinclair

Styling: Annabel Lucey

Grooming: Paul Donovan

Cover Design: Emily Curtis

Joey Phillips is currently all set to star in the highly anticipated upcoming installment of the world renowned fantasy-drama series "OUTLANDER" (due to premiere on the 17th of June 2023 on Starz). 

The award-winning series which is based on the ongoing novel series by Diana Gabaldon follows a Second World War military nurse who is mysteriously transported back in time to the 18th century. With an amalgamation of time-travel, romance, action, thriller and a lot of diverse elements, OUTLANDER can be defined as a perfect blend of several distinct genres. 

About to portray the role of Denzell Hunter; a Quaker and a surgeon, Hunter is showcased to be an avid believer of freedom. While his initial ambitions derives from wanting to join the revolutionary army in order to fight for independence and use his apt skills to help as many people as he can, that desire is soon seen to be in contrast with his intrinsic beliefs since Quakers are opposed to violence and war. 

Being one of the newest addition to the wildly loved series, Phillips stars alongside Izzy Meikle-Small who will also be seen portraying his sister "Rachel" who Hunter is showcased to be sharing an unbreakable bond with. The fans of the show are extremely excited to be finally getting to witness the on-screen adaptation of the immensely loved sibling-duo.  

We recently had a chat with our latest cover star- the talented Joey Phillips on all things OUTLANDER.

Hello there Joey. Thank you for joining us on ReVamp! How are you doing? How has the start of 2023 been for you so far? 

I’m really good thank you! 2023 has been great so far, busy but a lot of fun.

I'd love to begin this interview by asking about your recent involvement in the next season of "Outlander" as 'Denzell Hunter'. First of all, huge congratulations on the project!

Even though the series has such a well established and dedicated fan-base out there, there still are many people who aren't aware of this show quite yet. I'm very curious to know if you yourself were familiar with "Outlander" prior to auditioning for the show or were you introduced to this amazing world and characters after you were offered the role? 

Oh thank you very much. I definitely knew of Outlander and what a phenomenon it is but I hadn’t actually seen it before I auditioned. It really is an amazing world to be a part of, from everyone who works on the show to all of the fans, so I’m very much enjoying being a part of this journey.

What was it like for you when you finally went on the set interacting with your cast mates for the first time as well as finally getting to portray Denzell? What were your initial impressions of the character as well as your overall experience like working on the project? 

I was pretty nervous the day before starting and wasn’t really sure of what to expect. But honestly from the moment I got on set every single person from the cast and crew were so lovely and welcoming, it felt very easy to slot into the team. I loved the character of Denzell from the moment I read the initial sides. He’s just the kindest, most loyal and protective man. He really cares about the world and the people in it and he carries a lot on his shoulders. Obviously the books and characters are so loved, so there was a bit of pressure bringing Denny to the screen and doing him and the story justice. But I couldn’t have had a better experience working on Outlander. Everyone really cares about the story we’re telling and there’s such a joy of spirit on set every day, it really is a dream team.

Now that you've been in Denzell's shoes and have played him successfully over the course of the seventh season, would you say there were any personality traits that you found similar to his character from your own self and if you could have the opportunity, is there any specific trait of him that you'd very much like to gain from the character or have any traits of yours incorporated within Denzell's character?

I think everyone could benefit from being a bit more like Denny. He has strong morals but is never judgmental. I definitely share his protectiveness over family, he would do anything for his sister, as would I. I’d like to think we both have a similar warmth and kindness. I could definitely do with having a bit more of his patience though!

You recently stated in an Outlander convention that your character possesses kindness and is showcased to be extremely protective of his sister "Rachel". I wonder what was your offset relationship like with Izzy Meikle-Small? 

I love her! I really struck gold having Izzy as my sister. I feel like Denny and Rachels’ relationship came very organically to us and there’s moments when we can tell what the other is thinking. We’re quite similar in a lot of ways and have wondered if we might actually be related in real life haha! She’s just a really great person.

Did you have any memorable on/off-set experience from working on the show? 

The whole thing has been so special and memorable. It’s too hard to pick just one. John Bell was amazing at taking me and Izzy under his wing and making sure we were having a good time off set. Everyone is so busy so it’s hard to get everyone together at once. But we managed to all get together for Johns’ birthday for a meal and that was a really fun night.

I'd love to know the overall creative process you had while portraying Hunter? Was there any specific acting ritual you involved yourself into to make sure you were fully into the mindset of the character before going in front of the cameras? 

Well on Outlander everyone behind the scenes is so unbelievably talented that just from the costumes, the set and locations you already feel secure in your character and surroundings. I would always take a minute in my trailer though just to ground myself a little and think about what he’s been through before each scene. Being surrounded by so much violence and death during the war definitely takes it’s toll on him and so I wanted to have a sense of that as the story unfolds. 

Like I mentioned before "Outlander" is one of the most popular shows out there and its success can clearly be witnessed through its heavily growing fanbase. 

So, when you did join the cast officially, did you perceive any sort of pressure portraying Denzell knowing that this fantasy project has such a well established fanbase and fans from around the world who are already extremely keen on witnessing your involvement in the next chapter of this iconic show? 

Yeah I think there absolutely was a pressure of portraying such a beloved character. But since being announced, the response on social media from the fans was so warm and positive and all of the fans that I’ve met in person have been so lovely and excited to meet Denny on screen. As an actor other people’s opinions are completely out of your control. So I think you just have to focus on what you can control, working hard and making decisions you feel are right for the character and the scene.

(Thank you for your time, Joey. Wishing you lots of luck for your upcoming projects!)

Lastly, is there any message that you wish to convey to the fans reading this interview as well as anything you can tell as to what your fans can expect from the upcoming installment of this show? 

Thank you so much for having me! 

Just thank you for all of the love and support, I really appreciate it! And well done for getting through the Droughtlander! This season is epic and I hope you’re all ready!

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