4th January 2023
Interview: Christopher Richmond
Waterloo Road is back, and Vincent Jerome is one of its stars. He plays Lindon King, Deputy Head of the infamous school, and he’s here to tell us all about his role in the new series. We also delved into his previous roles in massive blockbusters including Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman 1984, his acting inspirations, and any advice he would give to up and coming talent looking to make their stamp on the industry.
What was it that inspired you to become an actor in the first place? Did you do much acting in school?
From the ages of 9 – 17, I wanted to be Will Smith. Not an actor… WILL SMITH. It took me a while to equate what he was doing on Fresh Prince and in Bad Boys with being an actor. I put that down to not studying acting till I got to college.
You’ve appeared in a number of major Hollywood blockbusters including Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman 1984. What was your experience like working on these movies? How does it differ to working on a TV show with 20 episodes a year?
My experience on those films was great. I got to work with two very different filmmakers in two massive franchises but let’s be clear, I wasn’t the lead in those films. I didn’t carry the storylines. That’s probably the biggest difference between those projects and Waterloo Road; I get to be one of the people leading this new iteration of the show. Side-note: the format of our show is more inline with the first series where you get fewer episodes than the last time it was on the air.
You’ll be starring as the new deputy head of the infamous Waterloo Road in the new series which will be airing in 2023. What was it about the role that appealed to you? Can you describe your character?
Lindon King is a stern, no nonsense, disciplined and goal-orientated character but at the same time he is also a very complicated man with a lot going on. That’s what appealed to me about Lindon - his ability to switch into different versions of himself depending on the situation. It allowed me to explore different facets of his character; who he is when he is in the class room verses the staff room, how he is when he’s coaching the basketball team, what he is like with his daughter etc. He’s always him but it was nice to explore those different shades.
The world has changed a lot since the original series aired. How does the new series differ from the original? What’s changed in Waterloo Road since we were last there?
As you said, the world has changed and in some ways, it’s got a lot smaller which I feel is a good thing. It allows us to see and interact with people that may not be part of our individual bubbles. That’s something that this version of the show does really well. It reflects the world we live in and allows you to see inside the lives of a diverse group of people. I hope, when people watch the show, they have at least one character that they can identify with because representation is massively important. So is having nuanced conversations about difficult subjects - something else the show doesn’t shy away from.
What sort of roles would you like to take in the future? What’s your dream role?
Not sure I have a dream role to be honest. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of creating an iconic character like Idris Elba as Luther, Viola Davis as Annalise Keating or James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Don’t get me wrong if DC or Marvel wanted to have a conversation about one of their characters, I wouldn’t say no but I would like the opportunity to put my stamp on them.
For any aspiring actors out there, what advice would you give them? What’s the best advice you’ve received?
My advice would be, “if you love it, do it! If you don’t, do something else.” This industry is hard. It has taken me the best part of 15 years to get to where I am now and I never would have been able to do it if I didn’t love it because it’s that love that keeps me going. However, protecting yourself and your art is just as important. Don’t give too much energy to things that don’t serve you. The best advice I’ve received? Be specific about what you want and go for it.
Waterloo Road is now streaming on BBC iPlayer and is on BBC One every Tuesday at 8pm.