Tom Brittney worked his way up through the acting ranks.
One-off appearances in the likes of Casualty and Doctors led to a stint on the Starz hit Outlander before Brittney landed a recurring lead role on ITV's Grantchester, replacing James Norton as the crime-solving clergyman. (Is there any other type of clergyman?)
A career trajectory any young actor would be proud of – and the anthesis of his latest role in the BBC drama Make Me Famous. Brittney stars as Billy, a young man fast-tracked into the spotlight thanks to a reality TV show. Penned by Reggie Yates, Make Me Famous is timely, must-watch TV for the Love Island generation.
We'll get a lot of Brittney this month: the actor also stars alongside Tom Hanks in American war drama Greyhound (released 10 July on Apple TV).
We spoke to the actor about his life and style. Oh, and Tom Hanks. When possible, you should always talk about Tom Hanks.
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
I’m really excited for Make Me Famous on BBC to come out next week. It’s without a doubt the project I’m most honoured to have been a part of.
It’s a one-off drama about the impact of fast fame on a reality TV star and the negative consequences of that, and I knew after reading the script that it was a story that was really important to tell.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
That’s a tough one… it’s a toss up between getting to work with Robson Green or Tom Hanks. I think I’m going to have to go with working with Tom Hanks (sorry Robson, I hope you understand).
He was one of the reasons I became an actor, and I still have to pinch myself knowing that I’ve got to act alongside one of my heroes.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
Honestly, I don’t think much right now! I feel really lucky to be where I am in my career and to have been involved in the projects that I’ve done. I’m getting to live my dream!
Alright, maybe more movies… with Tom Hanks.
What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
I’d really love to produce stuff in the future. I love being an actor, but I’d also like a chance to make and tell other stories I’m interested in.
I’m developing a TV show based on a book my mum wrote with Little Island (who made Patrick Melrose), so hopefully this’ll be the start of a different strand of my career.
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
I don’t know if you can tell but I’m a really big Tom Hanks fan… and actually, they say don’t meet your heroes, but working with him reaffirmed even more why he inspired me so much.
He’s a true pro, and works so hard. And is a lovely guy to boot.
Aside from him, Robin Williams. His death was like losing an uncle I never got a chance to meet.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
I’m petrified of heights and rollercoasters.
Learning to ride a motorbike for Grantchester was one of the scariest things I’ve done. Going 70mph down the motorway with the wind trying to rip you off? No thanks.
I did conquer my fear a bit though so hey, maybe I’ll be riding the Colossus at Thorpe Park next!
What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?
A plaid shirt from H&M. Seriously. I’ve had it about 15 years now so it’s probably my oldest piece of clothing that still fits.
I don’t spend a lot on clothes, and probably haven’t changed my style much since back then!
Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?
I always wear a necklace that I’ve had since I was six years old that I got in Spain. It’s a little silver stick figure that’s a Spanish good luck symbol.
I’m a very nostalgic person and it always reminds me of my childhood.
What items do you take on holiday and why?
My kindle. For some reason I find switching off and reading really hard when I’m in London, but when I’m on holiday there’s nothing better than lying in the sun and properly getting into a book.
That and my camera. I love photography and always bring it with me wherever I go.
Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?
I’m a real hoarder with clothes I’m ashamed to say. It takes me a lot to throw stuff away because I get weirdly emotionally attached to them.
So it could be a rubbish T-shirt I got free at a festival or something and I’d probably still be a bit sad it had gone.
But there’s a T-shirt from my first ever swimming competition as a kid that I’ve held onto all these years. They only had XL sizes so I should be able to actually wear it soon!
What’s next on your shopping list?
I’m probably due a wardrobe upgrade at some point.
I used to only own about two or three pairs of shoes, but then recently started to branch out and get some more. I’m going to become a “shoe guy”!
What would you buy if money was no object?
A first class round the world plane ticket. I never did a Gap Year or anything when I was younger and it’s a bit hard to take extended time off with work to travel properly.
I’ve been lucky to see some amazing places with work, but I’d love to do the backpacking thing (luxury backpacking of course).
Hopefully we’ll be able to travel properly soon because I’m going to go straight off to Thailand and sit on a beach.
BBC Three’s Make Me Famous is available to stream on BBC iPlayer from Wednesday 17 June. It will also be shown on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 26 June