Wonderland.

JAY LYCURGO

The British actor talks The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, his development as an actor and his desire to be a Power Ranger.

Two weeks ago, the first official trailer for Netflix’s new series, The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself released, showcasing Jay Lycurgo in a leading – and blood-drenched – light. Starring as Nathan, the 16-year-old son of the world’s most violent witch, Lycurgo’s character is charged with a mission that bends every corner of the moral spectrum: to kill his own father.

Yet before his magic-infused journey even began, Jay Lycurgo has been casting a spell upon audiences all on his own. Seen as Tim Drake (aka Robin) in DC’s live adaptation of HBO Max’s Titans, Lycurgo has been climbing the ranks of the acting ladder at exponential speed. Going from a featuring role in The Batman to now being the face of Netflix’s hotly anticipated fantasy series, it would appear that Lycurgo is no stranger to the abnormal — and yet, in conversation with the actor, we soon discovered this is only limited to his career.

Grateful, honest and genuine, Jay Lycurgo sat down with us to discuss his journey so far, stopping off to pay tribute to the co-stars, directors and camera crews he has met along the way. Reflecting on how his approach to his craft has developed and what he hopes to achieve within his new series, Jay Lycurgo epitomises hope and humility — two characteristics that make his role within The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself all the more inviting.

To watch the trailer and to read the full interview now, head below…

Hey Jay! How are you today? Tell us one thing you’re hoping to tick off the to-do list today apart from this interview! 
First of all, I want to say thank you so much for having me. Wonderland was a magazine I really love and a lot of my peers have been a part of it. So to be a part of it now is really, really an honour. I guess the one thing I’m hoping to do today is to promote The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, I’m so passionate about it and it was such an incredible experience. So hopefully you guys get to learn about the show and also get to learn a bit about me.

Massive congrats on The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself! How are you feeling now it’s about to hit our screens? 
I’m just ready for everyone to see. We had an incredible performance by Let’s Eat Grandma who did the original score yesterday at the Cocoa Cafe in Camden. And that was just amazing because they had the buses and billboards up and posters and people were eating jelly-filled hearts to really get in the zone. You know, the trailer dropped about a week ago now. And I watched it and I still get chills. So, you know, I’m feeling really excited and I just really want everyone to see it. Because I know I’m proud of it. I’m now curious so for the audience feels about these characters that I’ve known for so long and deeply love.

Can you take us back to the moment you found out you got the part, how was that? 
So the moment I found out I got the part is very vivid actually, I had been auditioning for two months at this point and I was living in Toronto and I was with my friend Brandon. It was during COVID so everything was shot. We ended up going to his mate’s bar, and it was like any other day really, I think with actors you find that when you go for these roles and you get close, you don’t want to get too excited, but you do start to imagine things. But I remember on that day, not really thinking too much about it and not knowing when I would find out if I got the role or not. But I knew that I was close. And I remember getting a call from my manager and my agent, and I remember them being like, “Netflix want to believe you more and see more anger.” And then my manager was like, “No, just kidding. You got the part.” Man, it was an amazing moment. I remember being really emotional because I knew that it was going to be an amazing show and damn right it is.

You play Nathan in the show, tell us your biggest similarity and biggest difference with your character. 
I feel like the biggest similarity between Nathan and me is probably how cheeky he can be. I think that’s what was really fun initially about reading the scripts. Joe has this great way of finding the lightness in these dark moments. And especially with Nathan, it’s just really easy to be in scenes and speak as his character. I just found his voice really quickly through Joseph’s words. And I think it’s because Nathan can be charming and quick-witted which I’ve found to be quite natural to me, which was nice. I think the biggest difference between me and Nathan is sadly his trauma, he hasn’t got his parents and he’s very lost in this story at the beginning of the show. He’s just a very lonely, confused child and it just leaves him very isolated. I’m quite grateful that I’m not in that situation. So when I got this role, I think that’s what was so upsetting about it, that I knew that I had to get into these places that I didn’t really want to go in order to feel like Nathan.

You worked with a great cast including some other incredibly talented young actors! What were the dynamics like on set? 
I think it was really amazing. I think what’s really nice about our show is that no one really came in with a name. So there wasn’t really any ego. On the first week, I knew that. I realised that everyone was just as passionate and driven as I felt for The Bastard Son. Hopefully, everyone sees that on screen because I adore the cast both individually and together, it was really fun and I’m really lucky to have such a great crew around me.

You’ve already got some impressive roles under your belt, The Batman and Titans to name a couple. How does it feel approaching new parts as you accumulate experience? 
That’s a really great question. I think about it a lot how, how you learn from new experiences throughout your career. You should always be pushing yourself and challenging yourself. You learn a lot more about the business and the politics which, sadly, can sometimes overwhelm your brain. My advice is to really try and stay in the playground of it. I watched my scene from The Batman the other day and there are so many things now that I would have done differently but at the same time, I’m aware that that was my first year of acting, you know, that was a big milestone for me.

What do you think you learned from making The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
I think the main thing that I learned from The Bastard Son is that you do have a voice. You know, before the show I still was in a place where I was a bit nervous to give my opinion on a scene. Or maybe take control of the scene and collaborate with the camera operators or the sound. One of the main things I realised is that I used to really talk to the director about a scene but the camera operators are really important as well. They taught me so much and you know, apart from like the impulses of in a scene and being present, there’s also an incredible talent in knowing yourself technically as an actor and technically knowing yourself in a scene. And that’s something that I didn’t know before that I tried to learn and am still learning how to do.

If you could teleport to the past and appear in any film/TV series – what would it be?
I think I’ve had a few, I would love to be a Power Ranger. That is number one I think. I always wanted to get into those suits whether that was a Red, Pink, Yellow or Blue Ranger. Another one would be Breaking Bad — it’s one of my favourite TV series. And then also a Tarantino film, like Pulp Fiction, to be a character in that would just be incredible. I’d love to see how Tarantino works.

Photography
Joseph Sinclair
Words
Ella West
Show Credit
The Bastard Son and The Devil Himself is out now on Netflix.
JAY LYCURGO

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