DANIEL Weyman has one of those faces which casting directors love to put in the past, apparently.
From soldiers in the First World War and captains in the second, to Dickensian heroes and Shakespearian courtiers – he has carved something of a niche for himself in the historic role.
And his latest job is no different, as he has taken on the role of Adam Wainwright in popular wartime drama Foyle’s War.
“When I started acting I got cast very quickly in soldier-type roles. There must be something about my face that makes it look like a period face,’ he said.
But, as a man goes to work every morning feeling as if he is ‘heading to the garden shed’, a bit of typecasting is no sore point.
Daniel has recently finished filming the eighth series of Foyle’s War, after taking over the role from Max Brown. The series is currently showing on ITV1, and the previous series is now out to buy on DVD.
The actor said: “Anybody who has not watched it, I think they would love it. It’s a new area for Foyle. He moves into MI5, where things are just beginning with the soviets – there’s a lot of espionage stuff.”
As far as Daniel’s character Adam is concerned, he too is heading in a new direction. Now married to Sam, played by Honeysuckle Weeks, the pair have moved to London and are searching for a new direction in their lives together. Against this backdrop, Adam decides to become an MP.
“It was a really exciting time. I don’t think people were quite as apathetic about politics as they are now. There were so many people who needed help – it was an incredibly tough time,” Daniel said.
Fortunately, over time Daniel has developed an interest in the wartime era in which he is so frequently cast, though it did not come naturally for the chemistry graduate.
Although he had taken part in some acting while he was doing his degree, he fully intended to take up the job he had been offered with a large chemicals company at the end of his studies.
It was only when his university supervisor told him that he should do a job which he loved, that he decided to think more seriously about acting.
Daniel said: “He asked me about doing a PhD, and I couldn’t make up my mind. He told me you need to find something that when you get up in the morning you feel as if you are going down to the garden shed for the day. He said you should feel like you’re doing your hobby for the day.
“I knew at that point that either football, being a rock star or acting where the things that made me feel like that.”
He had only very recently finished drama school when he was cast in a role based solely on a picture which a director had seen.
Fast-forward a few years and he has had numerous roles gracing the stage and the big and small screens. He has worked with Helena Bonham-Carter, Danny Boyle, Imelda Staunton, and, now, Michael Kitchen, among other well-known stars.
He said: “I have been really lucky. I’ve worked with people at the top of their game.”
But, unlike you would expect from a young actor, Daniel said he has never been star-struck by any of the huge names he has worked with.
He added: “I came from this world of never having done anything like this and not really having gone to the theatre. I found that and the fact I came to it all quite late rather useful, because it meant when I started meeting these very successful, capable and well-known actors I didn’t know much about them. I was able to treat them as people first and find out about them later.”
One star which did excite him, he said, was Helena Bonham-Carter, who he worked with in Great Expectations. But, he even avoided getting star=struck with her.
“The first time I met her we were getting made up together and she was very down to earth and really nice. She put my at my ease very quickly.”
And now he is working with some of the great stars of British television on Foyle’s War.
Now in its eighth series, it first burst on to the small screen in 2002. Created by Anthony Horowitz, the show was a hit with ITV audiences almost immediately.
Through seven series, the widowed police officer tackled wartime crime like no other. Aided ably by sidekick Sam Steward, played by Honeysuckle Weeks, the widowed police officer has solve the offences of the day like a pro.
There has been a long wait between the last series and this one, and in a recent interview Horowitz said he had been unsure whether or not to return with the character.
But Foyle fans were not disappointed as they settled down to enjoy the first episode of the current series of the show last month.
‘All change’ seems to have been the mantra where this series is concerned. The war has now ended, and Foyle has given up his police role for a job with the secret service.
There is now speculation, however, that this could be the last series.
But Daniel said he had high hopes that would not be the case.
“I’ve really enjoyed Foyle’s, and I would love to do more. We just have to hope the writers want to do more,” he said,