Not Another Happy Ending

Iain De Caestecker is on the rise. He’s currently starring in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on TV, and in the fast year we’ve seen him on the big screen in In Fear and Filth, and we’ll be seeing him again soon in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut How to Catch a Monster. We spoke to Iain about all of those projects, as well as his new film, Not Another Happy Ending, a rom-com filmed in his native Scotland in which he stars alongside Karen Gillan.

You’ve been very busy with both film and television in the last few years. What stage was your career at when you became involved with Not Another Happy Ending?

I finished college and moved down to London about three years ago, maybe, and the first thing I got down there was a TV series called The Fades. And then ever since then I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to be not only doing things, but doing things that I’ve really enjoyed doing and feel very happy to be a part of. So I think I did Not Another Happy Ending just before I got the news that I’d got the part in a TV series out here [Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] I’d done a few movies before that, but the good thing About Not Another Happy Ending at the time was that I don’t think I’d done anything in Scotland for a long time so I was excited to be a part of something that was filming there.

Was it a fun role to play? It’s a comedy, but your character seems like a particularly comic one, designed to come in a get laughs in every scene.

Yeah, definitely. I think in the things that I’ve done I’ve been more attracted to and also given the opportunity to play darker roles, and when you’re doing that it does become a bit of a weight on your shoulders sometimes. With something like this, when it’s more comedy, it’s easier to carry that off camera and have a bit more fun off camera, rather than sit in a corner by yourself.

You seem to have had a few more lighter, comedic roles of late. Obviously this film, but then your character in Filth, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives you dramatic moments but you also get to have a lot of fun. Was that deliberate, or has it just kind of happened that way?

Well Fitz and Simmons in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are definitely supposed to be the comic relief characters in the show, and I suppose you go into that knowing that. It’s a Marvel world, although we want to find the reality in it, there is a part of it that’s larger and exaggerated, and those characters are. But no, there’s no real pretence to me doing stuff like that. I do enjoy the darker stuff, it’s what interests me more for whatever reason – not in a weird way or anything, hopefully it’s not in a weird way [laughs]. But I’ve probably done it a couple of times now, with Not Another Happy Ending and yeah, in Filth the character was sort of exaggerated. I do enjoy it, I suppose. You still approach it in the same way and try and make the character three-dimensional and create a reality within that. It’s just the way it’s worked out.

And with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you must be looking to the future, based on the Marvel universe and Joss Whedon’s history on TV and think that darker things and higher stakes are probably coming in the future?

Yeah, there is a lot of stuff like that coming up, definitely. And that’s one thing about the show where we’re in the Marvel universe and there’s a public consciousness of superheroes, and the main characters are ordinary human beings so the stakes are immediately there.

It struck me watching Not Another Happy Ending that both you and Karen Gillan had made your way into the Marvel universe. Did either of you know while you were making the film?

No, I don’t think either of us did. I saw her the other day actually and it’s been a while since we last saw each other and now we’re both in the Marvel universe, and we brought that up actually. It’s a strange thing.

Do you have one of these big Marvel contracts that could see you appear in the movies? Could we see you and Karen in a Marvel movie together?

I’ve no idea. Right now it’s the TV show and that’s what they’re really going for. You find out very quickly being within it that it’s a very secretive place. You’re trusted with secrets, but there’s also things that are kept from you and you have to be… So even when I met Karen, she couldn’t tell me about her movie, and I couldn’t tell her what was going on on the show. But no, the TV show is the TV show right now, and that’s where it will be based.

You obviously came to a lot of people’s attention with The Fades, but this last year you’ve had Filth, S.H.I.E.L.D. and a lead role in In Fear. Does it feel like a breakthrough year?

I suppose a little bit, but you tend to try and keep things the same way as they were before, keep the same mentality, and also not look too far ahead. So I suppose so. I’m living in a different country now, I’ve been here a while an I’m doing this show that’s on a larger scale to what I’ve seen before. We’ve been filming for a while now and we’re still in the midst of it.

Did you film How to Catch a Monster this year as well?

Yeah, we filmed that earlier this summer.

What was that experience like? You were starring alongside another Doctor Who star in that one.

I was yeah, Matt Smith, who’s great. He’s amazing. We had a great time out there, it was very much a family atmosphere when we were there in Detroit. I found it a really amazing place, one of my favourite cities I’ve been to. It was a really amazing experience, one I’ll never forget.

How was being directed by Ryan Gosling?

I’m probably one of his biggest fans, even more so now. He’s a very personable person, someone you always want to be around, and he fitted easily into that role of director. There was such a level of trust that I carried for him because I was such a big fan and because he was a big inspiration for me, and he really set the tone for everything in the movie. I was saying that to him actually when we finished, that there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t see him as the director like on any other project I’ve been involved in.

I imagine you’re busy with S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while, but do you have anything lined up for next summer? Are you planning to come back and do any filming in the UK?

I’m not totally sure yet, I plan not to look too far ahead. We’re filming the show until April so I’m in the midst of that and that’s taking up most of my time just now.

Not Another Happy Ending out on DVD 10th February and In Fear out on DVD and BluRay 10th March.