Nic Bernasconi is a versatile actor, who plays Seb in Flatshare, a former squatter and a self-righteous social activist who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. Nic is currently developing new plays with Flourish Drama Company, and has appeared in TV shows like Downton Abbey, feature films such as Skulls and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In this Q&A, Nic talks about how he got into acting, why he empathises with his character Seb, and why he believes Flatshare is a perfect portrayal of what it’s like living in London today.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m originally from Hampshire, but have been living in London for nearly 10 years now. I’m the son of a builder, so I took a pretty different path (and I’ve got the soft hands to prove it). I studied at Identity School of Acting, where I was fortunate to meet Andrew Rowe, who plays Tom in Flatshare. I’m a massive film nerd, lover of music, and the occasional pint!
How did you get into acting?
When I was a kid, my parents always wanted me to get involved in after-school clubs, like football etc, but I never really took to anything. Every Christmas it was a tradition that I was taken to London to see a musical, and one year we saw ‘Oliver’. I saw all the kids dancing on tables and apparently, I sat there and was amazed. The week after, I got enrolled at a Saturday stage school and I stuck with it ever since.
What do you most love about acting?
I love the challenge of finding parts of myself in a character that are so far removed from who I am. As a massive lover of film and theatre, I love it when something can make you feel a certain emotion, whether it’s laughing, crying or being scared. I’ve always admired those actors who can make you feel those genuine emotions.
What attracted you to the character of Seb?
Apart from actually living in the area that Flatshare is set in, I can empathise with him on many levels. He is an outsider and has a lot to prove and I think everybody knows what its like to want to be part of something special and fight for something they believe in.
What was your experience like on set whilst filming?
In the two years leading up to Flatshare, I had mostly immersed myself in stage roles, so I found it really interesting re-focusing my acting style to make it appropriate for the screen. I learnt a lot from everyone on set, whether that be the other actors, creative team or crew and it was definitely a family atmosphere everyday.
How do you hope your character Seb will be received by audiences?
Although Seb can be difficult at times, I hope the audience empathise with him, in the same way that I did when I was finding the character. He is a passionate guy; so cut him some slack when he goes off on one.
Why should people watch Flatshare when it is released?
Flatshare is a raw, perfect portrayal of what its like living in London today. The themes that it covers are so important, and although it includes things you may read about from time to time, I believe there is nothing on screen that dares to go where we have gone. James’ writing is phenomenal, and its evident it comes from such a personal place. Everyone’s worked so hard on it, and I think you can really tell that from the final product.