It’s impossible to root for someone harder than I’m rooting for Robert Sheehan right now.
He’s one of the stars of the UK’s E4 (and now Hulu) show “Misfits.” It’s a superhero show that’s actually good. It won a BAFTA for Best Drama Series—which is like the best Emmy you can get presented by someone with a British accent. Within five minutes of talking to this dude, he said these two sentences in a row.
“Do you need any organs? Well, I certainly need an augmentation, according to the porn sites that I sometimes peruse.”
This is him talking about Skype.
This guy would be a superstar in America if anybody knew who the hell he was.
“Misfits” is on Hulu starting today. Maybe this will change that.
In the only other part we omitted from this interview, he called a member of the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast “a post-op transsexual.” We’re not going to say which one. We like him a lot. We want him to succeed. We don’t want him to get in public fistfights with alleged post-op transsexuals.
Well, we do. But we want him to be famous first.
Hulu: Can you compare “Misfits” to a show that’s airing in the US?
Robert Sheehan: Well, it’s very much like “Grey’s Anatomy” in the sense that we all wear one color. Yeah, I think that’s the closest show on American TV, because of the color thing.
Well, let me try to skim American TV. I guess it would be an American “Skins,” which has 16-or-17-year-old kids behaving like 16-or-17-year-old kids.
That’s funny that you say that, because MTV recently tried out this show over here. It got canceled primarily because it showed underage drinking.
Oh, I forget that Americans can’t drink until they’re much older. But you all can drive much earlier, can’t you?
Yep. Everybody here is given a Chevy, a gun, and a driver’s license when they turn three.
That’s interesting. I suppose I agree that anybody can get behind the wheel. But not everybody has good aim.
Superhero shows over here—for some reason they’ve been fatally flawed. They’re very focused on being family shows for some reason. This show does not have this problem.
In the brilliant mind of Howard Overman, who wrote “Misfits,” he didn’t think like that. I think he saw that there’s a lot of room for comedy in the smut and the petty minds that we all have. It’s very tongue-in-cheek with its superheroness. Actually, to answer your last question: “Smallville.” It’s like “Smallville,” only less shit. When you think of “Heroes”—the show “Heroes”—it has a deep gravitas. It’s very, very serious. Life and death. It’s all nailbiting stuff. This show says superpowers can be nuisances, too. Sometimes they act as disabilities.
If you were to make a pitch to somebody who just got done watching “Family Guy” that would convince them to watch “Misfits” next, what would it be?
Well, if you want to see a show with some sideboob and plenty of full-frontal nudity, or gruesome images mainly to do with the skin—lewd and horrible flesh—I think this is something I’d recommend.
How do you think the show has evolved since you started filming? How about your character over the course of a couple of seasons?
At that time, I didn’t have the knowhow of television making. I suppose I left it in the hands of the directors. Each episode after the first became an individual script to kind of explore each character. Mine is the second. I think that’s what works about this show: You behave exactly how young twats would behave, but they each have superpowers. That’s how I think people operate and it’s reflected on the show, so it was quite grabbing.
There are lot of hilariously funny things. It’s a big avalanche of comedy sometimes. But it’s first and foremost a drama. Whenever we found a dead body, it’s about focusing on that without it seeming unnatural or forced.
The real comedy in anything comes from believing the situation you’re in. At points it gets so ridiculous and so bizarre. Tom green, who was the first director, used to say that the easy thing to do is to not take what we’re doing very seriously. That’s what makes it unbelievable. He got us to really explore the tragedy of having to bury the dead body.
My last question has nothing to do with this show, but it’s important to all Americans that we know the answer. Your IMDB says you’re in a movie (it’s called Season of the Witch) with Nic Cage. What goes on in that movie?
Oh, yeah, I shot that a couple of years ago. It’s about these medievals knights who have to transport a witch to Austria or Hungary. It was a great time.
How was your experience with Nic Cage? I feel like he has patented Nic Cage confidence oils. Am I wrong about that?
He’s a wonderfully curious and interesting guy. He was always hilariously funny on set. He definitely has a certain Nic Caginess.