Iain De Caestecker has become a mainstay of geek life of late, acclaimed for his role-playing Fitz in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, a very reduced role in the seventh final season gave him a little more flex in what other roles he might take.
Which now includes playing the younger version of Tom Hollander's character in the new BBC drama, Us. It wasn't an expecting or much-promoted role, so his appearance on screen was a delight to those who have enjoyed his work of late. And he fitted into that role of Douglas well, possibly stereotypically, as a young scientific researcher, working for pharmaceutical companies, and quite student in his defense of that role, against the critique made by his to-be wife's hippier, more right on social set. A take that is reflected and repeated across the decades, both actors seemingly playing off each other.
It also helps that De Caestecker wore a nose tip. He told the BBC that "our great make-up artist Lucy Cain suggested a prosthetic nose. It was quite an understated prosthetic which covered only the tip of my nose but cleverly bridged the gap between us in a subtle way. We also experimented with wigs briefly, but I ultimately had time to grow my hair out a little longer."
As to playing Tom Hollander's character, he says, "We met a few times before we started shooting. Partly to work out make-up and costume decisions but also to discuss the character too. Tom was incredibly kind with his advice and sharing his thoughts for the character, which were invaluable, and that continued throughout filming as well. I even remember one day we were filming our wedding scenes, and both Gina and I were feeling nervous. Tom had finished filming for the day, but he went home, picked up a bottle of champagne for us, and gave us a little glass to calm our nerves. Then he stuck around while we filmed the scene and gave us some really helpful notes and ideas."
So we have two stories, one of a couple falling in love and then, decades later, falling out of love again, and maybe giving De Cestecker something more to grip his teeth into. He is also appearing in another BBC mini-series, Roadkill, alongside Hugh Laurie, scheduled for November 2020 on the BBC and on PBS in the US.
Us is a BBC One four-part television comedy series based on the book Us by author David Nicholls. The series stars Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves as the Petersens during their vacation across Europe and follows Douglas, the father. He tries to win back the love of his frustrated wife Connie of twenty-five years after she tells him that now their son Albie is about to leave home for college, she wants to leave too. The series aired on BBC One in September and October 2020 and is available in full on the BBC iPlayer.
You may know also know Tom Hollander from The Night Manager, Rev, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Thick Of It/In The Loop, and I saw him as Henry Carr in a remarkable revival of Tom Stoppard's play Travesties a couple of years ago. Say, maybe we could get Iain De Caestecker to star in Young Rev?