Published: 00:01 BST, 7 September 2014 | Updated: 00:02 BST, 7 September 2014
The White Queen actor, 27, on fighting in chainmail and being Wales’s sexiest man
Did you always want to act? All I did as a child was pretend to be James Bond or Marlon Brando. When I was about four, I put on my dad’s work boots and went up and down the street with his walking stick pretending to be Charlie Chaplin.
What was your earliest role? I got my first acting job through my youth club at the age of 14. When I got paid, I realised you could make a career of it!
You sound like a Welsh Billy Elliott… Kind of! But I had a lot of support from my parents and family. Of course there were a lot of doubters, but I didn’t really care about anyone else’s opinion.
Did you have a plan B? I wanted to be a stuntman. I’ve done stunts since I was 11, and wanted
to be able to do them whatever kind of work I ended up in. I’ve had a horse roll on me but luckily everything stayed intact.
So you were a daredevil as a child? I grew up in a Welsh mining valley with streams and rivers and woods. We’d make bows and arrows and climb trees.
Did you get to meet Cilla Black while making the new biopic of her life? Yes, it was incredible – she was the mother of TV when I was a nipper! I used to watch Blind Date, but didn’t realise she’d had such a big singing career until I read the script. My regret is not getting to meet her late husband Bobby – who I play in the film.
Is it scary playing a real person? No, it’s a big responsibility. David Bailey [whom he played in the BBC’s We’ll Take Manhattan] said he was scared that someone could re-create him on screen. But he gave me some of the best feedback I’ve ever had.
You’ve also played Richard III in [BBC One’s] The White Queen...There’s nothing like getting your chainmail on and riding into battle with 50 men behind you.
Are you used to life on the red carpet? Award ceremonies are strange because you’re sitting next to someone you’ve never met; you’re celebrating with a total stranger.
Do you enjoy fame? Fame isn’t happiness, but success and being respected in your craft is worth fighting for. You’ve got to work hard to be noticed.
What’s your dream acting job? I’d take any role in a James Bond film, and it’s probably the only thing that would make my family really understand what I’ve achieved.
How did it feel being named sexiest Welshman in a 2012 poll? I don’t know! There are many men out there who deserve that title more than me. But it’s a lovely phone call to get.
Would you like to return to the stage? Absolutely. One of my ambitions is to do [Tennessee Williams’s] A Streetcar Named Desire. Hopefully I’ll be the right age when it comes around again…
Cilla will be on ITV on 15 September at 9pm