FLESH and Blood’s Russell Tovey has revealed all about his ‘lovable, damaged, d***head’ character Jake.
The 38-year-old actor stars in the upcoming ITV drama alongside Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis and Stephen Rea.
His character, Jake, is a dad-of-two separated from his wife but desperate to make amends.
Meanwhile, his mother Vivien has embarked on a new romance with a mystery man following the death of his father.
Along with his two sisters, Jake is dubious about his mum’s new partner and his motives, and is quite vocal about it, bringing plenty of tension.
Speaking about his character and his dysfunctional family to The Sun Online and other media, Russell didn’t pull any punches.
He said: “I think Jake is the epitome of toxic masculinity. He has never wanted to imagine his mum as anything other than his mum.
“That’s her role. That’s all she has, nothing else, you have to be my mum.
“I don’t think he takes any responsibility for any of his actions, I think he’s a man child in the words of Kate Bush, I think he’s someone that is desperately unhappy and so full of love and all he wants is to be loved.
“But he just can’t do it in the right way, he can’t accept it in the right way.”
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The first episode sees Jake interact with his sisters, who are both more successful and financially secure than he is, as well as his ex and his client/lover.
Russell added: “Every single relationship in his life is surface, you look at the siblings in this, they spend so much time together but they know absolutely nothing about each other on any level.
“They are going through so much trauma but they will not share it, they are so stoic and proud.
“For me it’s so rewarding to play this lovable, damaged, d***head. It’s a dream.”
However, Russell insisted Jake isn’t a complete bad guy, and said: “You want him to do well, you get so frustrated by him, you think sort yourself out, but you want him to do well, you want him to survive.
“He wants to be the big man, he wants to buy his mum a car, or the house, but he can’t and his sisters are earning more money than him and they’re frivolous with it.
“It’s really damaging to his ego, he’s got a big ego, and so that’s hard for him.”
Flesh and Blood will air on ITV in the coming weeks.