Actor Sean Teale chats with Maeving about his journey into acting, what inspires him within the industry and reveals his favourite place to eat in London.
Sean Teale is known by many different names. You might know him as Prince Condé from Reign, or as Nick Levan from Skins, Ben Larson from Incorporated, or even Viego, the Ruined King from the League of Legends video game. He’s one of Putney’s favourite sons and a proud owner of the Maeving RM1.
We had the pleasure of speaking to actor Sean Teale during a stroll through the wildly beautiful Brompton Cemetery. Here's what he had to say.
Where are we and why are we here today?
We're in the Brompton Cemetery in West Brompton. I used to live near here and came all the time, but now I find myself returning through sheer nostalgia.
I probably gravitate back because I figured out a lot of things here, as you do. I would run here, read or write here, work on scripts here - it holds a special place for me. I'm aware of the fact that a cemetery sounds odd.
Going back then, what first got you into the acting world?
I was at school and I think I was probably an unbearable child to be around because I was so energetic. I needed something to satiate that bouncing energy that I had outside of sports.
Acting really came out of nowhere but when the lightning struck, it struck me hard and fast. I just became completely consumed by it when a lot of other spaces didn’t have the same impact. The stage allowed me to grow and expand, both outwardly and inwardly. So, I ended up figuring out who I was, discovering my identity and my place. And, weirdly, for something that was terrifying to stand up and do, it also made me feel incredibly safe. It felt right.
Did you grow up loving film, or was that something that came later, having caught the bug at school?
I always loved film and I always mimicked, like a parakeet. It must have been unbearable for my poor mother.
Growing up we had all sorts of VHSs. It was a pretty eclectic bunch but I loved them all for wildly differing reasons. I guess I never thought they’d have a practical use later on in life but they did. Gattaca was helpful for Incorporated and, if you’re making a medieval Rom-Com, how couldn’t Robin Hood: Men in Tights be a source of inspiration? Cary Elwes, man.
What kind of characters are you drawn to?
I want to try everything. Naturally, I'm drawn to characters or roles that I really feel for. Or, sometimes, you read a script voraciously because it’s so good, and everything else just mutes whilst you read it. And by the pace you’ve read through it, you're like, oof, there you go. Sometimes I gauge it on that.
It’s like when you’re at the cinema, you can tell how good a movie is by how quickly you run to the bathroom and back. If you’re running to get back to your seat and pushing people out of the way, then it's probably a good film.
Okay, time for some quickfire questions...
Night in or night out?
Night out as long as it's good enough that it leads to a night in the following evening.
Sweet or salty popcorn?
Salty all the way.
Best place for a coffee in London?
I did go somewhere recently that was amazing - Layla in Ladbroke Grove. It was sunny out, so I took the bike and had a really nice morning with a friend... the pastries are nuts.
Best place to eat in London?
There are so many but I'll go with a really good pub that has really good food, and that's The Atlas in West Brompton. It's a great pub and the Italian food is excellent.
If you could time travel, past or future?
Past, because I'm hoping to live through some of the future, so I'll get that anyway, right?
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Something that a friend of mine said springs to mind: the quality of one's life can be determined by the quality of the questions they ask.
If you ask great questions, about yourself, or about life, you can get greater results.
What are your travel essentials?
Hmm, I'm not sure. What is essential to do is to pack really well. I'm really on top of my packing, man. I'm neurotic about it. But I don’t overpack.
I can't do the "I've planned every outfit for every day" thing. I think that's madness. Because what if something goes wrong? What if someone spills red wine on you? Sometimes I change it up but I reckon I have about 20 items that I use the most, so often I just put them in a bag and that's that.
Favourite film score?
Hans Zimmer is the best ever. The score for Interstellar is frighteningly good. I mean, I remember watching the Cornfield Chase when it first came out and I couldn't believe what was happening before me, both visually and sonically. It blew my mind again in the docking scene with ‘No Time For Caution.
That's so unfair, how can you do that?
I’ll go with one that I've watched the most times. I don't think I've ever said this: Saving Private Ryan. I'm a big history buff. And that movie was a feat of filmmaking - what they did with the grading and overexposing of the film. The performances are outrageous. The set design is wild. I don't think I've ever been more gripped in a film than the first ten minutes of that movie. It's one of those films that I found myself parakeeting when I was a kid.
And, finally, three words to describe Maeving:
It's environmentally conscious and convenient, which makes it very cool. The three C's.