Why I love Margate with Dylan Edwards

Dylan Edwards is an actor, writer and producer best known for his roles in TV sitcoms GameFace, Shelfstackers and Pramface in addition to the drama series Wanderlust, The Long Call and A Small Light.

 

Most recently, Dylan wrote, produced and starred in the road movie Tyger which tells the story of ex-soldier Joe who, upon his release from prison, embarks on a journey to reunite with his family.

We had the pleasure of catching up with Dylan where we talked all things acting, future goals, most memorable moments and, of course, what he loves most about Margate…

 

Growing up, who were your influences in acting and who would you say has helped you the most through your career?

My earliest influences were mainly comedy. I somehow had access to a collection of Mel Brooks VHS films at a very young age. So I saw Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and The Producers. I was probably 6 or 7 (way too young), but I somehow got the essence of these movies. Gene Wilder remains a favourite.

As I grew up, the cinematic diet changed, adolescence was all about De Niro, Brando and James Dean. Then I started following directors and writers, going down rabbit holes; Kieślowski, Hal Ashby, John Cassavetes, Jane Campion. Each door opened up so many new paths. My appetite today is as insatiable as ever. Me and my wife try to watch a movie most evenings when the kids are in bed, it is harder to stay awake these days, though. So you know it’s a good film when you’re awake to see the end credits roll.

 

What first attracted you to acting and do you remember the moment when you realised you wanted to pursue a career in acting?

I grew up in Devon and had absolutely no ambition to be in the business whatsoever. The only culture down there is agriculture. So I went from wanting to be a farmer to a pro-BMXer then to a product designer… but along the way, I got involved in a youth theatre group. I really enjoyed being in a theatre, but I never took it seriously. When I was filling out my university options to pursue product design, I had one space free and chose a performing arts college. I got accepted, and much to my parents’ disappointment, I went.

 

If you had to pick a top 5 moments from your career, what would they be and why?

That’s impossible! Landing my first lead in the BBC comedy Pramface was pretty special. I had a ton of terrible jobs after graduating from Drama school, so to ditch those and go into that was amazing. But being in this industry has got me into so many serial situations. I’ve had my head smashed through a wall by The Mountain in Game of Thrones. I’ve been stuck on a Caribbean Island with Dexter Fletcher. I’ve played a gig at Maida Vale Studios in the room where The Beatles recorded. I’ve been lucky enough to have had many moments where I’m in a room with people I’ve grown up admiring on screen going “How did I get here?” That never gets old.

 

You have acted, directed and written a variety of TV and film projects. From your many projects, do you have a favourite? 

Tyger is the one. I love collaborating with great people and there were so many wonderful, talented people involved in making this film. I think given all the time and money constraints, we’ve made something special that we can be proud of.

What advice would you give to any aspiring actors or perhaps advice you would give to a 20-year-old Dylan Edwards?

To aspiring actors… I don’t know. The landscape is changing so quickly that I struggle to keep up. I guess I would just say go make stuff. We all have these amazing cameras in our pockets. Muck about. Play. See what you can create.

To my 20-year-old self? Easy. Don’t change your name from Ed to Dylan. But knowing 20-year-old me, I wouldn’t listen.

 

What first attracted you to Margate and do you have any favourite go-to spots you regularly frequent?

My good friend Dom moved down to Margate and we would visit from time to time. He was a TV director and we had worked together a few times. When my wife fell pregnant with our first kid, we thought, if Dom’s making it work, so can we. Dom would talk about us collaborating and making films together, but then he quit the industry and opened a little soap shop called Haeckels, which became a global brand! But it turned out to be the best move.

We couldn’t be happier down here surrounded by clean air and our favourite people. Anywhere that serves a good cup of coffee gets our business; Forts, Oast, The Good Egg, Staples, Big Shot… We would happily do a café crawl around Margate doing shots of caffeine.

 

How much did you enjoy writing and starring in Tyger in addition to filming so many scenes locally in Thanet? 

Knowing that we had a micro-budget was actually helpful in this situation. We knew we needed a simple story which could be told economically with minimal extravagance. We’ve lived here for 8 years now and have built up a good knowledge of the area. So I could write specific scenes with specific locations in mind. Even better than that, there is a wealth of acting talent in Margate, so I was able to write each character for a specific actor I knew. We had about 10 days to shoot the entire film, which is kind of insane. But knowing the area and the people so well, kept things moving at a lick.

 

Is there anything you’re currently working on now that readers should keep their eyes open for? 

I am always working on something. Usually three or four projects at once. It’s always hard to tell which one is going to pop off next, but there’s plenty in the pipeline.

 

How can readers keep up to date with your work and upcoming projects?

Well, I’ve been off social media since 2016, so you’re going to have to be analogue about it and stop me in the street. Just call me Ed, though.

 

by Matthew Hemmings


Dylan Edwards may not be on social media, but you can see him in Tyger on Prime Video, AppleTV+ and the Google Store. Want to know more about the star’s favourite film? Read our exclusive Tyger interview here!

Exclusives by Area

Search