Breaking hearts willy-nilly, Jonny Clarke (aka Bart McQueen) is Hollyoaks’ resident ladies man.
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Drafted into the fictional Cheshire village in Summer 2010 to inject a heavy dose of testosterone into the town’s drama, he has been at the epicentre of stabbing and sex change stories ever since. Lad.
A proper lad, Jonny Clarke is not too dissimilar to the character he plays on screen. Into football, girls and getting messy, he lives in Manchester with some of his fellow Hollyoak-ers. Dreamy, dark and handsome, this charming, heartbreakingly hunky thespian harbours aspirations of one day appearing on the big screen with his name in bright lights. i-D online pinned down the pin-up for some serious one on one time.
When did you first get into acting? When I was about four. My parents took me to this stage school where my sisters went. There was singing, dancing, drama. I went for a taster day and ended up being cast in the play. But my Mum and Dad had to come at the end and say, “look he’s not going to this school at the minute, he’s too young. You can’t cast him.” And that’s how it all started…
How did you land the role in Hollyoaks? I basically was really bad at school, just got really bad grades. I knew I needed to earn a living and I knew I wanted to be an actor, but I wanted a certain skill so I could earn money whist I was doing it. I thought hair-dressing maybe. I went to my Dad who got me an agent and I got a job doing a viral thing for a university and then an audition came up for Hollyoaks a week later. I just went to audition and then on the drive back home with my Mum they said I got the part. I was like, chilling.
What happens on a typical day on set? We arrive about half seven in the morning. You go through make-up, the girls take longer in make-up, I just take like two seconds. Just a bit of base then you go up to costume, get your costume on for that episode and then straight to set. You have to know your lines, you learn them the night before or a few weeks before if you’re a swat. Then we do a line run-though, block rehearsal and then you go straight for it on camera…
How would you describe your character Bart McQueen? Bit of a Jack the lad, bit of a loveable rogue. He’s got a girlfriend now but before that he used to get with loads of girls so he’s a bit of a ladies’ man.
How do you react to seeing yourself on the TV? Hate it, hate it. It’s just weird seeing yourself, I’m a pretty self-conscious person. But you have to watch yourself back to improve on your acting. So I just force myself to sit and go ‘Arghh good, cringe, cringe, cringe.’
Where do your ambitions lie? I want to go to America and do a film. I wanna be in sort of mobster films. That’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was about eight.
What’s your favourite film? That is a hard question; I’ve got so many. I’m watching a TV series at the moment called ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and I’m loving that. Steven Graham, he was in ‘This Is England’, he plays Al Capone and he’s amazing.
Are there any relationships within the cast and crew? We’ve got a few. Laurie’s going out with Lucy Dixon. Jamie’s is going out with Georgie Porter. I’m not meant to say this, but theres been a few break-ups, which is sort of awkward.”. I’m not meant to say this, but theres been a few break-ups, which is sort of awkward.
What’s next? I’ve got this big story line coming up in Hollyoaks, which should be exciting and quite controversial. I really can’t wait to nail the performance.
Sip behind-the-scenes on the shoot with i-D online here.
From left. Look 1: Jonny wears shirt SAND and jacket Alexander McQueen. Look 2: Jacket and shorts Kenzo. Shirt Burberry. Sunglasses vintage Gianfranco Ferrè at The Eye Company. Look 3:: Jacket and trousers Kenzo. Shirt Marni.