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Adam Abbou Talks BBC’s Waterloo Road

4 min read
Waterloo Road (2023)

It almost feels like a fever dream that is back on our screens once again. Wrapping up its original run in 2015, familiar faces such as Angela Griffin and Adam Thomas return to star in its second outing. One of the school's new pupils is , who reaches out to Headteacher Kim to try and get his difficult life back on track. FILMHOUNDS sat down with star to find out more.

So, Waterloo Road — Congratulations. This is fantastic. It's like the reboot we've all been wanting. What can you tell us about Danny and his journey across the series?

Danny's a very complex character. He has a lot of issues that he's dealing with and actually, he's very hard to describe. He does the wrong thing for the right reasons. All the time. He's always trying to dig himself out of a hole that he's created, but also holes that his life and his past have created for him.

 

As you've said, he is complex — is it satisfying to play someone who's got all of that bubbling under the surface?

All an actor can want is a character that has a great backstory and stuff, as you said, bubbling under the surface. It's really nice to play somebody that has these issues and these topics that are very prevalent in today's society.

 

You're 19 — I can't imagine what it's like to not have left school that long ago and now you're putting on a fake school uniform and going back to fake school. Is that a little bit strange?

Yeah it's strange, also because of the fact that I didn't really go to school, so I never really had school experience. So yeah, it's very strange, especially being 16 again.

 

I remember watching the original run of Waterloo Road while I was at school. Were you a fan of the original series?

I was a big fan. It was one of those series that everyone was talking about when you were in school or doing something extracurricular. It was always “Did you watch Waterloo Road tonight?” And it was great seeing Adam, Angela, and Katie. They're all really lovely. It was nice to come back and work with them. Obviously not as we would have hoped.

 

It's such a big ensemble piece and it seems like you all have amazing chemistry. What has it been like to work with the rest of the school, so to speak?

It's been fun reliving our school experiences because we're all in our 20s and haven't been to school in a really long time. It's been really amazing. The whole cast is brilliant. We became really close because we've been filming now for so long, that it's hard to not become close to people. It's like a little family. It's great.

 

So obviously you've already got some TV, film, and theatre experience under your belt. Do you have different ways of preparing for them? Or is it all one and the same?

I'm not very into preparation. I don't have any specific ways that I prepare for something. It's very dependent on the role that I'm playing. But for Danny, I did a lot of research and a lot of really reaching out to him. Learning about his complexities because obviously, it's something that I haven't personally been through in my life. But that's what I think is so beautiful about acting — you can portray something that you haven't been through or you have only just become knowledgeable about, which is really beautiful. You can show issues that a lot of people aren't shining a light on.

 

If you could bring any character from the original series of Waterloo Road back to star alongside, you who would you choose?

Bolton Smilie.

 

Such a good choice! I think I'd pick Grantley.

So many of them are dead, so it's like who can you bring you back?

 

You've got 2023 off to a great start — what else is in store for you?

I've got a few exciting projects coming up. I just shot a movie in Bulgaria. I was over there for two months, and we're about to go to LA for it on Monday. So that'll be fun to wrap all that up. Hopefully, fingers crossed it gets announced soon because I'm sick of sitting here on this little secret! The cast on that is just absolutely incredible. I can't wait for you to see who's a part of it. It's unbelievable. But yeah, in terms of what I want to do next, it's just continuing on with what I'm doing at the moment. Playing characters that have depth and just continuing on the path that I'm on really.

Waterloo Road is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.