Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne plays Culture Club drummer Jon Moss in BBC2’s new drama Worried About The Boy. It follows the rise to fame of Boy George in the early Eighties and stars newcomer Douglas Booth as the flamboyant singer, Marc Warren as Steve Strange and Mark Gatiss as Malcolm McLaren…
While filming the drama did you get to meet Jon Moss?
“Yeah I met him a couple of weeks before I started filming. We had lunch and a good chat about everything, particularly about his relationship with George, his role within the band and also to pick up a few of his tics and mannerisms. It was very interesting and he’s really lovely. You know, time has moved on for him, but it’s still very much in his mind, especially the details of various events. He’s been really supportive and kind. He hoped it showed him as kind and not some kind of monster, but essentially he was happy to have this period of his life documented.”
Has he been really open about that period of his life?
“He was incredibly open. And it was important for the project because it’s very much about his relationship with George and how the two of them worked within the band. A lot of the stuff in the script is pretty accurate. There’s a scene where Jon goes to attack George with a hammer, which seems a little over the top, but it’s true! Getting to the truth is important.”
What are the two like in this drama?
“There are a couple of fights between Jon and George, including the hammer fight, and I was keen to find out to what extent that was true. They are quite violent towards each other sometimes. Their relationship was deeply volatile and incredibly violent. The aftermaths of the fights were interesting – how they made up. It was done in a very camp way. Thyey were like, well you got me that time, shall we move on? Then there’d be another fight, then they’d have sex. It was a real topsy-turvey up and down relationship.”
Did you come out of this actually liking them?
“I did. This gives a real insight to the relationship the characters had. The volatility, but also the love for each other, and there are real moments of warmth and love between the two.”
Jon’s sexuality must have been interesting to explore, especially as he lives a heterosexual life now…
“Yeah well he was part of that small culture at the time that didn’t consider the gender, but who the person was. I think that was kind of how it was then. He totally fell in love with George and basically that time he was with George he was a gay man. Jon now has his fourth child on the way and George is who George is! At that time he was gay, but it was very much interchangeable.”
Has that been interesting to play?
“Definitely the volatility and jealousy, like when George is seen talking to another man, or even a girl.”
How did you find the physical scenes you had to with George? And how physical were they?
“There’s just a bit of making out, no full-on graphic sex. Just a bit of kissing which I’ve done in TV shows before. It was fine – Douglas is really hot, he’s only 17!”
Does Jon still see George?
“Jon still has a great amount of affection for George, and they’re talking again. Obviously their lives have taken different paths. Jon is settled and in control, George is still part of a party lifestyle.”
How were your Eighties costumes?
“There are some great costumes. When I met up with Jon I asked him if he had any old clothes from the era. He dug out a box of them and I’m actually wearing his clothes quite a lot. And Douglas is wearing George’s clothes too! It gave me the chills, and it gave Jon the chills when he saw me on set looking vaguely like him. It does give everything an authenticity. George is a consultant on the show which has been great. Douglas is in contact with him.”
How aware were you of this period?
“Not at all. I was born in 1978 so I was too young really. I wasn’t on my radar. As a kid I watched Top Of The Pops so I suppose I must have seen them. My memory’s terrible though. I remember very little before I was 15. A lot of the music I love was from that era, though – The Cure particularly and The Smiths. I love the post-punk era, alhough whether I’d have fallen into that category if I was living in that era I don’t know. I’d not be rebellious enough really, although I do get spat on at Arsenal v Tottenham matches!”
How aware of you was Jon?
“Yeah he was a fan of Gavin and Stacey and was quite pleased I was doing it.”