The star of the epic drama reveals five secrets from the set
When you play someone’s adversary you avoid each other. When I was on US series The Wire, all the actors playing cops stuck together and likewise all the gangsters. So David Oyelowo, who’s in the role of Jean Valjean’s nemesis Javert, and I kept a very respectful distance from each other when the cameras stopped.
Jean is very strong and in one scene I had to carry Josh O’Connor, who plays Marius, on my back through some sewers. As soon as I met Josh I was dreading it. He’s slim but over 6ft and I had to do it for three days. It wasn’t easy.
I hate beards, especially stick-on beards, and they wanted me to have full-on bushy sideburns because they were right for the period, but I worried that they made me look like Fred West, the killer I was cast as in the drama Appropriate Adult. I ended up with longish sideburns as a compromise.
The cast is about 100 strong, which is great as you get to work with so many people. The downside is that I only have two scenes with Olivia Colman, who plays Madame Thenardier, and I wish I’d had more.
I’ve always wanted to be in a musical, although I can’t sing and of course this version has no songs. Ellie Bamber, who appears as Cosette, and I both like bass-heavy hip hop music so we’d have it on in the make-up trailer.
Dominic with David Oyelowo