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Loaded Q&A — Samuel Anderson (Leon)

Samuel Anderson, who plays Leon on AMC’s Loaded, talks about Leon’s outdated bucket list, his character’s impeccable sense of style and the part he was originally trying to land. 

Q: What does your character, Leon, bring to the group?

A: He has a false sense of being the leader, but he’s the one with the street smarts. They’re an intelligent bunch, but he’s the one that can talk the talk. He’s got the swagger.

Q: We got Jim’s side of things, but what was your experience filming the Champagne bath scene in the Series Premiere?

A: Quite emasculating but after two bottles of Champagne, I was ready. It was only a few weeks into filming, so we were all very fresh together. I was just doing my best David Hasselhoff impression and sucked it in. There wasn’t much time after reading the script to do sit-ups. I tend to sit up in the morning and lie down at night. [Laughs]

Q: What about filming in the huge, posh house that the guys are living in? Any behind-the-scenes stories or memorable moments on set?

A: The house is incredible and I was racing those motorbikes around behind the scenes. It gives great depth because it just seems to go on forever. It’s so interesting because they used to test torpedoes in the house. It’s also in the middle of a beautiful park in South London and during the time of year that we were filming, there were a lot of deer. It was quite beautiful with the fog descending over the park every morning and watching the deer go at it in the park. It was like being in a David Attenborough movie.

Q: Unlike Josh who bought a pair of jeans, one of the first things Leon buys is a Ferrari. What does that say about him?

A: Leon is checking things off his bucket list that he made when he was a f—king teenager. When you get to your 30s, it’s probably time to change your bucket list. He’s actually got real options in his life, but he’s still that kid.

Q: Do you see any similarities between your character and yourself? Do you admire his outlook on life?

A: I first read for Josh. I was late for the audition and I had been working the night before in a different city and the only time I could get in for the audition was the following morning, so it was a mad dash. I got to the audition slightly late and I was lying down in the waiting room, all sweaty and exhausted. The casting director, Jane, came out like, “making yourself comfortable, are you?” In my head, I thought we were off to a bad start, but it took some pressure off. We made jokes back and forth and she asked me to read Leon’s speech he gives to the kids. Once I read it, I thought to myself, “if I don’t get this part, then I don’t know anything about acting” because it was so much like me and my friends. It was like, “this is very easy for me to say these things.” [Laughs] But in terms of his outlook on life, absolutely not. I’m into clowning around, but I’m not that into it. I’ve got to let my ego rest.

Q: At the end of the episode, it’s revealed that Leon lost his dad. Did that uncover anything about the character for you?

A: It was nice that it came early in the script because you can see he has some underlying issues he’s dealing with. He’s really got this need to prove himself. I spoke with the writers about his past and we’ve speculated several different ideas – from very dark ones to very funny ones – but we decided to leave it open. It’s an unresolved issue with his dad and his dad died before he “made” it. I think it uncovers something that’s been left unfixed. The man that the problems are with is no longer there.

Q: The old timey chorus makes another appearance! What would they sing for you if you could have them follow you around?

A: [Laughs] Oh, that would be great! So many things. Well, I’m a big fan of jazz music, so I don’t want to waste it on hate. I’ll just have them walk around singing “Tune into Loaded! Watch Loaded. Watch Loaded. Watch Loaded. Watch Loaded.”

Q: How did you like Leon’s impeccable sense of style?

A: I actually had a discussion with the costumes department to find out what his wardrobe would be like and we both decided he would never do jeans, especially not as a millionaire. He probably stopped wearing jeans a long time ago. Funny enough, Molly, our costumer designer on the show read the script and told the producers about a photographer friend of hers named Dean Chalkley who’d done this book called Return of the Rudeboy. It’s a collection of photos of how black guys are dressing over here and it’s kind of a return to the days of the Windrush, when Jamaicans first got off the boat and it was all about three-piece suits, dressing sharp and having twists on your costume. So, she thought about dressing Leon in that way and she got the book out after I was cast, and she didn’t realize that I was in the book! [Laughs] So, we were on the same page.

Q: What kind of app would you personally love to create?

A: An app for perfect excuses whenever I needed one. That just came into my head right now. Typical me. I can’t think of anything and I need an excuse here. It’d be like Siri but for excuses. “I don’t want to go to work today. What can I say?”

Read an interview with Jim Howick, who plays Josh.

Watch full episodes of Loaded on amc.com and AMC apps for mobile, Fire TV, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.

Loaded airs Mondays at 10/9c. To get more exclusive interviews with the cast, sign up for the weekly newsletter.

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