Jim Howick, who plays Josh on AMC’s Loaded, talks about that Champagne bath scene, working with his wife on set and how the guys are like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Q: You’ve played in a bunch of comedies. What attracted you to this script in particular?
A: Well, my wife already had a job on it. [Laughs] It’s totally true! She works in costume and that was the first time I’d heard of the show. She phoned me up and said she got a big job on a show called Loaded and that it would be long days for her. Then, a month later, I got into casting and then the scripts came through. I already knew Jon Brown, the writer, from a show I was on called Peep Show – and he writes for Veep as well… He’s an incredibly sharp writer and I just liked the idea of being involved. The subject matter was incredibly vulgar but dealt with in a British, apologist way where rather than enjoy the money, you get swept up in the neurosis rather than freedom. I enjoyed that about the scripts. And I also got to work with my wife! It was great seeing each other every day and I was able to take our dog in, who became the set mascot. It was an absolute pleasure.
Q: What was your first impression of your character, Josh?
A: That he’s kind of a pain in the ass, really. [Laughs] He’s just a neurotic guy. He’s infected with his neurosis. He’s a perfectionist and he has trouble holding down his relationship both with his girlfriend and his parents. Maybe it’s natural to not know how to enjoy money, but I think that’s his main hang-up. He doesn’t use this money to go spend it on a Ferrari or something cliché like that.
Q: How would you describe each of the guys’ personalities? What about the dynamic between them all as both business partners and friends?
A: It’s interesting because we were trying to think of a model that we could use to try to understand where we were, and the easiest one was actually the Ninja Turtles. You have Josh, the unauthorized leader like Leonardo. You have Leon who’s like Raphael, Watto is Michelangelo and Ewan is like Donatello. That was how we saw each other’s roles in the show. [Laughs] But it’s an easy dynamic to understand and I think it’s established quite quickly in the first episode. You know who the sensible one is, who’s the arty one, who’s the nerd with the crippling stomach disorder and who’s the spendthrift who just wants to have a good time.
Q: Josh seems like the most practical member of the group. Do you think he could take a cue from Leon and loosen up a bit or does he help the group stay focused?
A: I think the two of them are contrasting characters, but there are elements of each that they want to swap. There are elements of Leon that Josh is certainly envious of, like his ability to let go, enjoy himself and invest in a little selfish time. As the series goes on, I think Leon comes to respect Josh and his sensible and planning attitude.
Q: With his $14 million, one of the first items Josh buys is a pair of jeans. What do you think that says about him as a character? Any better ideas on how he could spend the money?
A: I think if you’re thrown into a situation where you earned a life-changing amount of money overnight, it would be overwhelming. I still think that if it were me, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d probably go buy a pair of sneakers or jeans. A nice pair! Let’s be honest. That would be my splurge. Maybe I’d get myself a nice haircut. I wouldn’t go crazy. Maybe an Audi or something. But I don’t think I have it in my capacity to go totally nuts and buy a Lamborghini or something like that. I’d probably have a huge party and maybe buy my parents a nice villa. I don’t know. Josh and I share that capacity. The first thing he does when he gets the money is get sick. There’s a physical reaction to it and it’s not a very good one.
Q: Was it tough to keep a straight face while filming that Champagne bath scene with Samuel Anderson in Episode 1? Will you ever be able to look at Dom Pérignon the same way?
A: [Laughs] We were in this big townhouse in West London and the Art Director was literally just pouring prosecco down the bath. My wife was going crazy because she loves prosecco. We had the empty bottles everywhere. I mean, you know, it’s two weeks in and I get to share a bath with Samuel Anderson. Many people would consider that heaven. I’m sure I had a better time than he did. Sharing a bath with Jim Howick is a lot different than sharing a bath with Sam Anderson. We filmed that scene quite quickly. It was like the last half hour of the shoot in the day, so we had to rush it – and by all means, that was absolutely fine with me. I was in very close proximity to Sam and his “friend.” [Laughs] I’m pleased it was over and done with! Both Sam and I were wearing these sacks – they call them cock socks – and they were very kind to me in the edit. There were a lot of quick cuts. My wife was next door, watching on the monitor, and she was horrified. This is the man she married, for better or for worse.
Q: What kind of app would you personally love to create?
A: I’m into history and one of the reasons I love living in London is because there’s always something that’s happened on a street corner or dating back to the Roman times or something macabre or glorious. There’s always a moment in history in the city. I’d love a app where you could take a picture of a place in London and then there’d be an alternative and historical comparison from 300 years ago. If we’re talking about my dream app, then that would be it. Otherwise, something to do with food or walking my dog. I mean, those exist. That’s how dumb I am! Hey, I’m not particularly technically-minded, to be fair. That’s something Josh and I don’t have in common. I’m a professional idiot. I’m still amazed by Shazam. I still can’t believe it.
Watch full episodes of Loaded on amc.com and AMC apps for mobile, Fire TV, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.
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