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Dexter Fletcher: Just don't call me a kid, right?

Actor Dexter Fletcher, 36, trained at the Anna Scher School and has starred in numerous films including Caravaggio and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He played John Martin in the BBC's Band of Brothers.

The producers of Band of Brothers pride themselves on the show's realism. What was the toughest thing you had to do on set?
We had to spend a night in March in some bombed out houses. You did your two hour watch and then you got a couple of hours sleep. It was freezing. But not being shot at made it easier.

You play a sergeant. Did you ever wish you could get promoted and swagger about like the officers?
No. We were Non Commissioned Officers, so you know you're only going to get to staff sergeant or first sergeant. When Tom Hanks came on set he said he felt that these men were the backbone of the company, so I was very satisfied.

You're 36. Bit old for a soldier isn't it?
The character I play was 22. When I went to the audition I made sure I had a good night's sleep!

You were often cast as a pretty boy. Does ageing bother you?
No. I get weightier roles and it's taken me a while because I looked so young for so long.

You were a child star in Bugsy Malone at nine and joined the RSC at 16. Was there a lot of pressure?
I was pretty much left to my own devices, but somewhere along the line I went off the rails. There are so many distractions if you've got a bit of money and a lot of notoriety at an early age.

You went bankrupt in 1996. How did that feel?
It was awful, but I grew up in a make-believe world. Now I have a grip on reality.

Lock Stock... was your comeback. Did you take to the East End gangster role?
I did. My mother comes from Hoxton and my aunts and uncles all live in the East End. It was a lot of fun.

You played a kind of 17th-century rent boy in Derek Jarman's Caravaggio. How did it feel?
I was reticent at first. I'd heard about Sebastiane and I thought "no, that's all a bit airy fairy". And then I met Derek and became passionate about it.

Colin Hanks, your Band co-star, is on the London stage at the moment. Will you meet up?
I'm going to see him on Friday. A few of us are getting together for a game of cards.

Source: The Independent
Date: 1st December 2002