Meet the cast of Channel 4’s New Worlds

Get to know Jamie Dornan, Joe Dempsie, Freya Mavor and Alice Englert, the young stars of Channel 4's new historical drama


Jamie Dornan plays Abe Goffe


On his character…

“Abe is a young, idealistic renegade who is very determined in his fight to make England a true republic and end the tyrannical rule of the Stuarts throne.” 

On being an outlaw…

“Being an outlaw was great fun, I am probably stuck in some transition period from boy to man, but I loved all that running through woods with guns, arrows, unwashed hair and your band of mates indulging your inner Robin Hood!”

On his romantic interest Beth… 

“They are classic star crossed lovers to start with but ultimately they can’t help themselves – as we all know love is a very powerful thing! I have to say it was nice to play a romantic hero especially after The Fall where I had to apologise to pretty much every actress after each shot was filmed…”

Why do you recognise Jamie Dornan? 

31-year-old British actor Dornan played creepy killer Paul Spector in BBC2’s The Fall. He’s also poised to become an international star as the lead in the big screen adaptation of EL James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. (He’ll have a haircut before then…)

Freya Mavor plays Beth Fanshawe 

On her character… 

“We meet Beth on her 21st birthday, I guess symbolically the day she becomes a woman. Up until this point she has been living a very sheltered life in the bubble of a commonwealth created by her family and especially her mother, Angelica. This idyll is burst when she has a chance encounter with the roguish outlaw Abe Goffe who is clearly going to shake everything up.”

On getting into character… 

“Costume and hair – we wore virtually no make up – is always a huge one as it changes instantly your posture and how you move and see yourself. But I did some reading too and sought out detail especially of day-to-day life during that period from how and what people ate to medicines to how households were made up.”

On acting alongside Jamie Dornan…

“One of Jamie’s brilliant traits is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He takes the job seriously but he made being on set so much fun and between heartbreaking scenes we could goof around which was really easy. We became great friends, which I think really helped us play Beth and Abe are not only in love but also see each other as comrades and support each other. And he is gorgeous which helps as well!”

Why do you recognise Freya Mavor?

20-year-old Freya got her big break as Mini McGuinness in Channel 4’s teenage drama Skins. Since then the Scottish star has starred in films Not Another Happy Ending, alongside Doctor Who’s Karen Gillian, and Sunshine on Leith. She’s also dipped her toe into the waters of historical drama last year, playing Princess Elizabeth in BBC series The White Queen. 

Joe Dempsie plays Ned Hawkins

On his character…

“Ned is a character who like all of the four young people at the heart of New Worlds is going through huge change and having to make very big decisions about where their allegiances lie. Ned is being primed to take over his father’s company when we meet him but he already has the seeds of moral queasiness about how his father does business.”

On losing all his hair… 

“On the first day of the shoot the make up lady tentatively asked ‘how attached are you to your hair?’ I said ‘I know what you are asking and go on then’ so she shaved it all off to a number one and then fitted my wigs. At the moment I look quite Jarhead!”

On his character’s love story…

“Ned and Hope have known each other from childhood but when they both get involved in the escape of Goffe he sees her as a woman for the first time. She is very feisty and unlike other women he has encountered so he is pretty taken with her.”

Why do you recognise Joe Dempsie?

Like Freya, Joe first found fame as ill-fated Chris in the first generation of Skins. He has since starred in all sorts of shows, from Merlin and Doctor Who to This is England ’86, The Fades and Southcliffe. He’s also a series regular in hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, where he plays Gendry. 

Alice Englert plays Hope Russell

On her character… 

“Hope Russell is the original young American. Her world is divided by what is right and wrong, good and bad, a simplicity that has always been prevalent in the American dream and American culture. Young, idealistic, fierce and vengeful, she lives on the fringes of the new world. But as her story progresses, Hopes realises the old world is inexplicably intertwined with new and she must navigate the complexity of being a child of a country where too much blood has been shed on both sides to ever be the dream it aspires to be.”

On historical dramas… 

“I love period pieces because there is an escapist quality to them and while you can feel faraway from what your seeing I think that space can pull you closer to the core of human weirdness.”

On her parents Jane Campion and Colin David Englert…

I think it’s impossible to say to what degree my background has influenced me but I’m happy to think I have taken some instruction from my parents cause they are damn smart.”

Why do you recognise Alice Englert?

19-year-old Alice has recently starred in Ginger & Rosa and Beautiful Creatures. She’s set to star in BBC2 period drama Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. 

New Worlds starts tonight at 9:00pm on Channel 4.