Thomas Brodie-Sangster knows a thing or two about growing up in the spotlight: The Maze Runner actor scored his first role aged 10, before going on to star in one the biggest British rom-coms of all time – Richard Curtis’ Love Actually – at 12.
Now 27, actor Brodie-Sangster is preparing to appear in new Netflix Western Godless, having established himself as a mature rising star with TV roles including Game Of Thrones and Wolf Hall.
The series will be released in the wake of huge Netflix hit Stranger Things 2, a TV event which saw teenage stars Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobbie Brown having to speak up about harassment from a small minority of the show’s deeply devoted fanbase. Can Brodie-Sangster sympathise with the attention surrounding them?
“To reach levels of fame, and have people make opinions and assumptions about you before meeting you – those are all weird things for anyone to deal with,” he says. “Let alone a child. So it can be a dangerous thing.”
The London-born actor added that having a strong base of family and friends around you is the surest way to ensure that the attention doesn’t overwhelm.
“I don’t know specifically what’s been going on with the Stranger Things kids, but I know as a kid it can be an awkward one,” he says.
“But in that situation you have to ignore it to a certain degree. Understand that people are allowed to have their opinions, and rely on the fact that you have good family and good friends and people like that around you – and that’s all that matters in life anyway.”
Thomas Sangster attends the premiere of “Love Actually” at the Odeon, Leicester Square. (Getty Images)
Roles in Game of Thrones and young adult film series The Maze Runner he says allows him to understand how “amazing and quite overwhelming” having a large franchise fanbase can be.
“It’s always quite amazing and quite overwhelming, because they always have much more of an understanding of what your part is than you ever do,” he says. “After a while, you can get over the excitement of it [people coming up to you on the street], and it can be quite annoying as well. It’s this strange thing of being quite cool and exciting but also annoying and intrusive.”
In Godless, Brodie-Sangster stars as Whitey Winn, the cocksure Sheriff’s deputy in an 1800s mining town where an accident has led to the death of the majority of the town’s men, leaving the women to assume the governing roles.
He is a warm-hearted, sweet-faced gunslinger, a role quite befitting of the young star. But Brodie-Sangster his eyes on a sinister turn after playing the good guy for the majority of his career.
“I’ve always wanted to play a baddie,” he says. “I’ve been saying this for years and it hasn’t happened yet; maybe one day. I wanted to be, like, the creepy kid when i was a kid actor. I wanted to do the sort of weird little Omen thing or something, and that never happened.”
Godless arrives on Netflix on Wednesday 22nd November 2017