Philip Brodie, 2011
By the middle of a series’ seventh season, it would seem to many of the core watching audience that the best characters will already have been and went, and those further introduced are generally unable to stand up to whom they replaced in the show’s ‘Golden years’. When the first descriptions of Vivian “Jaws” Wright were released his character was too met with scepticism - another Linton Alexander (Robbie Gee) it was presumed before he’d even hit the screen (no “Jaws” pun intended!). But time was put into this character because he worked on all accounts, a main factor being the right actor was chosen in Philip Brodie.
In his two years, the character was shown to battle OCD more than once, undergo a volatile relationship with both his wife and football career, serious (and quite sad) mental health issues, and be one half a well-liked duo that was cruelly ripped apart in what was the last we saw of both characters. Despite many left disappointed by his on-screen exit, Viv Wright became probably the most appreciated, and most missed character of DT’s later years. And his legacy lived on, for in July 2008, Jaws came in at #15 on Sky One’s “50 Greatest Hard Men”.
Philip’s career began in theatre, with him progressing to stand-up in both London and Edinburgh, a stint in the West End and when not taking part on stage he’d be producing his own material. His one man show, 'Tailor Made Love' earned him critical acclaim, while his television roles have included “Young Dracula”, “Wire In The Blood”, “Broken News” and “The Adventures of Merlin”.
In 2007 Philip appeared in the film “Last Flight to Kuwait”, while 2011 sees the release of two films, “World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries” in which he plays the lead character, and on its way later in the year, “Paladin”, which Philip discusses below alongside reflecting on his time on Dream Team.
Philip giving Jaws' ultimate half time team talk... and the xxxxxl strikes again!
As Bruce Reynolds in "Days That Shook the World" (2004)
As The Devil in "An Jowl yn Agas Kegin" (2007)
As Maddox in "Zombie Diaries 2" (2011)
As Rogan Ap Cynan in "Dawn of the Dragonslayer" (2011)
How did your casting for the show come about back in 2003?
The initial casting was like any other.They had a very basic outline of a character and I decided to try out one that I had performed for a play called 'West' by Berkhoff. That got me through the first round&then I had to do a physical casting with Andy Ansah,the football co-ordinator/Director.I thought I may fall down there as an actor I was up against was a goalie for his Sunday team.He had all the kit and I rocked up with nothing.Andy had to lend me a pair of shorts& he gave me an xxxxl top to wear.The other actor looked sleek all in black..I looked like a twat! However,the footy casting was quite straightforward and the rest, as they say,is History!
Viv went on quite a journey from his early days of being a force to be feared with his team mates/manager and holding up jewellers, to reaching his peak as a respected player-manager. Were you happy with the way he evolved as a character?
Very much so.I think the writers&producers knew that I needed a challenge at work and they kept the character evolving instead of revolving.
The one thing left that Viv didn't get to do was confront Ryan over the discovery of his affair with
He would definitely have got Ryan back.I really wanted the writers to do that but they were worried about Ricky's character being hurt by mine.At the end of the day,the show Shouldn't advocate violence so I understand their reasons.
You put a lot of emotion into the half-time speech given during your final episode. Was that the moment you felt you were officially saying goodbye to the character?
It was written really well and there was lots going on in the episode so it was good to play with the emotion of the speech.I can't remember how I felt about my future within the show.I know that I hated that orange jumper, that was xxxxxl again.The costume had to clip it at the back it was so big.I suppose I ended my DTeam life as I began it..In a top far too big for me!
Did you always know that two seasons would be enough and that would be the right point to leave?
I did feel that the character had found some resolution in his personal life and that meant that he was a more contained individual. I was pleased with how far I'd taken him.If those two seasons were rolled into one feature film, then it was almost a complete story..But, if we had had that Ryan encounter..then that would have crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's just perfectly!
At the series' close in 2007, Jane Hewland told the fans on harchester.net that you and Terry Kiely were the two male actors where star quality had really shone through. Does that make you proud of the impact you had on-screen in just two seasons out of ten?
Of course.I'm very proud of my work on DreamTeam.As an actor,you struggle to create something with longevity,something that people remember you for.Of course,I hope that Mr Wright is not the only character people remember me for, but the producers of DTeam gave me a good length of rope to hang or swing from and Im pleased that the fans&Jane thought I did a good job.
Overall, did you have a good time at Dream Team?
It was a great learning ground and I loved going to town with such a complex character.
Are you still in touch with anyone from the show?
Danny Husbands,Neil Jackson,Tez Maynard,Tim Smith,Lucinda Rhodes
How have things gone for you since Dream Team? Any particular projects you've been proud of?
I walked straight into 2 comedy series when I left dream team which was very strange to adapt to and i have consistently done guest leads in tv shows each year.I also did a great drama doc feature film 'the last flight to kuwait' in Tunisia which I enjoyed.I've written and performed some great live work which I'm proud of and I've constantly been developing as an actor in all mediums.Films is the main goal, Last year I played the lead in a horror movie 'World of the dead' where I ran around with a gun a lot and another called 'Dawn of the dragon slayer'(clues in the title) where I learnt to sword fight well.Both are out this year.As long as I keep developing,then I'm a happy man.And my next goal is to be play the out and out lead in a movie that stands the test time.Of course,this is not an easy feat.The writing,acting,editing and marketing have all got to be in tune, but that's the aim...and the part has to be right..
And how about today, and the future?
I'm writing this on a train to
Philip also has two films for 2011, World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries, which was released on June 24th
And Paladin: Dawn of the Dragon Slayer, which is out later this year.