Misfits Series Three – Matthew McNulty Interview

We speak to Misfits’ shady power dealer Seth about returning for series three, joining the gang and embarrassing shoes

You’re back! Who knew?
I know! In episode seven especially, he comes to the fore a bit. You find out more about Seth. He’s almost accepted into the group. I don’t think he’ll ever be part of the group because he’s not a “Misfit”, but he helps rectify a wrong, so it’s nice to have a bit more to do to be honest.

So how does Seth find himself back in with the gang since last we saw him in the Christmas special?
Seth’s always there as a useful tool for the writers, I think, because you can expand it in whatever way and go anywhere with it, he was always going to stay for that.

He’s a power dealer – which makes him tantamount to a drug dealer in the Misfits-verse. Do you consider him a bad guy?
It worked in his favour, but like all the people who’ve been given these super powers he starts to think about what is he really doing with it. There’s only so far you can go with the dealer stuff and money coming out your eyeballs. So he needed something else. And you also find out more about Seth – he was in a long term relationship and then his girlfriend died so he’s a bit needy as well.

Does he find it frustrating only being able to shift powers from person to person and not being able to actually wield all this power himself?
Yeah definitely, that’s definitely frustrating for him because he can’t do anything, all he can do is make money. He can’t use powers. He’ll know every power that’s out there, he’ll see all the cool stuff and stuff that he would probably like to use but can’t, so it’s definitely frustrating for Seth that he simply can’t. He’s got access to all these powers but can’t do anything with it.

So how does Seth fit into the group?
He doesn’t really fit in to be honest

He’s more of an outsider?
Yeah, he’s an outsider, and he fits in just because of the fact [excised for spoiler reasons], but also he’s a level-headed, straight thinking guy, so if ever things get a little too far out of hand as they inevitably will, then Seth comes in now and again. I suppose he drives it forward towards the right resolution because he’s pretty much a straight-laced character.

At what point did you know you’d be returning for this series?
It wasn’t long before we started shooting. I was optioned and I sort of knew it was on the cards, but it was never set in stone or anything. Although I had an inkling, I only really found out for real probably a month before we started shooting.

Were you glad to be back?
Yeah, chuffed to bits when the producers told me what was in store for Seth, because at the end of the second series you don’t really know anything about Seth, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with him. There’s only so many ways you can play a mysterious enigmatic kind of character. I didn’t know anything about him, but with this you get to know Seth and you see a bit more of the person behind the enigma.

You’re not on community service so you’re in your own gear. Do you think we’ll ever see him in a boiler suit?
I don’t know, because the way this series has gone he’s not really…he’s there as a bit of a go to guy to sort out a problem. So it’s useful to have him separate from the boiler suit brigade, because he’s a plot tool I think. There’s opportunities where I can go further with stories, be more into the stories. I quite like that. I quite like the fact that Seth is something from the outside, because I think the Misfits have to be the Misfits, there’s no watering that down. And I don’t think Seth is out there enough to be worthy of an orange boiler suit. But I’m quite happy to just be involved with the boiler suit brigade but not actually be part of it.

And it means you don’t have to sweat all day.
Yeah yeah, but I have got the worst shoes ever, pointy suede black shoes and a black leather jacket.

The shoes are an interesting choice.
I get stick for it constantly off Joe and that starts off the ripples of laughter from everyone else. And you can hear them as well, you can hear them in every scene and they have to keep taping this sponge stuff to the bottom just to stop people noticing the shoes because it’s so off-putting, even walking in them. Any opportunity I’ll take them off and slip my trainers on cause they’re a bit embarrassing. And with the leather jacket as well, it makes Joe sing Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia”, and when he starts that off it sets everyone else off laughing. All of a sudden you get the self conscious and cool guy I’m supposed to be, not being very cool at all!

So I take it the costume decision wasn’t your choice then
No not all. But I did try and get rid of them at the end of series two, because Seth wasn’t a real person, he was just a power dealer. We didn’t really know anything about him. I had silver rings on a silver tooth and it didn’t seem real. It was just a bit unrealistic, so we got rid of all that, got rid of all the jewels and stuff, and I thought I’d be able to get rid of them as well. But they stayed.

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The Misfits series three UK airdate is Sunday 30 October.

Read more about Misfits series three in SFX 215.