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Nina Sosanya: Making Good Omens with ‘silly’ David Tennant and Micheal Sheen was a joy

"They're so quick-witted, and they are just very down-to-earth and silly people to work with," Nina Sosanya said of her Good Omens co-stars.

Maggie Service, Michael Sheen and Nina Sosanya in Good Omens

Nina Sosanya with Maggie Service and Michael Sheen in Good Omens 2. Image: Amazon Prime

The popular actor Nina Sosanya, currently seen starring in the hard-hitting Channel 4 prison drama Screw, says her Good Omens colleagues David Tennant and Micheal Sheen are ideal co-stars if you’re looking to have fun.

“I’ve worked with both David Tennant and Michael Sheen on stage,” she told The Big Issue, in her Letter To My Younger Self interview, published in full in next week’s magazine. “They’re so front-footed, they’re so quick-witted, and they are just very down-to-earth and silly people to work with. It really helps when someone’s quite silly.

“I’ve worked with David on so many things [including Doctor Who and Casanova], and Michael years ago when he was Henry V and I was a boy getting trampled to death on stage. You can sort of tell what they’re like, even if they’re not playing themselves at all, like in Staged.”

Sosinya said she is often cast in dry, clever comedies like W1A, Twenty Twelve and cult hit Nathan Barley, but relished the chance to indulge her broader comedic skills in the more outlandish Good Omens.

“I literally trained to be the clown, doing slapstick [she was a member of clowning company Odd Socks]. I’ve not been seen doing that much on TV,  but you know, when I’m playing a bizarre satanic nun in Good Omens, it’s kind of big. It’s not exactly subtle.”

Sosanya also praised another much-loved British actor, Alan Rickman, for his influential encouragement early on in her career, which has seen her star in People Like Us, Love Actually and Last Tango in Halifax.

“Whenever anyone said, you’re good at this, I didn’t believe them for a second,” she confessed. “I ended up going to dance school because I didn’t have the nerve to audition for drama school.”

Sosanya’s dance group went on perform at the Edinburgh Festival, where Rickman was also appearing in another show.

“I went to see Alan Rickman in a play, because I was a huge fan of his,” she remembered.

In a lucky twist of fate, the girl sitting next to Sosanya was friends with Rickman and introduced the aspiring performer to the legendary thespian.

“We went backstage and I remember Alan Rickman came through the crowd in his dressing room and shook my hand, and said to me, that was a great performance,” Sosanya continued. “He’d been to my show!

“Then we all went to dinner and I was introduced to somebody as a dancer. And Alan Rickman said, ‘She’s not a dancer, she’s an actress’. I mean… the best endorsement you could ever get!

“Apart from being an amazing actor, he was just an extraordinary person, the things he did for people. He was just lovely.”

Read Nina Sosanya’s full Letter To My Younger Self only in The Big Issue, on sale from Monday 4 September.

The Big Issue magazine exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income. To support our work, buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today. Or give a gift subscription. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available from the App Store or Google Play.

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