Interview with Francesco Piacentini-Smith who Dean Weaver from Waterloo Road



About Dean Weaver

Dean Weaver suits his name. A ducker and a weaver, into all sorts; like a modern day Artful Dodger, who only eats bread, chips and crisps, preferably slathered in mayo.

Francesco Piacentini-Smith Q&A

Welcome to Waterloo Road! How does it feel to be part of such a popular and long-standing series?

It’s a real joy and a privilege to be involved in Waterloo Road. I remember being at school, I’m old enough to remember when it was on TV, and I remember going to school, and everyone talking about issues being raised. It gets people talking.

It’s exciting to be a part of the show, it’s especially exciting to be one of the new faces. Obviously, there’s some returning characters so it’s important that the new faces live up to the previous series and give the audience what they want.

Tell us about your character Dean and how he gets on with the other students?

I would say that Dean is someone that everyone can remember. Everyone can remember someone from school like Dean. He’s always up to mischief. I don’t think he’s a malicious person but because he’s always involved in the wind up, he tends to fall out with people a lot and have issues with people, despite not actually meaning to upset them. Dean’s just a laugh. He’s a good laugh with his mate Noel and they’re always just at it. Just trying to cause a bit of mischief or have some fun. In Scotland we’d say “on the bam up”.

In the series, your character Dean is often being reprimanded for bad behaviour, but as the series develops, we see a softer side to him. What was it like to play him?

As an actor, you would never want to play a character one-dimensional so it’s really good to have the opportunity to play a character that’s got a real arc to their story. Dean’s fun to play, I’m always managing to enjoy it but it’s good to show the depth in him as well. No one is one thing, so when you see Dean being boisterous and being a bit of a pain, you know that there must be a reason, whether it’s things going on at home or even just within himself, there’s reasons why he’s acting out like that.

How do you think Waterloo Road reflects 2023 life in a school?

Well, it has been a little while since I was at school but I've got a little brother who's 16, who’s just left school and, talking to him, I feel like what Waterloo Road does is always bring big issues to the forefront and make people think about things that may not necessarily affect them. I know that nowadays, compared to in the past, social media has made everyone a lot more politically and socially engaged. I've seen that with the societal issues we address - such as LGBTQ+ issues, the cost of living crisis - things that maybe children might not think are affecting them directly, but they know on a broader scale are affecting everyone that they know. So it's good.

Tell us about your school days, what were you like as a student?

I'm not sure I can answer that question. I think you'd have to ask my school teachers about that and they would probably run away from you

Was there a little bit of Dean in your life?

Yeah, there's probably a bit of Dean in me, or a bit of me in Dean whatever way you want to look at it. We’re maybe slightly more similar than I would like to admit.


Waterloo Road returns for a new term on Tuesday, January 3 2023.

The highly anticipated first episode will air at 8 pm on BBC One after EastEnders.

The classroom drama will also be repeated on BBC Three on Friday, January 6 at 7 pm.

The new series consists of seven episodes and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Source BBC One

January 3, 2023 5:00am ET by BBC One  


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