Interview with David Carlyle Who Plays Bo In BBC One's 'Dinosaur', Arriving 14 April

A coming of age series exploring those moments of change we experience in the various relationships in our life including sisterhood, friendship and romance


Photo: David Carlyle (Bo) (Image: Mark Mainz)



10 April 2024 – The oldest sibling, Bo has always been the odd one out. As an adult, he’s beaten down by failed relationships and the disappointing mundanity of life (“people just like big, spontaneous gestures…because it distracts us from our pointless lives”) – the opposite of bubbly Evie. He’s always lived a life prioritising being normal and fitting in. He’s hugely attracted to unstable women and his current girlfriend Hilda is crystal-obsessed, and he’s terrified of her and miserable, but he’s so afraid of being alone he can’t break up with her.

In your own words, what is Dinosaur about?

Dinosaur is about being open to changes. It follows the character Nina, who is a palaeontologist, and also autistic, and her younger sister and best friend is called Evie, and she has a whirlwind romance and unexpectedly gets engaged, and it throws Nina’s world upside down and chaos ensues. It’s an unusual comedy really. There’s that new word ‘dramedy’ and I think it’s definitely in that category because the characters are so complex at times and some of the relationships are so deep. Some of the scenes as well are kind of epic. They cover pages and pages but there’s so much lightness and comedy in it, so I feel very fortunate and definitely very excited to be part of it.

Tell us about your character Bo and what viewers can expect from him?

So, my character Bo is the eldest of the three siblings and I think he feels a bit like an outsider because his sisters are so close and when the series starts, he just kind of feels like someone who is on the outskirts, he’s a bit lonely. But because of the disruption in his sister’s relationship as a result of the engagement, he’s called upon by Nina to back her up or support her or guide her and I think he doesn’t know how to do that because he feels things really deeply, he struggles to know what to do with those feelings or how to communicate them. He has little nuggets of wisdom and I think that surprises even him, but for the most part he’s pinging just as much as Nina is pinging with her emotions and her behaviour. As a result, episodes two and six are particularly bad days for Bo.

Do you think you and Bo are similar in any way?

I think when you’re acting, if you can find the immediate gap between you and the character then they’re probably quite different to you. Whereas with Bo, it took me a while, and that means he’s like me because it’s harder to see what’s in yourself. I think Bo is funnier than me. He’s drier, he’s quicker, he’s wittier, but we feel like kindred spirits. I really like him, and I hope you do too.

Throughout the series, Bo gives us a lot of Glaswegian patter. What’s your favourite Glaswegian slang?

I think folk are going to be fascinated by some of the turns of phrases that we use. Scottish dialect, Glaswegian in particular, is unique. I live in London actually and, although I’m from Glasgow, it’s easy to forget. I really like coming home and people taking the micky out of me by using phrases that you would never think. So, if I say ‘I really loved this thing that I ate’ or ‘I thought this show was really great’ and they’ll say ‘shut up you walloper’ or ‘shut it you rocket’ I’ll let you google what they mean. I just like how direct it is and actually Nina and Bo have a similar language, so I call her ‘lurch’ or ‘shagrid’ and she calls me ‘bawbag’ and that’s absolutely terms of endearment in this city.

Do you have a favourite scene that you filmed?

There are loads but I really like the engagement party, which is more of a get together in the end. That’s like a Meet The Parents-esque episode and I love it because everyone is trying to be someone they’re not. It just leaks out of them in tiny moments, and it means that the whole thing is quite tense, but I really like the fact that Bo is hammered and therefore forgets to be who he should to get through this party and he just lobs grenades into every conversation that he's in. That’s my favourite and I just loved filming it.

Have you enjoyed playing a comedy character?

I really like playing a comedy character, I never get the chance to do it really. I think drama seems to be the go-to and so I’ve relished being part of a comedy and just getting to stretch those muscles a bit. I have to say though, it’s way more technical and skilful than I anticipated it would be. You have to really know exactly how things are going to work out so that you can get the joke, and it’s all about timings.

Dinosaur has a great cast. Tell me a little bit about how it was working with them?

It's a great cast and I’m loving working with them. I really love working with Ashley. She is totally open to just experimenting with dialogue in the scenes and improvising those moments and that just means it can be such a hoot when you’re doing it. I do feel a bit like she and Kat, they do feel like my little sisters now. Then Sally, who plays mum, she’s so witty and so dry and has this extraordinary way of being able to be completely stressed but relaxed at the same time and it just makes me laugh every time we’re in a scene together, so I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

I have to say, I was buzzing when I heard that Greg Hemphill was Bo’s dad. I was a huge fan of Still Game, it’s impossible to understate that, and I’ve had to really play it cool as well with Greg on set. I’ve tried not to go down that road of totally fanboying him, but it’s been amazing. Greg actually made this point that when it comes to the things that are shot in Scotland, particularly Glasgow, we kind of go for the high rises and the schemes or the dodgy bits of town whereas with this we’ve done everything. We’ve gone to the posh bits, the nice bits, the pretty bits, the ugly bits, the mad bars and it’s got all of those characters that you’d find in those locations, so I’ve enjoyed that immensely.

This is your first-time filming something in Glasgow - how did it feel to be back home for the series? Were there any standout moments?

On the very first day of shooting, I was on the last scene of the day with Ashley where I pick her up in a car and they had to close down a street for us to do that, but the street was flanked by tenants on either side. It was like something from the 1940’s or 50’s where folk had flung their windows up and were hanging out over the street, then they’d sent their kids down in their PJ’s so that they could watch. The kids were so well behaved as well, they did as they were asked. They got out the shot and they kept quiet while we were filming but you could just see all these people really enjoying watching it and that felt a bit like a full circle moment, where I remember doing that. I remember watching things being shot and wondering ‘Could I ever do that?’ And that was a really beautiful moment. Just watching the kids being dead happy about it and enjoying that their city was the backdrop for something. It was great.

What do you hope viewers will take away from the series?

I think audiences around the world would want to watch this show because it’s a fresh take on something. I think they’ll get a lot from watching it happen in the Glaswegian tongue because we’re known for being direct and upfront and being quite brutal people at times, so I think it’ll be really fun to watch how that plays out. I think people around the world will want to watch it take place in Scotland. People are drawn to Scotland. This is a part of Scotland that because it’s the city, it’s urban, looking at Glasgow in 2023.

I think, like any comedy, it makes light of dark. So, there are themes of anxiety and loneliness and stress, but then there’s also really warm and heart-warming themes so friendship, sisterhood, love, family. There are great cultural diversity themes explored. There’s plenty in there, I think Matilda and Ashley have done an amazing job to pack it all in.

Three words to sum up Dinosaur?

Funny, fresh and moving.


About Dinosaur

Dinosaur (6 x 30) is a Two Brothers Pictures (Fleabag, The Tourist) production for BBC Three, BBC iPlayer and BBC Scotland in partnership with All3Media International. Dinosaur was commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy and Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland. It is based on an original idea by Matilda Curtis. The Executive Producers are Sarah Hammond, Katie Churchill, Harry Williams, Jack Williams. Catriona Renton is Co-Executive Producer. The Director is Niamh McKeown and the Producer is Brian Coffey. The BBC Commissioning Editors are Emma Lawson and Gavin Smith.

Dinosaur will air on BBC Scotland from Sunday 14 April, BBC Three from Tuesday 16 April and BBC One from Friday 19 April.

All episodes will be available on iPlayer from Sunday 14 April. It is also available on Hulu in the US.

Source BBC One

April 11, 2024 2:00am ET by Newsdesk  


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