Sex Education's Connor Swindells says it's 'an honour' to star in new series, SAS Rogue Heroes

Virgin Radio

28 Oct 2022, 10:36

Connor Swindells at Virgin Radio.

Actor Connor Swindells joined The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about starring in historical drama SAS Rogue Heroes, which is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, and begins this Sunday (30th October) on BBC One.

Directed by Tom Shankland, the new six-part series is adapted from Ben McIntyre’s book of the same name. It tells how the SAS was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War Two.

Connor plays David Stirling, an eccentric young officer, hospitalised after a training exercise went wrong. Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, he creates a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare. Regrading his character, he told Tom Allen, who is in this week for Chris: “He’s sort of unlikeable. He’s quite egotistical and self-serving in many ways, but he is interesting. And he was the guy that sort of was the spearhead of the whole movement. 

“He was eccentric, and he was a painter at times, in France. That’s the amazing thing about the Second World War, is that it was people from all different walks of life and different classes, all joined together for one thing.”

Connor continued: “It’s been an honour to be able to get to step into those shoes, and to learn more about that time period. I feel like, especially my generation, are kind of losing interest now. 

“So, it’s good, I think it will be a reeducation for a lot of people.”

He added: “The show also doesn’t take itself too seriously at the same time. It’s moving, but it’s funny, and I think that’s a welcome relief right now for people.” 

Speaking about working on SAS Rogue Heroes, the actor explained: “When we were filming in Morocco… the weather out there was a beast of its own. There were sandstorms every day at two o’clock on the dot for four hours. We would be filming these parachute scenes and suddenly your parachute would just lift off the ground, and you would be taken up into the air.”

After saying “I loved it! It was great,” he admitted: “It’s different from the mundane life of being in a studio for 12 hours.”

The cast also features Jack O'Connell, Sofia Boutella, Miles Jupp, Dominic West, and Game of Thrones’ Alfie Allen. “I love Alfie so much and I love everyone in that cast,” Connor enthused. “Jack O'Connell, an actor that I’d looked up to since I was very young, he was brilliant. And Dominic West as well, what a charmer!" 

Connor is perhaps best known for his role as Adam Groff in the Netflix series Sex Education. Telling Tom about being part of the massively popular show, he said: “It’s amazing. I’m very fortunate with the people I work with, especially Alistair Petrie, who plays Headmaster Groff, my father. He’s a very, very dear friend of mine, and we’re having a lot of fun right now with season four.”

The actor is also set to appear in the upcoming Barbie movie, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Connor, though, was keeping his cards close to his chest regarding what role he will be playing. “I definitely can’t say,” he told Tom. “I’m playing someone who is American. Not Barbie!" 

SAS Rogue Heroes starts Sunday 30th October at 9pm on BBC One. All episodes will then be available on BBC iPlayer.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.