Lyndon Davies

 


Rifleman Perkins holds a special place in Sharpe fans’ hearts. He was the youngest of the recruits and was looked after fondly by all the Chosen Men, including Sharpe and Harper.  So when the Series Three shocker emerged that Perkins would no longer be around and meet an untimely death, fans and fellow actors alike were shocked and saddened by his sudden departure.

Now, we look back with Lyndon Davies as he recalls his memories with Sharpe.

Rifleman

Perkins

Looks Back

By


Myriam Lechuga and Traci Moore

Take us back to when you were cast for the role of Perkins. Did you have to audition for the part? When you first started shooting the series, was it what you expected?


Yes, I auditioned for the part.  It was while I was doing a play at the Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush, London.  Didn't know a lot about it or the books, if I’m honest .

As for if it was what I expected... I was 19-20 and flying to the Ukraine for 4 months. I had no idea what to expect--who would?

Did you and Jason Salkey know each other before being cast in Sharpe? Did you know any of the other actors before you started filming Sharpe?


No, didn’t know Jason before. I had worked with the camera crew before on a film for Channel 4 called “Bye Bye Baby.”



In the ‘Harris Diaries’ it is clear that you and Jason are the party planners and social directors for all the off-hours activities.  Can you give us one or two anecdotes or stories about those times with cast and crew that would help take us there with you?


What happens on tour stays on tour.

Even if on the series Sean Bean and Daragh O’Malley are the stars, you all seemed to be equal as friends and colleagues off-camera. Would you say this perception by Sharpe fans is true?


Being together for that long and so far away from home comforts we had our ups and downs. However, we all experienced it together and we all still get on to this day.


Did you know when you were cast as Perkins that the character would be killed in Series 3, ‘Sharpe’s Battle’, or did you find out after you started filming the series?


I found out when they offered me the 3rd series.

The death of Perkins is a scene all fans remember from the series. How did you prepare to film the scene?


Not very well.


In the Harris Diaries, the episode dealing with the filming of  Sharpe’s Battle is one of the saddest. How did you feel about leaving your friends and colleagues behind, still filming the series?


It was mixed emotions. It was getting tough by the 3rd series.

You have been very supportive of Sharpe fans and Sharpe fan events during the original series, and on to the present day. Can you tell us some stories about that experience throughout the years? Why do you think the series continues to be so popular and has such a loyal fan following?


As I hadn't read or heard of the books before filming started, I suppose the fans were already there and then they came to life (after filming).  As for the following still being strong, I think it’s fantastic; long may it continue!


When and why did you decide to take a break from being an actor and pursue a different career?


In 1999, I had had enough. I wanted to go home and have a quiet life.  Maybe I could still return as I understand the business a little better now, having looked at it from an adult on the outside instead of a kid on the inside.

Fans are often surprised to see you and Sean Bean together in the film Black Beauty. When were the two of you cast for this film, after Sharpe or before? Tell us about the experience of working together with Sean Bean in both Sharpe and Black Beauty?


Black Beauty was between series 1 & 2 . In fact, we were having our medical jabs and getting our visas while filming it . I think Sean was very excited about working with me on both jobs.

I will never forget my time on Sharpe and Sharpe will never forget me.

Lyndon, we know very little about you and your early life before Sharpe? We’ve read on IMDB that you started acting when you were 9 years old? Can you tell us a little bit about your early life and early acting career?


IMDB is wrong. I started at 13 playing the part of a 9-year-old in Dennis Potter’s “The Singing Detective.” Also they have my DOB (Date of Birth) wrong.

Copyright www.aveleyman.com

13 year old Lyndon Davies in

‘The Singing Detective’.

From the book: Players of Shakespeare 3: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Russell Jackson, Robert Smallwood

Copyright, Celtic FIlms, UK

From Sharpe’s Battle, the death of Rifleman Perkins will long be remembered by fans all over the globe. L to R, Jason Salkey, John Tams, Lyndon Davies, Daragh O’Malley.

Copyright, Sharpe Chefs

Lyndon at the Sharpe Chef’s cookery book signing in Southend, 2008.

Copyright, Celtic FIlms, UK

From left to right: Daragh O’Malley, Sean Bean, Jason Salkey,

Lyndon Davies and John Tams.

Photo courtesy of The Mighty Bean

From Sharpe’s Enemy, Perkins gets in touch with his feminine side.

L to R, Sean Bean, Jason Salkey, Lyndon Davies, Michael Mears,

Daragh O’Malley, Nicholas Rowe.

Photos of Black Beauty courtesy of The Mighty Bean.

Above and right, Lyndon Davies and Sean Bean in Black Beauty,

What other preparations and training did you have to go through to become Rifleman Perkins?


We had rifle training at a shooting range called Holland and Holland and then we were off.


How would you describe Rifleman Perkins?


He's Rifleman Perkins. How would you describe him ?

Above and right: A little of what happens on tour.

Above, L to R, Lyndon Davies, Sean Bean, Elizabeth Hurley, Scott Cleverdon,

Pete Postlethwaite.


Right, L to R: Assumpta Serna, Lyndon Davies


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Studio Shakespeare (above). King John, starring from left to right: Julia Ford, David Morrissey and Lyndon Davies (RSC, 1988)