Luke Treadaway | Attack the Block | Interview | War Horse

Portrait by Andrea Vecchiato; styled by Raphael Hirsch

InStyle first noticed rising acting star Luke Treadaway, playing a Siamese twin (with his twin, fellow thesp Harry) in 2005 indie flick Brothers of the Head, for which he scored an Independent Awards nomination - the least he deserved after spending the entire summer joined to Harry in a harness.

He played Albert in both the radio and theatre adaptations of Michael Morpugo’s acclaimed War Horse and Prokopion in 2010 epic Clash of the Titans.

He’s a hardworking man - not only has he recently finished filming The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz and Monica Bellucci as well as Late Bloomers with Joanna Lumley and Isabella Rossellini (both out later this year) but when we caught him for a chat, he was in the middle of trying on some high-waisted trousers for forthcoming comedy flick Cheerful Weather for a Wedding.

Any wonder there’s no time for a summer holiday…

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m doing costume fittings for Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (with Mackenzie Crook and Felicity Jones) which I am finishing off next week, so I’ve been sporting some nice 30s leisurewear. It was such an amazing period for costumes. Having neat hair, being clean-shaven and playing an upper class English gentleman was definitely a departure for me - I’d double take every morning when I saw myself looking dapper.

You slept in a bed with your twin brother for two months before you played conjoined twins in Brothers of the Head. Too close to comfort?

It was as close as you can get to that! We were trying to understand what it would be like to have such permanent proximity to someone else so it felt natural when we filmed it. We spent most of the summer attached to each other in a harness.

What’s it like having a brother in the business. Comforting or competitive?

It’s healthy competition. I have a lot of mates who are actors as well and it’s honestly no different from that. You keep abreast of it, but we don’t tend to talk industry stuff all the time as that would be completely boring.

You’ve had a very diverse career. What draws you to such a wide spectrum of roles?

If I connect to the story and it’s going to enable me to grow as an actor. My early roles really stand out. We made Brothers of the Head during the summer holidays of my first year at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). It was an amazing experience. The first play I did was Saint Joan at The Olivier at The National in 2007, with Anne-Marie Duff. During the day I was rehearsing War Horse in the space underneath, so it was an incredible 10 months of training down at the National.

You’ve played a few muso roles too – a punk singer in Brothers of the Head and a guitarist in [recently released] Killing Bono. Any rock star ambitions?

I’ve just done a film called You Instead, playing a front man of an American rock band at Glasgow’s T in the Park festival, for which I wrote the title track, You Instead, which then ended up being the title of the film. I love playing the guitar live and writing music.

I’ve no grand designs to conquer the music industry, but I’d love to be able to tell my mates that I’m playing in a pub in Camden one night. I have started to record some demos so hopefully in the near future I can play live. I love music, particularly Radiohead, TV on the Radio, The XX and Tribes – they’re a great new band from Camden and well worth a look at.

Music, TV, film and theatre – talk about having your cultural cake and eating it! Any James Franco-esque ambitions to start penning poetry?

I do actually dabble in a bit of poetry! And I’m yet to pen a script, but it is something that I’ve been telling myself I want to do. I’ve also just directed my first music video for an all-girl acapella group The Boxettes, featuring the female beatbox world champion, Bellatrix, who actually grew up in my village in Devon. I’ve always wanted to make a video with them and it was really exciting to be in creative control over something.

Last summer you filmed You Instead at T in the Park - are you a keen festival goer?

I’m going to V this year and I’d love to go to Glastonbury, but I haven’t got a ticket. I might have to hide in a tour bus. I’m going to try and get to Secret Garden this year, as all my mates are going and Tribes are playing there. I’m always working though.

So no time off this summer?

I’ve just been on an amazing road trip around America for a month, going via Austin where my new film, an alien invasion comedy called Attack the Block (directed by Joe Cornish and also starring Nick Frost and Jodie Whittaker) was screening at The South by Southwest festival. It was quite surreal watching a film that was made in the dark in Elephant and Castle, being screened in Texas.

Attack the Block is out on 11th May. ‘Free’ by The Boxettes, directed by Luke, can be viewed at



By Pandora Sykes