The Last Kingdom star details ‘incredible’ project away from Netflix

James Northcote discusses first role after The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom fans were excited for the arrival of the feature-length film which brought Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s (played by Alexander Dreymon) journey to a definitive end. The Netflix movie, Seven Kings Must Die, welcomed back Uhtred’s trusted friend Aldhelm (James Northcote), who was punished by King Aethelstan (Harry Gilby) for seemingly betraying him. Actor James Northcote spoke exclusively to about how he filmed his next project during The Last Kingdom shoot.

Seven Kings Must Die is set after the untimely death of King Edward (Timothy Innes) and the question remained as to who would take over the throne.

Aethelstan stepped up but it did not come without backlash as his brothers desperately wanted power.

The young king was misled by Lord Ingilmundr (Laurie Davidson), who turned him against Aldhelm.

Ahead of the film’s release, actor Northcote spoke to about his new project, an independent film called A Clever Woman.

A Clever Woman tells the story of sisters and performance artists Phoebe (Josie Lawrence) and Dot (Tanya Myers), who have returned to their family home on the Isle of Wight a year after the death of their mother, an accomplished composer.

As they prepare the family home for sale, reminisce and clear decades of family clutter, they start to work on a site-specific performance piece about their complex relationship with their mother.

Directed by Jon Sanders and co-written with Anna Mottram, Norton explained how he rushed off the set of The Last Kingdom to film the project.

He said: “I met with them on and off while I was filming season four of The Last Kingdom.

“So every time I’d come back from Budapest I’d meet with them and we would talk about the character and the story.

“It was this incredible gradual process that was amazing to be doing alongside being in this juggernaut Netflix series that I was filming all through the year.

“Having these beautiful delicate conversations about making A Clever Woman.

“We got to four or five months before we finished season four and they set a date for the film.

“It was literally at the very very end of our shoot on season four and I had to plead with the producers to let me go early.

“I had to then get a flight to then drive down to the Isle of Wight where they had secured this amazing location, this house that it’s set in.

“I arrived on set at the latter part of this two-week shoot we put together and I was thrown straight into this incredible process of improvised filmmaking.”

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Praising his new co-stars he said: “I shot with them for seven days and it was one of the most… I was coming from Netflix and arriving in the new wave.

“I was this new guy in the midst of it and they just picked me up and enveloped me and took me along on this incredible ride, it’s literally like nothing else I have ever done.

“For me being able to come off a Netflix series like The Last Kingdom and getting to step onto a set like John and Anna’s, the attraction is really The Last Kingdom is an incredible set.

“And lots of the other actors have talked about the really supportive environment which is really rare, it’s a really good place to work but the level of creativity and collaboration on an intimate shoot like A Clever Woman is on a completely different level.

“It really is a space where everyone is working just for the love of what they are doing because the budget is low.

“There is just so much camaraderie, you eat and drink together every night, you feel like you are part of something that is really together.

“Of course, you get that on big sets but there’s something about the space of making a film with independent filmmakers.”

The star went on to tease another project he is due to star in, a Harlan Coben series for Netflix.

He explained: “Now that we have finished The Last Kingdom I am working on another Netflix series, a Harlan Coben series called Fool Me Once.

“And I’m really looking forward to stepping onto the next John and Anna film, whether that’s later in the year or some point next year, I know they absolutely plan to do another one.”

Seven Kings Must Die is available to watch on Netflix. A Clever Woman is coming to UK cinemas on April 21.

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