McKell David is known for his role Suspects and in the movie Montana.
The young actor has also appeared in Urban Hymn, The Gentlemen, and Black Mirror. At the age of 12, David started YouTube show The Adventures of Lil McKell and in 2014 he was named as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow. More recently David will star in the highly anticipated Netflix series The Irregulars.
Set in Victorian London, the series follows a gang of troubled street teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner, the elusive Sherlock Holmes. As the crimes take on a horrifying supernatural edge and a dark power emerges, it’ll be up to the Irregulars to come together to save not only London but the entire world.
McKell tells us about his character Spike and the upcoming series…
Please introduce yourself …
Hey I’m Mckell David I’m mixed race; Japanese, Liberian & Italian. Grew up in North west London.
What word or sentence best describes your life right now?
I first discovered you as Lil Mckell at least 10 years ago when you would go around London chatting up unsuspecting women. You’ve come a long way since then, how does it feel looking back at how you started?
Every time I think back to the character ‘Lil Mckell’ it’s always warm memories. I think that era of YouTube is very nostalgic, the likes of Jazzy, A Squeezy along with myself. What was interesting was many people found it hard to see Lil Mckell as a character rather than Mckell himself, we have to remember these were early YouTube days before social media was what it is today.
You had so much confidence and fearlessness, when you were younger, do you still have that don’t care attitude?
Yes, when it’s called for. At times I can be quite introverted. I think our job as actors requires us to have that confidence and fearlessness. To go out and be someone else you have to be convincing and yes, a large part of that is down to confidence. But I don’t think it’s a brash or blasé type of attitude, it’s very humble but with a ‘chutzpah’ kind of belief in your abilities.
How do you think black representation has changed on screen in recent years? And for you, what is it like to be chosen to be a co-lead in a big drama series like The Irregulars?
I think it’s heading in the right direction. We just want real accurate representation across all boards and I think Netflix is so good at doing that as they do not shy away from taking a stance. To be a part of The Irregulars is amazing, the scripts were so captivating and I couldn’t wait to start prepping and working with the other gang members.
Can you tell us about your character Spike and the role he plays in the team?
Spike is that friend everyone needs. He’s a street smart, gift of the gab lad that’s had to grow up fast and learn how to hustle and bustle in the big city. But amongst all of that, I think there’s a kind-hearted young man who loves his family (The Irregulars) and would do anything for them. He’s the light in a dark place and uses his humour to lift the groups morale.
What was your take on the script the first time you read it?
The scripts blew me away. Tom Bidwell our writer is so good. The scripts never let me get ahead I was just reading and predicting, thinking I knew what was coming, then boom it would take the most interesting turn somewhere else. It was intense. As soon as I read it, I knew it was going to be captivating and it just kept me wanting more and now the show now is complete it’s even worse.
Was Spike your character of choice?
Well yeah, you can’t really just pick the character like yeah I’ll have that fella. When I was sent the audition for Spike, I thought about how to construct him, and when I was doing so, I found many similarities with people I knew, just maybe the 21st century had misconstrued some elements.
The Irregulars is a supernatural drama, were there any episodes that really gave you the jitters?
Yes! OMG the ‘baddies’ in the show are so freaky and strange. Constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. We are talking, evil tooth fairies, a man-made out of 16 different people (just that alone is WTF), a megalomaniac trying to be a god. It’s pretty crazy stuff.
Veteran actor Clarke Peters, who we recently saw in Da 5 Bloods, also appears in The Irregulars. What did you learn from working alongside someone as legendary as Clarke?’
Clarke is a great actor and a wonderful human. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any scenes together but when I watched the show his performance is so powerful, it’s incredible. He’s probably my favourite character in the show, other than Spike obviously.
Do you have anything coming up in the next year we should look out for?
Of course, The Irregulars which is out everywhere on Netflix from March 26th, it isn’t something you want to miss and it packs everything in from love to laughs and murder to mystery. Away from that, everyone should be looking into NFT coins.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU …
- A book you have to have in your collection? I have such a great book collection, but recently I have been reading about Caravaggio & Bernini collections. Inspirational.
- A song/album that defines the soundtrack of your life to date? This is so hard I feel like the soundtrack whenever I walk down the street is always Seven Nation Army by The Dynamics such a vibe bro.
- A film / TV show that you will watch whenever it’s on repeatedly? Anything with Al Pacino or Leonardo DiCaprio could watch them for years.
- Something you saw on stage that left a lasting impact? Yesterday morning, when I was in drama school.
- What’s made you sad, mad, and glad this week? I try not to get sad or mad there’s a great book called Meditations by Marcus Aurelius that really
helped with that.
The Irregulars will be availble on Netflix Friday 26th March 2021