By JessPlayin / February 14, 2023  

One Date with the Stars of Ten Dates

Charlie Maher and Sam Buchanan sit down with us to discuss their characters Ryan and Bash in the Wales Interactive game Ten Dates.

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day and it's brought to you by Wales Interactive's romantic comedy Ten Dates. Director Paul Raschid (The Complex, The Gallery) is back at it again with the sequel to his 2020 interactive rom-com Five Dates. Ten Dates is a tale of two people, Misha and Ryan, speed dating their way to their perfect match. We got the opportunity to sit down with the actors who play Ryan and Bash, one of the prospective partners of our protagonists, and asked them everything from love to life to their interests in gaming.

Charlie Maher (Ryan) and Sam Buchanan (Bash) are no strangers to acting, with Charlie's work in Hulu's adaptation of the best-selling Sally Rooney novel Conversations with Friends and Sam's upcoming work in Amazon Prime's The Power, so first we wanted to know:

FMV World: What have your acting journeys been like?

Charlie: A disaster from start to finish. God help me, no I did a degree before I ever started acting and got a job offer to be in one of the accounting firms and knew it wasn't for me. So I said no to it and decided to try something that I had always wanted to do, but terrified me which was acting. I then auditioned for drama school and thankfully got in, and have been doing it since then.

Sam: During school I was very lost. In trouble a lot, on report, general nightmare kid. I found myself spending lots of time in the drama rooms. Finding creativity a real outlet. A fantastic teacher encouraged me to leave school and study only drama at my local college, something I wasn't even aware I could do. From there I was accepted into drama school, and from there signed with my incredible agent and began work as an actor. I owe my pursuit of this craft to that teacher, Miss Fenton.

What was the audition process like for Ten Dates?

Charlie: To be honest, not any different than any other audition process. It came through my agent and at first I was definitely curious because I'd never had the opportunity to audition for something like this. I had a look at Five Dates and saw it was great fun so said I was happy to give it a go.

Sam: I was asked to audition for Ten Dates and was instantly intrigued by the ambitiousness of the project, it was something I'd never really seen before. I originally auditioned for the character of Ty (played by Callum McGowan), but Paul saw me more as a Bash!

Charlie, you post a lot of your auditions on your YouTube, can we expect to see one for Ten Dates?

Charlie: Oh boy, I thought no one would ever see those. It was a self-tape and I actually do have it still on my phone. It's in amongst the graveyard of all the other self-tapes I've done.

What was the film shoot like? How long did it take? Any locations that you were fond of?

Charlie: The shoot was very different from your standard project. Normally you could shoot anywhere from one page a day up to about five pages a day, all depending on what you are shooting but usually it would fall in that range. You might do one scene, go for a nap, have a chat then have a coffee before you're needed again. On this, we did around fifty/sixty pages a day. To be honest, when I heard that at first I thought that the director had lost his mind. But the nature of how it's shot means there are not a lot of changes in the camera set-up. So once you start you just keep acting for the whole day. We shot in and around Cardiff in all different bars, clubs and hotels. I'd say my favourite would have to be the Tiny Rebel.

Sam: EVERYTHING you see of Bash was shot in just 2 days! With only a couple of weeks to prep, it was a lot of work in a small amount of time. As I said, Paul is ambitious! We were on location throughout Cardiff. The bars in particular were lovely, the temptation to order a pint was real!

Being an actor is all about getting into character. Knowing their ins and outs and finding things within yourself that make the expression feel more real to others, so we had to know... You spend a lot of time with these characters. Can you tell us about your favorite aspects of them? A little bit about them?

Charlie: Playing Ryan was very strange because we filmed so many different options for how the dates can go that it never really feels like there is just one Ryan. It really depends on how the viewer interacts with the dates and these choices shape Ryan's personality. So we would film the option where the date goes very well and we might kiss, and then immediately we would film an option where the date throws a drink in my face for something I said. So Ryan is good, bad, and ugly all rolled into one.

Sam: Bash is a life and soul of the party type guy with a very good heart. He was so much fun to play. And working with Rosie was lovely. She's brilliant and now a close friend!

Sam, as you say, your character is the life and soul of the party. If we went to a get-together would we find you doing the same?

Sam: Haha! Potentially the Sam of 5 years ago would have been very similar to Bash. I prefer a nice pub and good company over a sticky club nowadays!

Charlie, your character gets tricked into participating in the speed dating shenanigans. How would you feel if a friend did that?

Charlie: Probably pretty similar to how Ryan reacted. I think I'd have to laugh, then maybe cry. I actually did that to someone once where I brought them to an event that was "speed-friending" without telling them. So maybe I'm more like Misha in real life.

I know this is a tough one... but would you have considered dating your own character's personality if they were at a speed dating event talking to you.

Charlie: I would run a mile if I met Ryan in real life.

Sam: I think if I dated someone with Bash's personality I'd find it impossible to keep up! As I said, cozy pub is now more my style.

Ten Dates is such a fun game and experience. I know Sam mentioned on their Twitter having a laugh during filming. Was there any improvising on set?

Charlie: Once I saw the script was over six-hundred pages I had a chat with the director and asked if he is okay with improv, he said yes and I definitely listened to him. I think I did improv in almost every scene. It tended to be that we would do the scene as written and then maybe instead of ending where it's written, we would just keep running for a few more lines to see where it would go. I feel like Ryan and Derek (played by Anders Hayward) never stopped improvising.

Sam: Absolutely, in fact a fair few moments of mine and Rosie's dates ended up being improvised. We had such a natural chemistry and clicked instantly making the work feel very effortless.

Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know about your experience making Ten Dates?

Sam: Just to keep your eyes on Paul Raschid, the man is pioneering this genre of game/interactive feature and I have no doubt there will be many more exciting projects to come from him.

Are either of you gamers yourselves?

Charlie: As the youngest of three boys I started early when my brothers would give me a controller that wasn't plugged in and told me to play as "the bad guys". I've always played PlayStation since I was a kid. I remember playing Worms, Vigilante 8, the Wu Tang game, you know, typical games a six year old should play.

Sam: I enjoy gaming, always have done. I still play FIFA and Call Of Duty with friends, especially Warzone. I also recently got both of The Last of Us games which are BRILLIANT.

What's your favorite rom-com?

Sam: It's gotta be Love Actually. For anyone that doesn't know there is a brilliant Love Actually Drinking Game that can be found online! (Wow, that sounded a bit like something Bash would say, didn't it?)

2023 looks to be an exciting year. Do you both have any projects coming up that you'd like people to know about?

Charlie: I've just finished filming a horror movie called All You Need Is Death for XYZ Films. It's a horror film based around folk music that will be coming out later in the year that I'm very excited about. Also a show called Blue Lights that will be out soon on BBC. Hope you guys like Ten Dates and really looking forward to watching some streams.

Sam: I can be seen playing 'Terry Monke' in Amazon Prime's new global thriller The Power which will be airing March 31st so keep your eyes peeled for that! As for video game work none as of yet, however I'd love to try motion capture if someone will have me!  ★

Massive thanks to Charlie and Sam for taking the time to sit with us! You can cozy up and have your own interviews... with their characters of course, in the new game Ten Dates available on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

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