Industry on BBC Two – David Jonsson Interview

Industry is the debut drama from writers Konrad Kay and Mickey Down (pictured below), and is an exhilarating dive into the world of international finance, as seen through the eyes of ambitious twenty-somethings struggling to secure their futures.

The series follows a group of young graduates competing for a limited set of permanent positions at a top investment bank in London – but the boundaries between colleague, friend, lover, and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined as much by sex, drugs, and ego as it is by deals and dividends. As members of the group rise and fall, they must decide whether life is about more than the bottom line.

The Version had a little chat with David Jonsson to find out more…

David, you were recently named one of the top British stars for the future, how did that feel?Insane. Honestly, even the mention is an honour. I was saying to a mate the other day, you just do these things and don’t really think anyone’s watching you, so to be acknowledged amongst such a talented bunch is really something special.


Industry strikes us as one of those dramas that everybody is going to be talking about.  What are your thoughts on that?I don’t really have any if I’m honest. It’s hard to imagine that this thing we were working on for the better part of six months is finally out and people are talking about it. It’s crazy. Awesome, of course. But still, pretty crazy.


How would you describe your character and his place among the other characters?I’ve been finding it a little hard to describe Gus recently. Not because I don’t know him, but it’s interesting to hear what others see in him. He’s very mercurial, but also a bit of an outlier. He sort of understands the game and knows he has to work doubly as hard to win it. The show is full of these young, lively, ambitious things – all just trying to keep up with each other. But I think Gus plays his own game. He marches to his own beat; I quite admire that.


It was filmed in Summer 2019, wasn’t it? Do you have a particular favourite memory from being on location?Yeah, Summer ’19; I mean all of it was pretty grand. We spent a lot of time together – hanging out, chilling… We really had a ball filming it. As a favourite memory I’ll give a shout out to the catering – Antonio’s. Fishy Friday – solid.


The first episode was directed by Lena Dunham wasn’t it? What can you tell us about that experience?Lena’s just incredible. She has such an infectious energy that you just can’t help but smile in her presence – in my case – squeeze her cheeks. She has a real free way of working. We’d do one take, as written, then the next she’d be like “OK, David do whatever you want.” We’d just go completely off script, riffing. Loved every millisecond of working with her.


We know there’s a lot of sex, drugs and ego’s in this show.  Are we looking at the ‘This Life’ of our generation here?I guess you can say that. I think the boys (the writers) did a really good job in making everything feel real. Not lacquered or shining in gloss, but real. I’d get a script through the night before, go up to them the next morning on set and say, ‘Did this really happen?’ and they’d just give me a really simple nod, ‘Yep’. When you have writing like that, steeped in not only observation but experience, as an actor, you can’t help but just throw yourself at it, can you?


Were there any scenes that were challenging to film?Yeah, a few. But we had a lot of support from the producers, coordinators and loads of other wonderful people like that. Also, as a cast, we all really got behind each other too. I always find worries tend to fade away when you just let go.
From what we’ve seen of it, we love it and we know the audience will really enjoy this.  It’s been a long time since season 1 was filmed, is a season 2 on the cards?Possibly… I mean, I can’t say too much right now.
I’ll leave that question to the powers that be…


What do you hope the audience will take away from Industry?I suppose, I hope they (pardon the pun) invest, really. It’s a show about that first big, important job, which for me was a real thing and I’m sure will be the same for others. It’s about way more than banking and money and all those other superficial things. It’s about life, being young and finding your feet. Also, that aside, it’s a real good crack. So really, I just hope people enjoy it.

Stream Industry on BBC iPlayer.

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