Stella cast falls for Rory

Rory Girvan from Leeds plays Sunil in the TV drama, Stella. Catherine Scott spoke to him.

RORY Girvan looks a lot younger than his 25 years. The Leeds actor is currenlty starring in the second series of the hit Sky show Stella, written by and starring Ruth Jones.

Rory’s youthful looks helps as he is playing Sunil, a teenage dad in the show which has just been commissioned for a third series next year.

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Until he landed the role in Stella the former West Yorkshire Playhouse usher was normally found treading the boards.

“I loved acting even when I was at primary school,” says Rory who attended Roundhay School.“I think I like being the centre of attention.”

One of his teachers suggested he audtion for the National Youth Theatre, which he did successfully which gave him a taste of what was to come.

But it was advice from 
the then artistic director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, Ian Brown, which really helped him.

“I had started to think seriously about possibly acting as a career and was wondering whether I should go to drama school. I asked Ian Brown and his advice was not to rush into anything.

“I was 18 and he said too many people rushed off to drama school.

“He said you really needed life experience to be a good actor.”

Rory took his advice and after a spell travelling he went to Manchester University to study politics and international relations.

But he didn’t turn his back on acting, far from it.

He was in the drama society and was part of a golden generation of graduates that includes a number of successful performers, including comedian Jack Whitehall.

“I was lucky to get work straight away after graduating.”

After gaining critical acclaim on stage he turned his attention to the small screen and landed the role of Sunil in Ruth Jones’s (Fat Friends, Gavin and Stacey) Stella.

The show draw in more than a million viewers and received much praise among critics.

“When you are in something you do get a feeling when you know it is good, but you never really know until it is recommisioned. It has been great experience for me learning from Ruth.”

In the second series, which started on Friday, Sunil has a much bigger role after he and his teenage girlfriend Emma has have a baby.

“We start the second series with the baby and Emma at home, and Sunil going to university to study medicine in Cardiff and coming home in the evenings. It’s a dynamic where he’s got to grow up very quickly while still having this party lifestyle at the university, while still having a wife at home with a baby to look after. There’s a lot of challenges ahead.”

Rory, splits his time between London and Leeds, and has just finished filming the second series of Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate to be screened later this year.

“I loved working with Kay,” says Rory. “Fat Friends was filmed in the street where I grew up.

“I always wanted to film something in Leeds. The read-through was in Kirkstall Road and I really enjoyed being in it.”

Although he is loving his TV roles, Rory says he would love to return to the theatre at some point. He would also like to appear on the big screen in the future.

“My favourite film was the Godfather 2 and I love Robert De Niro in it – he gives so little away.”