Lewis Cope, the 28-year-old actor from Hartlepool, had a dream of landing a big role on TV.
And don’t we all have them? Dreams, goals, ambitions. What mine are, will differ to yours and what yours are, will differ to the person next to you. But the fact of the matter is that we all have them. Whether it’s a yearly financial goal, aspiring to become a best-selling author or landing your dream job, we can all dream big.
Luckily for Lewis, his dream did come true and is still providing those ‘pinch me’ moments.
Here at Luxe HQ when we hear of the fantastic people from our region making things happen, well, we couldn’t be happier.
“I feel extremely lucky to be doing what I’m doing,” smiles Lewis.
“I’m just an ordinary lad from a huge family in Hartlepool,” he laughs.
In between juggling meetings and managing a busy filming schedule, myself and Lewis find 30 minutes spare out of our busy schedules to embrace the spring sunshine and enjoy a well-earned break and wholesome chat about our northern roots.
Lewis Cope And Emmerdale
For eagle-eyed readers who are religious watchers of the all-time favourite soap Emmerdale, you might know Lewis better as Nicky, Gabby Thomas’ latest love interest and Home Farm nanny.
As we settle in to chat about how the Emmerdale gig came about, with his typical northern modesty and light-hearted demeanour, Lewis talks me through the audition process.
“I’m honestly still ecstatic to be playing the role of Nicky in Emmerdale, he’s a great character to play,” says Lewis.
“The auditions for Emmerdale were nerve-wracking but exciting. The first round was a self-tape. When they got in touch to invite me to the next round, I was so happy. Along with a select few others they liked from the self-tapes, I was invited to the studio for the screen test.
”This is where you’ll go on set and act alongside some of the actors who are already in the show. They’ll put you in scenes with the actors your character will be interacting with the most on the show.
”It’s a great opportunity for the producers and directors etc. to see what the chemistry is like on screen and work out whether or not it’s the right fit. The whole team is around to watch and then they’ll make a decision.
”Luckily for me,they thought I was the right person to take on the role of Nicky,” he explains.
From the very moment Lewis received a call to say the part was his, Nicky instantly became a big part of Lewis’ life. Taking to the role oh-so well, Nicky has become a fan favourite for many.
“It’s very surreal. My Nana loves Emmerdale, she’s watched it religiously for as long as I can remember. To now be part of the show she loves so much is amazing,” he smiles.
Lewis Cope And Nicky
Fellow soap drama fanatics will be with me when I say never trust the good guy. Much like the rest of the nation, I’m desperately hoping Nicky’s intentions are genuine, but the serial binge-watcher within me is hoping for a juicy storyline. But what can we expect?
“Nicky was introduced on screen back in December 2022 when the family at Home Farm were on the lookout for a new nanny. When their first choice fell through, Nicky was chosen to help look after the kids. He comes into the show almost too good to be true.
”He’s the perfect gentleman, does everything right, brilliant with the kids, very polite, not a suspicion in sight. He then gets involved with Gabby and the two of them have a secret relationship but after a lot of sneaking around and nearly getting caught, the pair eventually have to come clean with Kim.
”Further down the line, Kim doesn’t like the relationship as her son James has got a child with Gabby and she fires Nicky from working at Home Farm. On the same day he gets fired, he proposes to Gabby which then keeps him living at Home Farm as Gabby’s financé not as their live-in nanny.
“There are lots of twists and turns coming and we’re so excited to watch this storyline unfold. It’s been a really fun role to play. At first he seems like quite a straightforward character but then eventually it comes out why he’s really in the village and his arrival isn’t a coincidence.
”He came in with his dad Caleb, the plot thickens and it starts to unravel what the pair are up to. It makes viewers start to question if his relationship with Gabby is genuine? Has the whole thing been planned? It’s not all as simple as it seems.”
The Role Of An Actor
Drama, drama and more drama. But before I delve too deep into what’s to come for this mysterious newbie, we begin to chat about getting into character.
“When you’re an actor and you’re playing a certain role, even if they’re the complete opposite of who you are, you can make it personal and draw upon experiences and characteristics from either yourself or people you know.
“Sharing certain traits or thinking about a particular person or situation can help elevate the character you’re playing. Nicky is a lot of fun to play and I’m excited to see where we can take him.”
Lewis’ colourful career does not stop at Nicky. While we’re certain this is only the beginning of his vibrant on-screen success, we take a look back at some of the exciting moments that led him to this point.
From performing in Billy Elliot on the West End to playing Marcus Hynde in Vera, and right the way back to where it all began.
“My Mam plays a key part in my career,” he says.
“When we were younger, she would always take us to different sports, classes, workshops etc. Whether it was boxing, football, rugby, horse riding or whatever else it might be, she would always make sure we were taking part in something we enjoyed.
”It was when I started dancing I found something that I was passionate about. Dancing was something I fell in love with and I managed to get an audition for Billy Elliot on the West End when I was 11-years-old.
”I was lucky enough to be cast in the show and I moved to London for the year while it was running. I was also part of a hip hop dance group called Ruff Diamond. We performed quite a lot and actually came runners up on Got to Dance on Sky One in 2013.
”Those were the moments that were eye opening for me, where I thought maybe this could be a career,” he explains.
“After attending high school at English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Hartlepool, I trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Following on from that, I’ve been lucky enough to work in both theatre and TV,” he says.
Prior to joining the cast of Emmerdale, Lewis played the likes of Marcus Hynde in Vera, Private Wilfred Sturgess in Hetty Feather and Tom Griffiths in Doctors.
“As well as TV roles, I’ve enjoyed working in theatre and in films too.
”On stage, I’ve had the pleasure of playing the likes of Brom Van Brunt in the national tour of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and starred as Leonard Vole in the Olivier Award nominated production of Witness for the Prosecution.
”I’ve featured in films including: Earth’s Vain Shadow Flee, The Grass is Greener, Waterbabies, and Six and Two Threes. I also featured alongside David Beckham in a campaign for his fragrance Bold Instinct,” he adds.
Becoming an actor isn’t deemed one of the easiest industries to break into. Due to the competitive nature and opportunities available, it can in fact, be one of the most difficult.
Advice From Lewis Cope
While myself and Lewis chat through the obstacles, the opportunities available in the North East and the importance of never giving up on your dreams, he tells me how crucial it is to have an agent if you’re looking to make it as an actor.
“The main thing is having an agent. It’s super difficult with an agent nevermind without one, so I definitely think if you’re serious about becoming an actor, getting an agent is one of the most important steps you can take.
”They’re the ones who put you on the radar, who guide you down the right path and line up auditions for you. It’s also important to surround yourself with lots of reading, theatre, TV and film, do your research on up and coming productions and directors.
”It’s always useful to know as much as you possibly can about the industry. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” he shares.
Proud to be a northern lad, Lewis tells me he’s often back home visiting his family and friends:
“I’m in Hartlepool all the time. All my family and friends are there and whenever I’ve got a couple of days off, I always head back to see them.
”Nothing beats it really. When you live in a town that’s near the coast you don’t appreciate it but
when you live in a busy city, like I do now, just being able to walk along the seafront with fish and chips and an ice cream becomes priceless. That’s what I love about being back home.”
Speaking to Lewis is a joy. He’s upbeat, passionate and has nothing but admiration for his team at ITV and the character he plays:
“I feel extremely lucky to be acting. To do the thing I’ve dreamed of doing as my job is honestly amazing and as long as that continues, I couldn’t be happier.”
The Luxe Lowdown
Best thing about Hartlepool?
My family and being beside the coast.
Last thing you watched on TV?
Happy Valley. What a show!
Favourite place to eat in the North East?
Fish and Chips from Fish Face on Seaton Carew seafront is always a favourite of mine.
Top of your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list. I take things as they come and live in the moment.
Go-to holiday destination?
I love the Greek islands.
Who inspires you?
It would have to be my Mam, she’s incredible!