entertainment

Interview: Tyger Drew-Honey talks 'Death in Paradise', porn and teen sexuality

2015-01-22
It's hard to believe that Tyger Drew-Honey is still just 18 years-old. A household face for the best part of a decade as part of Outnumbered, the young star is now on a mission to prove his acting worth as an adult as he joins sun-soaked crime drama Death in Paradise for a guest stint. With Kris Marshall at the helm as DI Humphrey Goodman, series four of the hit show is as filled with sun, sand and suspicion as ever before. We caught up with Tyger to find out more about his guest appearance on the paradise island of Saint-Maria, and to find out more about the issues he's been addressing in his Tyger Takes On documentary series - from porn and naked selfies to male body image and his upcoming exploration of teen sexuality in 2015... tyger drew honey4   So what can you tell us about your character on Death in Paradise? I’m playing a character called Ryan, who is quite shifty. Basically his Dad has dragged him over to the fictional island of Saint Marie a couple of years ago. His dad runs the heritage society and my character basically got uprooted from his life in England and all his friends, to this little island in the middle of nowhere, where he gets bored and doesn’t like it too much. He’s part of the Heritage Society too, and he hates it because there’s not much to do there. As quite an established show, had you watched Death in Paradise beforehand or worked with any of cast? I’d not seen it actually. I was aware of it and I remember thinking that it would be a nice job to do over there! Of course I’ve been watching it since though. I didn’t know any of the cast either! There are the regulars who are there for six months and then every two weeks they film an episode, so they get a load of guest stars and there is a whole sense of everyone getting to know each other really quickly. The first couple of nights when we’d sit around the beach and bar and get to know each other. So by the time we actually came to set we had got to know each other really well! And filming in the Caribbean can’t be all bad! It was absolutely brilliant. Some days it was quite hard work in a sense, working outside in 30-40 degree heat and under hot lights as well! The murder takes place in a re-enactment that the Society puts on so were all in period costumes, with thick, heavy layers of clothing! It was really hot and sweaty when you’re on set. But I was there for 21 days and I was only needed for 8 days, so the rest of the time I was just exploring the island, chilling in the hotel or the sea! death in paradise That must make a nice change from Outnumbered. Does it feel strange to be have finally left it behind now? I’m over it now really; it was a while ago that we finished it. At the time it felt like the end of an era. I’ve been really grateful for it and it’s been a fantastic thing. It started me on my way, but everything has to come to an end and it was foolish to push it along for no reason, but we still did a special. I’m really excited to see where my career takes me and what I’ll be able to do in life. Have you always looked at your acting in a professional sense? I was such a young age and no one thinks about it like that from that age, you just go along with it. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve been thinking about mortgages and everything. I’ve been more about money, that aren’t I lucky to be in the profession like this. I would love to be famous but in the meantime I’d love to be able to get that house. A lot of people do become failed actors, then they bitch about it and I hope I don’t become one of them! I’m in quite a good position and I think if I try hard enough I’ll hopefully do quite well. If not, I can always do something else. We saw a lot of you last with your Tyger Takes On series, and one of the issues you tackled was young male body image and steroid abuse. What made you want to delve into that? I think it just evolved completely organically like anyone else. Things like the media and stuff; there’s a perception that you can’t really be attractive unless you have an amazing body,  and I sometimes think ‘How many people you could impress if the whole world was blind?’ It’s hard to speak critically because you can’t escape it yourself, but I don’t like the pressure and I don’t feel enamored with my body because I’m not one of those guys that goes to the gym. Was there anything on the show that totally shocked you? I remember one person who had so many pre-workout supplements that he had a heart attack at 18 and after he collapsed he was taking exactly the same again. The pure obsession that some people have and the amount of money and time that some people will spend can kind of terrify. tyger drew honey Obviously another issue you looked at was you looking into porn and usage of it. Your relationship with it is kind of unique because your own parents are porn stars. When did you first become aware of it? It wasn’t like they just sort of sat me down one day. It was very gradually explained to me as I grew up. I had an understanding of it that was appropriate to my age and there was never a moment when I knew, I just always knew. You must now have an open relationship with your parents about sex and relationships because of it? Yeah, we’re very open about it – but we don’t make a point of going into it! It’s not any issue that we won’t shy away from, but I certainly won’thave sex with my girlfriend and tell my mum about it! As a teenager in the public eye, have you ever worried about things like naked selfies? When I was a bit younger, a bit immature, I used to do it a bit. But I haven’t done it in a while because I remember thinking it was a stupid thing to do. I don’t feel the need to anymore; I don’t know why I used to, probably because I was really horny! It’s definitely an unhealthy thing to be doing. Apps like Snapchat have become so common because of the way that pornography is so accessible on the internet. There are no security procedures; you don’t have to show ID to go on these websites. No matter how outrageous it is, you can see it in seconds. It gives kids, especially those that haven’t been traditionally sexually educated, a skewed view on what sex is like. And everything is bigger in real life, it’s a glorified view of sex, and now a representative view on what loving sex is like. What sort of topics do you want Tyger to ‘take on’ in the future? Well I’ve actually just started filming the second season of documentaries and the first one is going to be about sexuality. I’ll be looking into how sexuality is changing and think about how it is more an open thing amongst young people. I think my generation is just not being chastised for exploring their sexuality like people  were in the past. Nowadays people are happy to be a bit cooler with their sexuality and not be afraid to be judged by it. We’re kind of at a turning point. We’ve got three new episodes of Tyler Takes On and hopefully there will be more coming out after that. Tyger Drew-Honey stars in tonight’s episode of Death In Paradise at 9pm on BBC One. More stories: Watch: Jamie Lynn Spears breaks up a restaurant brawl with a knife ‘Will & Grace’ stars to reunite onscreen for the first time in 9 years