When did you first hear about the role of Tyler Moon?
"I first heard about the role of Tyler back in November of last year. My agent gave me a call, told me there was a part in EastEnders and gave me a little breakdown of the character. I thought that Tyler seemed like a fun, lively character to play and felt that I could add something to it, so I went up to audition for the part last November and returned two weeks later for a workshop."
What was the workshop like?
"Well, in the workshop, there were six Tylers and six Anthonys and they paired us up. Funnily enough, I got paired off with Matt Lapinskas straight away! I came back a month after that for a screen test, then came back for another screen test and got the part."
How did you get into acting in the first place?
"I didn't get into acting until after I left school. I started working for a theatre lighting company when I was 15 and still at school, and then when I left school I went into full employment with them. We used to go up and light shows, put mirrorballs up and stuff like that. That was when I started taking a real interest. We'd light all the shows and it was fun to watch the whole process and how it all came together. So after that I started doing little workshops and courses."
What happened next?
"I then got a job with BT as they offered me an apprenticeship and my mum thought that getting an apprenticeship behind me was the safe option. But I left after a year because I was interested in doing other things, including acting. I got a job down at Billingsgate Fish Market when I was 17 and I trained at the Actors Centre in London at the same time. I was doing that for a few years - training and working, and I started my own market stall as well. I then went out, did a few plays and got an agent, had a few auditions and auditioned for EastEnders. It's my first big role!"
How would you describe the character of Tyler?
"He's very sparky and very charismatic! He can be quick to snap at certain people sometimes if they get on the wrong side of him, but he's a lovely guy. He's also very flirty when it comes to the women! He's a bit of a chap to say the least! It's not because he's seedy or he's horrible or anything like that - he genuinely enjoys chatting to women and chasing them. Even if they turned him down, it's all part of the chase and that's fun for Tyler. You can expect a lot of flirting, a lot of girls and maybe some arguments. We shall see!"
"To be honest, everyone has been so nice that it hasn't felt like a massive leap. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful, so it really felt like I was part of the team straight away. Obviously at first it's really daunting and you can't get your head around it because it's a really surreal situation, but as soon as you get there and meet everyone, you're instantly made to feel like part of the family. It's really nice."
Is there anyone in particular who's supported you on set?
"Definitely. David Essex, who's playing my dad Eddie, has been fantastic. He's such a warm, genuine geezer - he's just lovely. Shane Richie has also been absolutely fantastic, and you'll find that there's quite a bit of Alfie in Tyler. He's got that spark and energy that Alfie has, I think. Steve McFadden has been absolutely brilliant. Obviously after having such success with the Mitchell brothers, Steve has been guiding me and Matt with a few tips. That's not to say that we're going to be anything like the Mitchell brothers, because we're the Moon brothers, but he has been giving us tips and advice and he's been great. And my mentor is Johnny Partridge, who plays Christian. He's fantastic too - if I have any problems, I can just ring him up and he's been giving me some great advice."
Tyler sets his sights on Jodie soon after he joins the Square, doesn't he?
"Yeah, Tyler turns up on the Square in his dad's flash car and Jodie is the first girl that he sees. I pull up to her and you see Tyler trying to chat her up straight away!"
Do Kat and Alfie give Tyler a warm welcome at The Vic?
"Yeah, they do! When I first turn up, there's a bit of a drama to start off with, but Alfie loves Tyler and then Kat pretty much warms to him straight away. It's a really nice warm feeling in the family."
What kind of a relationship does Tyler have with his half-brother Michael?
"That's an interesting question, because Tyler sees Michael as this figure who just turns up at Christmases or the odd birthday, and is just quiet in the corner and doesn't really acknowledge anyone. So Tyler just sees him as a bit strange, and Tyler's not the sort of character who will fight for his affection! I don't think Tyler really understands Michael, but at the same time, he's not bothered by it. He just thinks, 'OK, whatever - it is what it is'. But Michael resents Tyler slightly, I think. I can't comment on Michael's character, but I think Tyler is Eddie's favourite son and because of the fractured relationship between Michael and Eddie, there's resentment from Michael's side. Tyler sees Michael as his brother, but they're not close at all."
"No, that's the difference - Tyler absolutely worships Anthony. Anthony is Tyler's older brother and he's always there for him. Tyler and Anthony love each other so much and they would do absolutely anything for each other. So there's no resentment there at all, it's just pure brotherly love. And you'll see that when Anthony comes on screen in a few weeks' time. There's a real chemistry between them, and me and Matt are great friends in real life. I think that transcends over onto the screen. They really care about each other and you couldn't separate them!"
> Head over to Soap Scoop for more gossip about EastEnders' Tyler in the second part of this interview.