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'Misfits' Matt Stokoe Q&A: 'Alex was a better person without his penis'

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Misfits S04E06

© Channel 4

Misfits wrapped its fourth series last week, with one of the gang - Matt Stokoe's "sexy barman" Alex - about to receive a life-saving (and potentially life-changing) operation...

With the DVD and Blu-ray release of series four imminent - it'll be available in both formats from Boxing Day - Digital Spy caught up with Stokoe to chat Alex's journey, the perils of having a "mangina" and whether Misfits will be back for a fifth series...

First of all, I have to ask - how hard is it to say lines like, 'Whatever it takes - just find my c**k!' without laughing?
"To be honest, it gets easier as it goes on, because when I first started, obviously you get everyone taking the mick out of you. You get swept up in just how ridiculous the situation is and you have to take a step back and go, 'What on Earth am I talking about?!'

"But as it goes on - because you're filming for four months in this little bubble with everybody - it becomes normalised. After a while, the novelty wears off and people just start referring to it, 'Yeah, Alex has got a vagina, yeah...'

"It started feeling strange again when it got closer and closer to the airdate - I started getting texts from Nathan McMullen saying, 'Dude, you're getting your vagina out soon!' and I just thought, 'Oh my God, yeah I am!'"

What was your first reaction when you discovered Alex's secret?
"I thought they were joking when they told me! It was in the audition and I was like, 'Yeah, very funny!' - but they were serious! I was obviously a bit nervous about it, because I've never seen anything done like that on the TV before.

"But then you just think, 'D'you know what, let's do it, let's go for it, why not?' Misfits has got a reputation for pushing the boundaries a bit, but doing it really well. If anyone's going to do this kind of storyline well, it's going to be Misfits, isn't it?"

Misfits S04E05

© Channel 4



Was it difficult getting a handle on Alex because he was so mysterious at first?
"Yeah. In the opening episodes especially, a lot of Alex's characterisation is motivated by his affliction - the fact that he hasn't got a penis. There wasn't much given away about him, not even in the scripts. I think series five might explore Alex a little bit more - that's when we'll answer a few more questions about him."

Alex had a bit of a breakdown and turned a gun on himself in episode seven. Did you enjoy getting to explore his more emotional side?
"Yeah, it was good. When you're first told about Alex, you see it as being really ridiculous and funny and most people you tell just laugh about it. But when you sit down and think about it, you realise - as horrible as it sounds - how much your genitals define who you are as a person.

"It's all about your identity and your sense of self - when people think about it, they go, 'God, what would I do if that part of me was swapped?' It's really upsetting because it affects so many different parts of your life and your self esteem, so it was easy to sympathise with the bloke."

Misfits S04E08 still

© Channel 4



Alex cheated on Jess (Karla Crome) once he was all back in one piece - did that surprise you?
"No, I think that's the real him coming out. I got it in the character breakdown right at the start that he was a bit of a womaniser so I think that aspect of his character is going to be explored even more.

"I think, with his lack of penis, he's had to try a new approach to get the attention of women and he's tried to explore his sensitive side. But now that he's got his masculinity back, he doesn't need that sensitive side anymore."

Do you think Alex was a better person without his penis?
"Yeah, completely. He's horrible now that he's got it back!"

Do you think Alex and Jess have a future or is it over between them?
"I'm not sure. I'm not saying that Alex will be horrible forever but that is somewhere in the mind of [writer] Howard Overman and Misfits can always surprise you. I don't want to say it's the end for them, but I don't want to say that something's definitely going to happen either."

Misfits S04E06

© Channel 4



You have a Twitter account - did you get a sense of the viewer reaction as this series of Misfits was going out?
"I think Twitter's kind of like the 21st century version of fan-mail - it's fan-mail meets a discussion board. It's really easy now for people to voice their opinions - both good and bad - on this site that you happen to be part of.

"It's a far more immediate response - you don't need to read reviews or anything, you just get messages sent to you. Some people say they loved it, some people say they hated it, some people say that they're repulsed by you 'cos you've got a mangina! But it seems like it's gone down really well."

Series four ended with the hint that Alex might have a new power - what would you like to see him get?
"To be honest, any other power than what I've had! I said to the producers, 'If I get another power, can we just assume that I've paid my dues by having a vagina for a year?' - any other power I'd be happy to have!"

Do you know if Misfits will be back for a fifth series?
"I don't know for definite. I can't speculate, to be honest - it's not my place to do so. I think they'd like to do it, but there's so many factors with this kind of thing. It's all up in the air and we won't find out until quite late if it's going again. I think it's planned, but nothing's set in stone yet."

Misfits Series 4 and the Misfits 1-4 Box-set are available to own on DVD and Blu-ray from December 26.

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