Ed Sheeran will soon be briefly putting his guitar down and stepping into a role like you've never seen him before. The singer-songwriter will be singing a more horrifying tune when he steps into the role of the lethal right hand of a high-ranking church elder in the new TV Drama, The Bastard Executioner. So maybe he won't actually be singing and will be speaking, but this is a totally different direction for Ed. The series has been created by Kurt Sutter , who is also the creator of the incredible series Sons Of Anarchy.
While filming on location in Cardiff, Wales, Ed took some time to talk with EW about this surprising role he has taken on.
It was Twitter that surprisingly helped Ed get a starring role in the show.
I was watching SOA and it was mind blowing. I tweeted, “Whoever does the music on Sons of Anarchy, I want to buy him a pint.” And then Kurt tweeted me back to say his name is Bob and I should do a song for it. So I did. We kept in touch from there. And then I was having dinner at his house and I was talking about Marilyn Manson being in Sons of Anarchy, and just saying, if you ever have another show, can you stick me in it? Just like a bit part? And here I am.
Ed's character will be very different in personality to the singer.
I find that I have reputation of being a smiley approachable guy, so I wanted the opposite. I said to Kurt, make sure that I’m not typecast at all. Write me as a complete dick head in it. I feel like I need that. My grandmother, the other day – she’s 91 and Irish and really sweet – was like, “Ah, I’d love to watch it.” And I said, “I don’t think you’re going to want to watch this, grams.” I do so much in my own lane. I feel like that satisfies my fan base. It’s nice to step out every now and then to challenge yourself. It doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who likes me for my music is going to like this. It means that I’m doing something different and interesting, rather than doing some rom-com, which is what I think people would expect me to do.
How does Ed feel about acting?
I feel very out of place. I feel like I need a few more days to sink in to the idea of acting. I’m very good with a guitar in my hand, but I feel a bit lost without it. I think I just need more practice with acting. I’m glad no one is telling me I’m not good yet. I’m doing stuff and no one is saying, ‘bad shit. That’s either them being polite which I don’t think they would be on this show, or it’s going well. When I walked into makeup they were like, we are going to have to cut your fringe and give you a bowl haircut, and I was like, “Ah that’s not happening.” This hat [he’s wears in the show] is a sign of faith. With these hats, you instantly know I’m someone who is in a religious sect.
The costume Ed wears is quite a challenge for him.
I’m wearing tights, which is interesting. It’s quite hard to pee in this. I haven’t even tried to go No. 2. That’s going to be quite hard. I did think it was going to be a lot hotter under the lights but I’m good.
What about Ed's music?
I’m midway through a world tour, Kurt has been really good with my schedule.
What acting experience does Ed have?
At this level, no. I did like school plays, national youth theatre when I was younger. I have played myself in Home and Away. I did Undateable. I usually play myself. But I’m not really playing myself in this.
The anticipated new drama will be debuting on Sept. 15! The shows plot follows 'a warrior knight in King Edward The Thirds charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again, he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all...'