Interview with Billy Howle who plays Elliott in Chloe
Billy Howle plays Elliot Fairbourne
Can you tell us about the character you’re playing Elliot?
Elliot is a complex person, he’s multifaceted. There’s a definite distinction… he has these outward attributes in which he’s kind, generous, thoughtful. He’s a politician, or at least thinks like a politician, so he is very diplomatic and able to hide the things that perhaps aren’t as savoury from the outside world, particularly his closest friends. Although his friends know him very well, as they’ve been friends since they were teenagers, so they’ve seen it all.
Elliot has certain insecurities – or fragilities – that occasionally we see glimmers of, and as to why they might be. I think he probably wouldn’t want to admit it, but he’s perhaps more dependent on the people around him and the attention they give him than he would like to let on.
Can you tell us about the husband-and-wife dynamic between Chloe and Elliot?
They have been together from when they were teenagers – that’s a very raw time for most people, teenage years into their early 20s, sometimes even later, particularly for men. Those years are about exploration, nothing is concrete, but interestingly, when you’re doing that with someone else in tow, it’s very difficult to continue to explore and branch out and keep looking for other things. I think a lot of that has come from Elliot; he has said, “we’re together” and there is something quite traditional about their relationship.
Historically people would get married at 16 – my grandparents did, my grandma was around 17. I guess there is something romantic about it, there is something romantic about commitment, but I think there’s a fine line or threshold between commitment and something verging on obsession, it can become a sort of control, verging on possessiveness.
Their romance really lies in the fact that they have a fondness or a nostalgia for what was. You have this honeymoon period, and it’s so great that you spend the rest of the relationship trying to get back there. And that can never be healthy, right?