Belfast Telegraph

Selfridge star in Russian struggle

Mr Selfridge newcomer Leon Ockenden has revealed he has found learning Russian for the show to be an uphill struggle.

Leon plays Russian prince Serge De Bolotoff who marries Harry Selfridge's oldest daughter Rosalie (Kara Tointon) in the first episode of the new series of the ITV period drama, but warns that his character may not be all he seems.

The actor said: "I never would have thought I'd be learning Russian, and here I am getting better at Russian."

But he added: "I went and booked this lesson with this wonderful teacher and I think this is how people get roped into spending loads of money on becoming pilots. They make you feel great after the first lesson, you book a whole load more!

"The alphabet is completely phonetic, which is wonderful, because it means that after the first lesson you can read Russian, and make all the right sounds, so you feel like you've made quite a big step forward.

"And as I've learned in my subsequent lessons, it's the tip of the iceberg!"

But Leon loved working with Entourage star Jeremy Piven who plays Mr Selfridge.

He said: "Jeremy has got such wonderful energy. And is such a charismatic, interesting man and actor and I knew him through his work, and my first day's filming was with him.

"For me it was like, imagine if you're into tennis, going to have knock-up with Andy Murray on Centre Court. It was lovely to go and play with him.

"He's our lead actor in the show and he really does lead form the front and by example."

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