Monday, November 5, 2007


Kris Marshall's career is definitely on the rise, he is all over the ITV Network at the moment, starring not only in the recent Catwalk Dogs but also new comedy drama series about estate agents Sold, we caught up with him recently to chat about his new role.

Kris says being an estate agent is the last job in the world he would ever want to do.

"Working for commission is something I would never have considered. Ever. Essentially I'm quite a lazy person and I'm most definitely not a salesman. Being an estate agent was never my calling."

Kris believes his character Matt in Sold is the most unscrupulous estate agent you are ever likely to meet.

"He is the biggest liar, the biggest poseur and in no small way self-obsessed. It is hard to find anything in him that is redeemable but I’ve tried to create a back story for him to understand him better.

"Basically I think he's a wannabe city boy who didn't make the grade. He has been an estate agent for about 10 years, working his way up the agency ladder but with absolutely no people or management skills. He's a sociopath. But I think he's lonely and there are snippets of pathos later in the series which might soften people towards him a fraction.

"Matt is hugely competitive. He has to win at all costs. He has to be the best salesman, wear the best suits, drive the fastest car. There really are people out there like him. But he is great fun to play. He's funny in a David Brent sort of way. He's embarrassing to listen to sometimes, a bit close to the bone. He has the funniest lines though and great sound bites. It's been a blast."

Kris admits he can find some common ground with his character, but to a much lesser degree.

"I am really competitive but not to the ends where I would tread on people to get what I want. That's the problem with Matt: he would turn over anyone to get what he wants. Mel is the same to some extent but whereas Matt uses his quick wit and sharp tongue, Mel uses her sexuality.

"Matt is driven by money and glory. His pursuit of glory is all. He aspires to be Mr Colubrine. He thinks the rest of his team are all fools and it's despicable the way he would happily shaft his staff while pandering to his superiors. All it means is his team don't like or respect him and his boss thinks he's a fawning idiot. I do feel a bit sorry for him though because at the end of the day it's his head on the block if they don't deliver. And while Danny doesn’t care about his job or the firm it is Matt's reason for being. He just lacks the leadership skills to pull them all together."

Kris adds: "Matt's Achilles’ heel is his thinly veiled love for Mel, Christina Cole's character. However much his muddled sound bites and jargon might work on the bimbos from the other offices, Mel isn't interested. Mel wants Bryan Dick's character, Danny, to indulge her but he doesn't, which annoys her but makes her crave his attention even more, which in turn makes Matt hate Danny. It's a triangle of sorts."

Last year Kris bought a house in Cornwall and, two years ago, his home in Windsor. So how did he find dealing with estate agents in the real world?

"I had really easy experiences both times. Mainly I guess as I was buying and not selling which is always more stressful. I also think it depends on where you are buying. In London there's such a housing shortage, it's a much more ruthless game.

"I love looking for houses. When I was looking to buy in Windsor I saw so many houses and couldn't find exactly what I wanted. My dad told me that house buying was all about compromise, you are never going to get absolutely everything in one property. I went out and bought the next one I saw. Likewise when I decided to buy a house in Cornwall I drove all over the county. I saw 10 or 15 houses, all miles apart then bought the very first one I'd seen."

The common factor with both Kris' homes is their proximity to water.

"In Windsor my house is on the river and in Cornwall right by the sea. I have a real thing for water. It chills me out. I'd been going down to Cornwall to surf for years and always stayed in hotels or rented houses but it's expensive so I thought I'd buy a house then rent it out when I'm not there.

"I'm an average surfer. It's not like riding a bike, unfortunately. You do need to do it all the time to be good. When I go down there it takes me quite a while to build up the skill again and then I have to go back to work just as things are picking up.

“It's great for cleaning out the whole system though. It's a difficult sport, waves breaking over your head, 11-year-olds cutting you up. But it builds up your strength and I really enjoy it. Out there all you can do is think about the next wave. There is no stress."

Kris can soon be seen in Death at a Funeral, a British film in which he plays a pharmacology student with a predilection for mixing hallucinogenic drugs.

SOLD is on the ITV1 Network / Thursdays @ 9.00pm