We Ship worldwide using trusted couriers with next day delivery options available


Your Cart is Empty

September 22, 2023 5 min read


The star of Molly Manning Walker's lauded How To Have Sex talks us through his experience of starring in the film.  




“You never know how a job is going to be received,” Samuel Bottomley tells Man About Town. Starring in Molly Manning Walker’s directorial debut How To Have Sex, released earlier this month, the Bradford-hailing actor has wrapped up 2023 at the heart of one of the most talked about British film releases of the year.

The sensitive but harrowingly relatable account of a post-school clubbing holiday, with sun-kissed excess, self-discovery, turbulent friendships and most saliently, harsh encounters with the seemingly-blurred lines of sex and consent has galvanised audiences and Cannes alike – emerging as a front runner after premiering at the festival earlier this year.

A fundamental role in the film’s plot line, Bottomley’s turn marks the most monumental entry in the 22-year-old’s already brimming CV that’s seen him a mainstay on British screens since he was a teenager. In 2022, he starred as the male lead alongside Sheridan Smith in ITV’s The Teacher, for instance.

As well as the film, Bottomley’s proved something of a magnet for critical and awards acclaim himself, receiving a BAFTA-nomination earlier this year, as well as being named as one of Screen International’s esteemed Stars of Tomorrow 2023.

Sitting down with us, he talks his experience of starring in one of the biggest films of the year, his acting origins and how he never takes the success he’s enjoying for granted. Head below to read now…


Hi Samuel! This year’s been quite a crazy one for you career-wise. However, looking back, what is your first memory of acting? 
My first memory of acting would be waiting in a hotel lobby in Leeds, for the first recall I had for Tyrannosaur. I was about to go into the room, and I thought I’d lost my script or I’d left it in the car and my mum was like ‘There’s no point getting it.’ I was going to go down and get it but she was like ‘If you don’t know it now, you’re never going to know it, so don’t stress about it.’ And I was surrounded by a load of other kids that were getting told ‘No you forgot this line, you forgot that line,’ and I was just sitting there playing on my phone. I remember walking in and speaking to Paddy [Considine] and Diarmid [Scrimshaw], the producer, and they just made it really, really fun. I actually think I walked in there and said a swear word that I’d heard other kids bouncing around! But they made it really, really fun for me. It was a fun experience. It felt like just play.
Congratulations on all the success of How To Have Sex! When you signed up for the project, did you imagine that the reaction would be anything like this?
You never know how much a film is going to be pushed, and I didn’t know how many people would see it, but I did know that a lot of people would feel very very connected to it.
There’s so many selling points of the film – the dialogue it starts, the amazing director behind it, the cast fronting it, and of course, Mediterranean filming days. What was the biggest one for you at the beginning?
A big [selling point] for me was working on something that felt real, and the script and the people all felt really real so bringing that to set was something I was really excited about. Also, working with Shaun Thomas, who is a genuine friend from before filming, was a definite selling point. Whether the film was a success or not, it was always going to be a great adventure with him.
The film offers such a vivid account of the highs, lows and complexities of post-school/college clubbing holidays. Did you go on a similar trip yourself? If so, what were your own memories of the experience?
I’ve still never been on a holiday like that - a lads holiday, big group of friends holiday - because I’ve always been filming and missed them. I don’t really feel like I’m missing out or anything though, as they’re not really my thing. I’m much more of a go to a rural kind of place and have an adventure with a couple of people that I’m close with and enjoy it that way rather than having a load of people there, like a big group holiday. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I think I’m more of an adventurer than a partier.
Without giving too much away, your character Paddy is at the heart of the most challenging and complex themes portrayed in the film. Was it daunting to take on a character like that? And how did you approach it?  
It was the most daunting character I’ve ever had to take on, really. It was just so testing. Very, very testing and difficult for me to do. Finding that place within me for however long I did the shoot for and just understanding how vital of a part how important it is to the story that it had to be done.
I had to approach it as someone who was just going after what they want and thinking about themself, in a very selfish way. And I had to approach it as someone who is not educated in the correct way to go about things sexually - an uneducated point of view, rather than a cynical point of view.
This year has seen your talents been recognised officially with awards nods – namely your BAFTA and BIFA nominations for Best Supporting Actor and being named as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow 2023. How are you finding all the positive attention coming your way for your work?
I’m so grateful for all of the recognition my work has been getting. I think it fills me with more hope and more confidence than anything else really, which in a performance sense means I can be more confident in my performances. I just kind of work well - I get out on set and try to give directors and producers and casting directors more material to look at. I’m just dying to get on another job and start acting again. But yes, very, very, very grateful. And it’s something I’ve not taken for granted at all, it’s been a really really good year for recognition which is something I’d never take for granted. I’m very grateful for it and just want to get out there and keep working.
Finally, as you look ahead on taking the next leap in your career – what would you say achieving success looks like for you?
For me, achieving success would look like working with like-minded creatives – brilliant writers, directors, producers and actors – on scripts that I care about. Just being with amazing people and pushing myself further and further as an actor, and progressing in that sense as well. That’s what success would look like for me.


Get the latest Issue here