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PETERBOROUGH ACTOR STARS IN WARNER BROS SERIES PENNYWORTH



Photo credit: The Presenter Studio


Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler features local talent!


The international TV drama series from Warner Bros, Pennyworth (the Batman origin story) has received great reviews. Season 3, which focuses on the origin of Batman's Butler (the clue is in the title) premiere’s on HBO Max (October 6) and stars Waseem Mirza, an actor born and bred here in Peterborough.


Photo: WarnerBros Discovery/HBO


You may recognise Waseem from his reports on BBC TV and the journalist and actor has now become an ambassador for the charity Embrace Child Victims of Crime which has its headquarters in Peterborough. He’s raising money for the charity in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on October 9.


ESP’s Mikey Clarke caught up with the local lad to find out more...


Congratulations on the show. How does a local lad from Peterborough go on to star in an international drama series from Warner Bros?


“Well thank you, it's my biggest job so far and what a ride it's been! I went to St John Fisher, Thomas Deacon Academy and the Peterborough Regional College but throughout school I never imagined I'd go into acting, even though I enjoyed drama classes. At school I was always the storyteller so I guess I was destined to become one someday!”



What can you tell us about Pennyworth and also your character in particular?


“Pennyworth tells the story of Batman's Butler - Alfred Pennyworth - who, after leaving the SAS, establishes his own security firm. The first two seasons are set in a dystopian alternate vision of 1960s London. Viewers can expect a time jump for the third season into the 70s. I can't reveal too much more but I can tell you, BBC News viewers in the East of England may recall me doing something similar in years past.”


Photo credit: Hugo Andrews


Where did filming take place and what was the change of scenery/culture like?


“Filming took place in a frozen backlot at the legendary Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire. It was an amazing place steeped in so much movie history and I felt lucky to be there throughout my time. Did I mention it was cold? Ice cold! All the production team took great care with everyone onset with plenty of hand and feet warmers. Enormous respect for my Director Jill Robertson (formerly BBC too), for a sterling job in such challenging weather.”


With this being your acting debut, were you excited? Nervous?


“Excited and nervous in equal measure! As a Batman and DC fan, I never imagined anything like this was possible. And now I'm a character in a Batman prequel series! Just goes to show you can be whoever you want to be and that's exactly what appealed to me about acting: the privilege of being able to inhabit another character and tell their story.”



Where will you be watching the show? Will there be celebrations?


“I'll most likely be watching with my brother and parents at home as Pennyworth Season 3 premieres first on streaming video on demand. I'm sure there will be double celebrations as its also my birthday!”


You're also an ambassador for Embrace. What can you tell us about this wonderful cause and how can people support it?


“I’m proud to have been asked to become an ambassador this year for the national charity Embrace Child Victims of Crime (@embraceCVoC) which is headquartered in the City where I was born and brought up - Peterborough. EmbraceCVoC offers support to help improve life chances for children touched in any way by crime, including those who fall into a spiral of crime and social issues – often because of where they live or their proximity to criminal activities perpetrated by adults.



"Through publicity on the new season of ‘Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler’, I hope to highlight how child victims of crime need more real-life superheroes to look up to, and shine a light on the support available to them, to help put an end to bullying, abuse and exploitation, wherever it happens in the UK.


“As their new ambassador, I’m thrilled to be able to use my new platform to focus on the fantastic work Embrace Child Victims of Crime does every day to support children, heal their trauma and help change so many young lives for the better.


“As one of my first efforts to raise money for this great cause, I’ll be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on October 9 2022, which will of course take on an additional and new meaning given the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II. I will be running all four Royal Parks. I hope your readers will help me raise money and awareness to make sure children across the UK don’t have to go it alone when faced with witnessing crime or becoming a victim of it. To donate and share the campaign, please go to: www.justgiving.com/thewaseemmirza


It's been a pleasure. The ESP team and I look forward to seeing the show!


Seasons 1 & 2 of Pennyworth are available to stream now on most On Demand stores in the UK including Sky Store, Virgin Media Store and StarzPlay UK/Amazon Prime Video. The international premiere date for ‘Pennyworth: The Origin Of Batman's Butler’ is on October 6 and Waseem will also be making his first appearance at Comic Con London at the ExCel Centre on October 28!


He can be followed on Instagram and twitter @TheWaseemMirza and @waseem_mirza respectively. For more about Embrace Child Victims of Crime, see www.embracecvoc.org.uk


Mikey Clarke

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