TV Interview: Liam Garrigan – Smouldering In Sanditon, Or Desperately Seeking Susan

July 3, 2023


Liam Garrigan plays Samuel Colbourne in Season 3 of Sanditon, available on Britbox.


What drew you to take your role in Sanditon?

Joining the cast of Sanditon was nerve-racking at first! It was already an established, well-oiled  machine. The first two weeks of filming were all big ensemble pieces, so it was great to work with everybody and get my feet under the table. I’ve never worked in this Regency period before, so to have the opportunity to wear these fabulous costumes and the chance to visit the beautiful sets  was a no-brainer.


Tell us about Samuel and what brings him to Sanditon?

Samuel is the older brother of Alexander Colbourne. He is a lawyer who lives and works in London and is possibly a little bit of a rogue. Alexander needs Samuel’s help, so asks if he will return to Sanditon. They haven’t spoken in 10 years, so it also gives the brothers an opportunity to try and make amends. Revisiting Sanditon reminds him of everything he has missed out on over the years, and he meets people in the town whose company he enjoys so much that he then decides to stick around a bit  longer.


What is it about Lady Susan that attracts Samuel?

Everything. Her excitement for life. She has a mysterious past that he’s keen to unravel. There are hints of wildness in her history that he finds intriguing. He also likes how playful and scheming she is, so the duo work together to try and bring Alexander Colbourne and Charlotte Heywood together.


What does Sanditon mean to your character?

For Samuel, Sanditon is a home that he didn’t realise he was missing. When the Colbournes’ father passed away, Samuel was left with the estate and sudden debts. It proved too much for him to  handle, so he escaped, and has been running away from his responsibilities for a long time. Coming back to Sanditon to take on this court case gives him an opportunity to put roots down in the town again. We see a relationship start to develop between him and Lady Susan, which represents the  responsibility and commitment that he’s searching for, and companionship.


What are some of the big events that happen in Season 3?

There might be a thrilling, exciting carriage race on a windy beach. There could potentially be a wedding, there could also be a wedding that doesn’t quite happen. There might be a party which is  phoenix-themed, with flames and a red and gold colour scheme, where everybody looks incredibly glamourous, with a little bit of dancing!


What types of things are the most fun to shoot for you? 

When Samuel first arrives, he is larger than life and has a certain type of rogue-ness to him, which was fun to play. There is a gear shift halfway as the season progresses, when we had the opportunity to have some more intimate scenes, where everything got a bit quieter, slower, and therefore meaningful. It was excellent, really. Working with Sophie has been my highlight; the scenes between Lady Susan and Samuel were my favourite.


And what’s your favourite thing about being a part of Sanditon in general?

Aside from working with Sophie, I would have to say the costumes. The first time I went for a fitting, the way the outfits have the ability to change your demeanour and the way you hold yourself was exciting. You cannot slouch in these costumes!


How would you put yourself into a 19th Century mindset or is there any research you’ve done to get  into that mindset?

The second you put the costume on, your posture completely changes. It’s an immediate transportation into that world. Also, the sets are spectacular. On my first day, we were shooting on the Sanditon promenade and it blew my mind what had been built. The work has been done  for you with the costumes and the sets. It’s down to the brilliant people behind these that make it  possible.