DuJour Navigation

On Location with Gethin Anthony

The actor takes us on a tour of Los Angeles’ dark side

There were a number of things Gethin Anthony had to learn in order to portray a young Charles Manson on the new NBC series Aquarius, but chief among them for the British-born actor was something most people learn when they’re just about 16 years old.

“I learned to drive specifically to live in Los Angeles,” Anthony, a veteran of Game of Thrones, says. “I’d never driven in London and it doesn’t make that much sense driving in New York. I had to learn in the U.K., and since I came out here, I’ve learned in L.A. as well.”

But there’s more to Anthony’s portrayal of Manson than just his skills behind the wheel.

“I think the process is different depending on who you’re playing, in what format you’re playing them, but ultimately for Manson, it was a case of really learning as much as I could,” Anthony says. “Then it was a case of trying to connect to the era his headspace in a visceral way. I bought a record player for my trailer and I bought some vinyl albums from that period. I also did a lot of listening to his voice and I even changed my diet a bit.”

Of course, one of the greatest inspirations for both Anthony and the series—which premieres May 28 and will have its entire first season available online the following day— was Los Angeles itself. 

“It was a real privilege to get to shoot in L.A., and I think that that is key to telling that story,” the actor says. “For me personally, I was able to get under the skin of the city a bit and feel the atmosphere. Obviously, L.A. is very different now than it was back then, but so much of the environment—the weather, the excitement of the city—is the same and and I feel like helped me.” 

And while filming of Aquarius’ first season has already wrapped, and Anthony says he still considers London to be home, he’s not saying no to the possibility of returning to the City of Angels for a bit more sunshine and inspiration.

“I really got a taste for it,” he says of L.A. “I’ve really been enjoying driving around.”