Series 1 Cast Interviews
Daniel Schutzmann

Daniel Schutzmann

Plays
Sal Biagi

"Biagi comes from Milan, and he's a midfield player. He's new into the country, although his mother is English, he still feels like an outsider. The team help him feel like an outsider! He might be taking someone else's position, the captain Jason Turner, and that gives him an enemy, as soon as he joins Earls Park.

"I'd never tried an Italian accent. The first time I tried was at the audition. I was quite surprised when I actually managed to come up with something. I've had Italian friends staying with me. I've just been listening to them and even getting them to read the scripts out loud so I can hear the way they're saying it. I don't find it too hard playing an Italian. It's mostly to do with making gestures, and I do that anyway, which I think is because I'm half Israeli. That's definitely helped my mannerisms for Biagi. I do it because I've got too much energy to just sit down and have a conversation. I have to use my hands. In fact, I sometimes use my feet as well!

"Being an Italian, Biagi wants to be around people and warmth. He's used to a big atmosphere. For him, England is not the most exciting of places, especially when you've come from Italy where you've got the sun shining, the women out, everyone happy...

"I'm a football fan and support Arsenal. One of my favourites is Thierry Henri who came from Juventus. He's young, and when he came over here he was missing opportunities and a lot of people were saying 'I dunno, he's not all that good, did we make a mistake with him?' and for some reason I always believed he could do it. I kept saying 'No, I think we should keep him on, play him more...' and then he started scoring more and more goals, as he started to feel at home, like Biagi. There are a lot of foreigners in Arsenal, so they can empathise with each other, they know that others are missing their homes as well. Earls Park doesn't have that at the moment, Biagi is the only foreigner.

"I've always enjoyed playing football and it keeps me out of trouble. I go to the gym and love water-skiing, so I guess I can look the part of a footballer, and we have our training sessions on set which keep us fit.

"I've always admired footballers and imagined what it must be like to score the goal in the last few seconds and have everyone applauding you, cheering you, and being the Number One, which is Biagi. I'm starting to live the role!"

As to the clothes: "Biagi has a definite Italian style about him. He will stand out without having to make an effort or go over the top. Some of the shirts I get to wear - I want them! And the sunglasses are fantastic... his shoes I love!

"I always wear a ponytail. My hair drives me mad. That's the only reason I keep it long - so I can keep it in a ponytail and under control. They wanted Biagi in a ponytail, and they keep putting loads of grease on it and slicking it down... ugh. Biagi has very slicked back hair, I don't. Not as slick as that!"