For most people, turning 18 means being able to buy alcohol and vote in elections. For Louis Partridge, who reached the milestone in June 2021, it meant he was old enough to shoot the edgier scenes as Sex Pistols bass player Sid Vicious in Hulu/Disney+ TV series Pistol.

“The drug-taking scenes, the sex scene between Sid and Nancy, and the blood and gore,” says the young actor, now aged 19. “Talk about being thrown into the adult world with a bang.”

Partridge is known to millions of Netflix viewers as the floppy-haired young Viscount Tewkesbury opposite Millie Bobby Brown in Victorian-­era teen-detective feature Enola Holmes — a casting that has helped him garner 7.5 million followers on Instagram. But he secured his Pistol role after a series of self-tapes and meetings with director Danny Boyle and the casting team, rather than on the basis of previous screen work. “That’s probably for the best, because if you take a look at Enola Holmes, I don’t think you see Sid Vicious in there,” he says.

The actor discovered a love of performing while playing dress-up at home (“I liked attention from my sisters and mum — just making people laugh”), and had his horizons broadened when, aged 14, he watched Manchester By The Sea and Whiplash. “I didn’t know films could do that, and I was just amazed.” By that time, he had already attended acting summer camps, and worked as an extra or in small roles on stage, in short films, in Joe Wright’s Peter Pan and in Paddington 2. Aged 15, he signed to Independent and quickly landed Enola Holmes.

In another “pinch-me moment”, he begins work in London and Tuscany on Apple series Disclaimer, written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron and executive produced by Cate Blanchett, who also stars. “I play a 19-year-old backpacker who’s going around Italy with his girlfriend when the mystery starts unfolding,” says the actor, who also has Enola Holmes 2 in the can, and is attached to the Legendary-backed Ferryman, the feature-directing debut of screenwriter Kelly Marcel.

“With acting, there’s just so many decisions you can make,” he says of his enjoyment of the craft. “There’s no wrong answer, and an insane freedom. When you lose yourself doing a scene, it’s as good as it gets for me.”

Contact: Giacomo Palazzo, Independent Talent