For his first in-person audition for upcoming Netflix miniseries One Day, Leo Woodall flew in from the Sicily set of HBO’s The White Lotus, shaking off his character’s Essex accent but unable to do anything about the ‘Cowabunga’ neck tattoo. Director Molly Manners and producer Nige Watson “breathed a sigh of relief” when the actor reassured them it was not permanent.

Still, it took four more auditions to land the coveted role of Dexter in the multi-episodic adaptation of David Nicholls’ 2009 bestseller, which catches up with two seemingly mismatched characters for one day (July 15) every year for two decades, beginning in 1988. This Is Going To Hurt’s Ambika Mod co-stars.

“God bless the costume designers and hair and make-up team, there were some funky looks,” says west Londoner Woodall. “Especially playing Dex, who wants to be super-trendy. There were some wild outfits — some I wouldn’t necessarily rock in my spare time.”

Woodall comes from an acting background — his father, stepfather and maternal grandmother all acted — but none exactly qualify as household names, and he was initially resistant to the profession. Then, aged 19, he “caught the bug”, and studied acting at ArtsEd performing arts school in Chiswick, graduating in 2019. He immediately landed the lead role in commercials director Taron Lexton’s upcoming feature Nomad, which has filmed in bursts on every continent of the world — Woodall plays a man who uncontrollably teleports from one place on the planet to the next, dealing with whatever conditions he encounters.

A small role in Anthony and Joe Russo’s 2021 feature Cherry ended up on the cutting-room floor — but the brothers cast Woodall as a jet pilot in Prime Video series Citadel, which they executive produce. He is currently shooting a major UK-set series for a streamer, about which he is permitted to reveal precisely nothing.

But it is The White Lotus that has made Woodall a rising star. “It’s changed a lot for me, and I’m really grateful for it,” says the actor.

Contact: Gavin Denton-Jones, Denton Brierley