Getting To Know “9-1-1” Star Oliver Stark

Oliver StarkPhoto Credit: Will Cohen

Oliver Stark has quickly made a name for himself in the US and abroad for the dynamic characters he has brought to life in film, television, and on stage. This year, the British actor can be seen reprising his starring role as confident and compassionate firefighter Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley in FOX’s smash hit drama series 9-1-1. The series, created by Ryan Murphy, debuted in 2017 and drew in over 15 million viewers making it the #1 new broadcast drama of the season. Stark instantly became a fan favorite as viewers watched Buck and the rest of the cast explore high pressure experiences of first responders who are thrust into frightening, shocking and heart stopping situations. He then went on to star in the AMC martial arts based drama Into the Badlands; additional television credits include: the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series Luther, opposite Idris Elba, NBC’s Dracula, and the BBC’s BAFTA winning Casualty. Here, we chat with the English heartthrob about life, love, and why taking a moment to smell the roses really is the greatest luxury in life.

Oliver StarkPhoto Credit: Will Cohen

You are now on your 6th season of 9-1-1 on FOX, what has it been like playing Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley over the years, and has he changed from season one, to now?

It’s really been such a wonderful experience. I honestly do feel like me and the character have been on this journey together, growing and finding out who we are! There have definitely been times when the lines between our livers have felt a little blurred. I think we’ve both matured and learnt to love ourselves a little more across the 6 seasons.

What can viewers expect from this year’s season of 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is constantly trying to find ways to one-up itself! Each season feels bigger and bigger whether that be on the action side of things or the emotional. I also think there’s a desire to bring back the fun. Season 5 was quite a dark season but I think season 6 is back to that really beautiful mixture of light hearted good times and the emotional sledgehammers every now and then!

Oliver StarkPhoto Credit: Will Cohen

What kind of research did you complete to prepare for your role on the show, and do you have any sort of fitness routine to stay in shape playing a firefighter?

We always have firefighter consultants on set and lots of our background artists are retired firefighters so we often turn to them for advice. Fitness is definitely a big part of my life. I feel a pressure, in a good way, to represent the athleticism of these real life heroes and because of that have come to find great reward in health and fitness.

Do you have any favorite episodes from over the years that you can share with us? Or any favorite guest stars who have joined the show?

I think the tsunami episodes, which is how we opened season 3, will always have a special place in my heart! It was such a ginormous undertaking by the whole crew and it really came off. I’m so proud of everyone’s work that went into creating such spectacle for television! Dee Wallace and Gregory Harrison who played my parents were really great guest stars. I had such fun with them – and they may well be making an appearance again in season 6.

We read that you were born in the UK. Did you always know you wanted to be an actor, and when did you come to the US to pursue a career in film and TV?

I came to the US when I was 24. I’d already been working for a few years as an actor back home but it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to do as a kid. I was much more interested in being a football (soccer?) star back then!

Oliver StarkPhoto Credit: Will Cohen

What has been your favorite role to date, out of all the projects you have worked on?

Easily 9-1-1. The experience I’ve gained. The friendship and the family from my colleagues. It’s been more than a job to me and I’m forever grateful.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

I think being able to take the time to slow down. Shooting can feel very hectic and go, go, go. Luxury for me is about being able to withdraw, disappear into nature, and remind myself of what is truly important.