Former Aylesbury Grammar School pupil with extremely rare disability lands first major acting role in Netflix drama

A former Aylesbury Grammar School pupil has landed his first major acting role in a new drama series currently available on Netflix.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 4:41 pm
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 4:43 pm
Arthur Hughes as Ryan McDaniel in The Innocents - out now on Netflix

Arthur Hughes, 26, is one of the stars of The Innocents, a British supernatural drama which was released on the streaming service on August 24.

The series follows two teenagers - Harry and June - who run away together before June starts to display supernatural powers.

Arthur plays the role of Ryan McDaniel, June’s older brother.

He said: “I was in a play in London called Saint Joan (about Joan of Arc) and the casting director saw me and asked me to audition for a part in The Innocents.

“Originally the part that I was cast for was for a character in a wheelchair.

“I thought it was strange that I was asked so I said that in the audition.

“They were willing to talk about it and listen to my views on it and we changed it to reflect my disability.”

Arthur has radial dysplasia, an extremely rare condition that affects around one in 30,000 people.

The condition which Arthur has had since birth, means he has no thumb or radius bone on his right arm and that his right wrist is slightly disfigured.

He said: “Coming into acting I was worried what it would be like because you don’t see that many disabled actors around.

“I was worried it would hamper my chances of getting roles but actually I think it has opened doors for me.

“It is a testament to how things have changed that they were willing to accommodate my thoughts on things.

“Day-to-day people might look if I’m wearing short sleeves but it is not stopping me from doing what I want to do.”

Arthur credits Aylesbury Grammar School with helping him decide that a career in acting was what he wanted to pursue.

He said: “The drama opportunities came when I was 14 so ear nine and ten.

“We had a brand new drama studio and so in the last four years I was doing drama every week.

“I did all the school plays and I decided to apply for a drama school.

“Aylesbury Grammar School were very supportive.

“They warned me of the perils as life as an actor but I decided it was what I loved.

“When I got in I was over the moon.”

Arthur got a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

His current Netflix role is his first major role in TV with his only other TV credit an episode of Doctors in 2012.

Arthur now lives in London.

His family still live in Stewkley and he visits them between acting assignments.

Arthur left AGS in 2010 where he was part of the ‘Paterson’ house.