Freddy Carter – the mysterious Kaz Brekker in Shadow and Bone

Photographer: Joseph Sinclair

Stylist: Ella Gaskell

Groomer: Nadia Altinbas

If you are charmed by the fantasy genre, where a long series of events intertwines with the adventures of protagonists with a complex personality in unreal places, you cannot miss “Shadow and Bone“, a TV series adapted from the first novel of the fantasy duology Six of Crows, set in the world of Grisha, written by the American authoress Leigh Bardugo.  The novel is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Alina Starkov, a teen orphan who grew up in Ravka, a fantasy world inspired by Tsarist Russia in the 1800s, with breathtaking costumes and special effects. 



On the occasion of its release on Netflix, Mondadori republished the novel with a new graphic and the title “Shadow and Bone” on 3rd November 2020. 

Freddy Carter, a film director, is also an extraordinary actor who plays the role of Kaz Brekker, a mysterious criminal, in Shadow and Bone. As you can perceive from his work as a director, with his short film “No. 89“, even in the guise of an actor, he can combine a subtle and sharp irony with tragic situations, with an unexpected rhythm that makes you feel dizzy. He stages stories and relationships among characters in the most innovative way possible. 



Mr. Brekker is a cold and detached individual with a mysterious charm who hides a past that turns out to be eye-opening and will reveal his temperament. His eyes unveil an unsolved pain mixed with a thirst for revenge. He is a clever criminal prodigy who does not trust even his closest friends. The eight episodes reserve many surprises about the characters and their evolution. 

Freddy was born in 1993, he spent his formative years at the Oxford School of Drama. His first theater experiences were followed by the first performance on the big screen in the movie Wonder Woman, where he played the role of a soldier. However, he got the fame he deserved when he played the character of Peter, called Pin, in Free Rein. 

We know you wrote and produced the short film “No. 89” with Caroline Ford and your brother Tom Austen. Would you talk about it? 

“I think that “No. 89” is one of the works that I am most proud of. Seeing a project developing from the initial idea, through the production, to its conclusion has been very fulfilling. It has been a pleasure working with Caroline and Tom: they are both talented actors who made my job much easier. I have been affected by the “movie direction virus” because now I am working on my second short film “Broken Gargoyles” which will be shot in the next few weeks.”



In which series have you felt most at ease? Besides interpreting the cold Mr. Brekker, we have also seen you play the role of Pin Hawthorne in Free Rein. 

“I have been so lucky to work on a wide range of TV programs with different tones, themes, and targets. I enjoyed working on Free Rein. It is rare to play the same character for three years – eventually, I felt like I knew who Pin really was. But I admit that Kaz Brekker has been my favorite role so far. He is so complex and there is always something more under the surface: it is a real challenge.” 

By the way, do you like riding a horse? Which are your hobbies off the set? 

“I love riding a horse, I miss it so much and hope to go back to it soon. Besides acting, my greatest passion is photography. I started taking pictures of my colleagues on the set of Free Rein. It was born as a distraction to kill time and then I fell in love with it. It is a way to remember all the emotional adventures that I am lucky to experience.”


Shadow and Bone is a hymn to friendship and the importance of an alley to achieve goals. Which role does the presence of a partner play in your life? Do you want to tell us about a specific experience? 

“This is so true. The topic of the family is very important in the books and it is also evident in the TV show. I think I had a similar experience with the cast of “Shadow and Bone” in Budapest. We all arrived in that new city alone, nobody knew each other, but we soon got closer and created a small family.”

Do you have any projects? Either as a director or as an actor. 

“I am very excited to start filming a new miniseries called “Masters of the Air” for Apple TV. I will work with the same team of “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific”, this is a dream coming true for me because I loved that series. As a director, we are getting ready to shoot “Broken Gargoyles” in London within a few weeks!”

What does it mean today to be a film director? Does he/she have a responsibility in the choice of the topics? 

“I think it is fundamental to put some elements of hope in the stories we tell. The pandemic and the various lockdowns have shown how necessary entertainment and the arts are for people’s well-being. So, as long as artists do not lose hope, everything will be fine.”

Curated by Francesca Romana Riggio

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