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Andrew Scott Doesn’t Want to Do ‘Too Much’ Darkness

By Emma Chance | TV | April 5, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | TV | April 5, 2024 |


Andrew Scott is my personal favorite actor precisely because of the way he does darkness; he plays complicated characters with messy, big feelings, but you want them to win every time. I’m thinking Moriarty in Sherlock, who was so crazy in comparison to the very dry lead detective that you couldn’t help but like him (or maybe that was just me and I should bring this up in therapy), and also, of course, Hot Priest from Fleabag, one of my favorite performances of all time, period.

Hot Priest was after his role as a villain in the 2015 Bond movie Spectre, and he said the character was a welcome change.

“If I’m honest, it’s not a territory that I feel like I would want to go over again,” he said of villainy last year when he was promoting All of Us Strangers. “Now I know who I am a little bit more, I feel like the work that I’m just interested in doing is more in the gray areas.”

He’s currently starring as the famous conman Tom Ripley in the new Netflix adaptation of the famous Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, and he insists the character exists in that gray area.

“I see him absolutely as an antihereo, but he’s the protagonist. He’s not the antagonist, so we’re seeing it through his eyes, that’s the whole part of it. It’s certainly dark…it’s a definite thing after you play somebody dark like that who has a completely different ideology to you, it’s different, you spend a lof of time in a dark place and don’t want to do it too much, but it was a great honor to play this character because he’s so multifaceted,” he said.

He was especially excited to have “the opportunity to spend this amount of time with this character, who appears in about 90-plus percent of the scenes.”

“It was a huge amount of acting, but I thought it was really witty, and I thought it was just economically, beautifully and sort of scintillatingly written and seemed to have a real respect for the book without having too much reverence for it, made it very visual. I think the pacing and the look of the story is genuinely singular and unique,” he explained. I could listen to him ramble on about film all day long, and guys who ramble on about film are usually the worst kind!

Show creator Steven Zaillian says Scott was cast because he looked the part.

“I love the look of Andrew. Andrew has an incredible face,” and this I have to emphasize because it is an exceptionally good face, I think because he always looks just kinda sleepy, which is endearing as hell, “And he’s complicated in the way I felt the character was,” also known as darkness. “I’d seen him as Moriarty [in Sherlock], I’d seen him as the priest in Fleabag, and I thought just between those two roles that’s a big range. And we’ve got, I think, both ends of that and other things in between.”

So, what I’m hearing is, just enough of that good good Andrew Scott darkness we know and love.

All eight episodes of Ripley are streaming now on Netflix.