Below is the Richard Armitage Spooks interview and transcription
transcribed and uploaded by bccmee
Note: the transcription below will make it easier for you to translate this page. Google Translate is my favorite.
Question: What’s in store for Lucas this season?
Yeah it’s been a very interesting journey again. They’ve done it yet again. They’ve brought in some brilliant characters for us to play this year — play with this year. We’ve got Sophia Myles playing Beth, Max Brown playing Dimitri, Simon Russell Beale as the new Home Secretary. Iain Glen as Vaughn Edwards who’s a ghost from Lucas’ past. We’ve explored Lucas’ past quite a lot in Spooks but we go much further back to when he was a snip of a boy in his early 20’s and this character was in his life, as was a character called Maya Lahan who’s played by Laila Rouass. They were in a relationship together and that’s what kicks off Lucas’ journey through series 9.
Question: How does season 9 start?
Sadly we start with Ros’ death — Ros’ funeral should I say — at the beginning of episode one. Yeah, she’s greatly missed actually.
Interviewer >>> On set as well?
Yeah, yeah. I mean we all really miss her because she was such good fun to work with and such a dry sense of humour that we miss her, a lot.
Question: How would you like Lucas to die?
Actually before I joined, you think, "Okay if I join this series, I’ll only do it if they kill this character in a really good way." Because I think it is kind of a Spooks trademark. I think when Lisa Faulkner got her head put into the chip fryer in episode 2 of the first series it was so shocking because you didn’t expect a character like that to go so quickly and they’ve done it a lot. They’ll take a character away when you least expect it. And the way that it’s done is crucial as well because there is a lot of violence on television and violence for violence’s sake never quite rocks you in a way that — you know when violence really hurts, and I don’t mean physically I mean when it really kind of affects you — it kind of shakes you a bit. I think Alex Lanipekun when that character was … in the last series that was the one that really shocked me. The way that it was done, who it was done by. But I have asked them to really think about a death that wouldn’t necessarily be a violent death. I quite like the idea of a non-violent death. I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about all sorts of things. I’ve thought about drowning.because that’s kind of a personal fear for me. So yeah, I don’t know, something kind of peaceful I suppose. Or a holiday in Majorca.
Question: Will Lucas die this season?
It’s one of the deals I did with them at the beginning. I said when it’s time, do it well. You don’t have to tell me about it because they do like to bring you in and say, "Okay, this is what we’ve got planned" And I say do with the character the best thing that you want to do just do it well. So I still don’t know if he’s going to be around for series 10.
Question: How deep is Lucas’ past revisited this season?
This thing that comes in from the past starts to peel back layers which we’ve always done with him. But we get much deeper and we start to find out who he really is because with all of these characters we are designed as spies to inhabit other people. I think in episode 4 or 5, I give Beth and Dimitri two boxes with their legend in them and it’s a passport and an identity which they then have to learn and adopt. And I think the characters are very skilled actors and so even though we feel we know the characters and their relationships to each other can you ever really know who they are? Because they’re designed to conceal. So we start to question that and who’s hiding what and who are these people, and who is Lucas really? Because he’s a master. His skills are all about deception.
Question: Lucas seems to be hiding something. What is it?
It’s interesting because I didn’t realize he was until the writers presented me with the script and then you realize that Lucas has never had Harry’s trust. He’s always fought for Harry’s trust. He’s always really wanted it badly and he’s never got it. And he sort of gets it because Harry promotes him to the Head of Section. And there’s something about Ros as well, the way that Ros used to look at Lucas. She would always hold something back. She never quite trusted him. But he didn’t know why.
Question: What’s the secret to the success of Spooks?
Exactly what we’ve been talking about. The fact that all of the characters live on a knife edge in a way. I think the ticking bomb every week is crucial to driving individual episodes along. But watching the characters forge these relationships based on a foundation that can crack at any moment. These characters put themselves out there and in a way are prepared to give their life for their country on a daily basis. I don’t know that that’s what they really do at MI-5. Possibly not. But that’s what we do in the dramatic terms. And I think that that strengthens their relationships to each other because they realize that life is so transient. Tomorrow I could go into a factory and have my head put into a chip fryer. But I think that’s what keeps Spooks alive because you know that no character is ever safe.
Question: What’s been your favourite Lucas North moment so far?
I found the stuff in episode 4 of the last series with this character Darshavin where I had to go back into the Russian prison and re-live this moment where he took himself to the point of hanging himself. I found that quite challenging because it was just a stage direction: Lucas considers hanging himself. Then the director put a camera in a room and said, "Okay, you take as much time as you like. You find your way onto a chair and put your head in a noose." That was really difficult because it’s not just a question of standing on a chair and putting your head in a noose. It’s psychologically how does a character get to that point in the room? It’s something you don’t ever consider. The three minutes before someone’s going to do something as shocking as that, what’s going through their mind? And I had to try and achieve that. So that was a big challenge. From an outside point of view, there was a brilliant shoot-out in the episode when we were pursuing Connie And there was a shoot-out in the street which involved Ros and Harry. And Harry rarely gets off the Grid so it was brilliant to play that action sequence. And there was a sniper; we were being followed by the Russians and we were down in the Tubes And I love all that side of it when you get out in the street.
Question: How’s Harry coping this season?
Yeah, he’s struggling. He’s struggling with the deception I think. It’s a bit like a child disappointing a father. So there’s that relationship happening. But he’s firing on all engines. He gets off the Grid as well. We’ve got another season finale coming which is similar to the one I just described with the shoot-out. We haven’t shot any of it yet so I’m really looking forward to that.
Question: Will this be the last season for Spooks?
It was before we started shooting, that rumour. Maybe it was a good thing that that rumour was out there because I think everyone went "no way" and everyone’s upped their game. I think the writers have come in with some really exciting scripts and I think everyone’s been — it’s good in a way. The thing that Spooks does best, killing its characters keeps everyone on their toes. In a way, the prospect of Spooks itself being killed has made everyone go, "Right, we’ve got to work harder." "We’ve got to make this the best series of Spooks ever so they can’t possibly kill it." That’s I think how we’ve been operating this year.
Question: Should Spooks make a movie?
I’ve said it from the beginning. This is another thing I think is very important that you don’t let the series die. And I’m sure they’re watching it the whole time thinking, "Okay, at what point do we say enough?" Because it shouldn’t die. There should be enough suspension to make a movie of Spooks. I think it would be brilliant. I think it’s finding the right storyline. Every time I see the producers I’m saying, "Come on, Olympics 2012. Come on, do it. Make a film. Bring Tom Quinn back. Bring Zoe Reynolds back." You’ve got movie stars ready to get up and running. I think it would be fantastic. And it would be great to see — I mean one of the things Spooks has done brilliantly is put London visually on the screen and shoot London beautifully. To see that on the big screen would be very exciting.
Question: You star in Strike Back too. What draws you to these actions based roles?
I’m sure while I can breathe and get my leg over a horse I’m sure I’ll be asked to do action again. And fine, whatever it is that keeps me in work. But I’m semi-conscious of picking something which doesn’t necessarily have a violent content. I feel like I’m getting to be associated with violence and I’m really not a violent person which is probably why it’s easy to act. So yeah, I’d like to do something nice and calm and all about love.
Question from Twitter: Who would win in an arm wrestle between Lucas and Harry?
Harry’s already beat me in an arm-wrestle. Every time we’re rehearsing in the Grid he always takes me out. I swear his guns are like this. I’m like … straight away. So yeah, Harry every time.
Interviewer>>> You have to keep practicing.
I do, yeah.
Interviewer>>> Okay, fabulous! Thank you.
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