The BBC Media Centre has just issued the full press pack for the upcoming thriller Blackout, screening from July 4 2012. Below is the full interview with Andrew Scott from the release, where he discusses the series and compares his role as Detective Dalien Bevan in Blackout to Jim Moriarty in Sherlock, as well as an additional synopsis for the series that places a greater emphasis on Andrew’s character over the first press piece.
For the full Blackout press pack, including interviews with Christopher Eccleston, Dervla Kirwan, and MyAnna Buring, head over to the BBC Media Centre.
Christopher Eccleston is joined by Dervla Kirwan (Injustice, The Silence) and Ewen Bremner (Page Eight, Perfect Sense) in this original three-part drama for BBC One, produced by Red Production Company (Exile, Single Father).
Also starring are Bafta winner Andrew Scott (Sherlock, The Hour), Lyndsey Marshal (Garrow’s Law, Being Human), Rebecca Callard (32 Brinkburn Street, Robin Hood), MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga, Any Human Heart) and Branka Katic (The Jury II, Big Love).
Blackout follows Daniel Demoys (Eccleston), a stranger in his own life. Over the years he has gone from being an idealistic young man with a burning desire to make the world a better place, to a disillusioned and corrupt council official. His alcoholism has driven a wedge between him and wife, Alex (Kirwan), and their three children. The fallout from his alcohol fuelled actions prove agonising for all around him.
When Daniel wakes up after another drunken night, he realises that he might be responsible for a murder. A dramatic act of redemption buys him public adoration, so much so that he has become a candidate in the race for Mayor, persuaded by council official Jerry Durrans (Bremner), and lawyer sister Lucy (Marshal).
The public’s opinion of Daniel as a straight talking everyday hero couldn’t be higher. They are enthralled by his no nonsense determination not to treat the electorate like fools and by his openness about his personal problems and struggle with addiction.
As his public star rises ever higher and he tries to repair the damage done to his private life, he is painfully aware that it could all come crashing down at any moment. With Detective Dalien Bevan (Scott) hot on his trail and determined to gain respect in the force, he could be just the person to do this.
Daniel’s deepening relationships with Bevan’s ex-wife Sylvie (Buring), hospital nurse Donna (Katic), and the murdered man’s daughter Ruth (Callard), he finds himself in even more of a tangled web than he could ever have imagined.
Blackout was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning, and Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One. The producer is Matthew Bird (Death In Paradise, The Street) and director is Tom Green (Misfits, Kid). Executive Producers are Christopher Aird for BBC, Nicola Shindler for Red Production Company, and written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Prisoner).
Interview with Andrew Scott who stars in the new BBC One drama Blackout.
Could you tell us about your character Detective Bevan and his role in Blackout?
Bevan is a very elusive character. I would say that after Sherlock I was looking to do something quite different and I suppose if Moriarty is a winner in certain aspects then you could say that Bevan would be perceived as a bit of a loser. He finds it very difficult to get on at work and also at home. He comes from a broken home, he’s been separated from his wife and kids for some time and he’s quite a sad character. The interesting thing about it for me is that he’s always changing. He’s a very surprising character in that sense. In one scene he’s a loser and then in another scene you might see him differently. He’s good at his job but underappreciated at the same time. He’s a kind of fascinating character to play and quite melancholy.
Early on we see Bevan and Detective Griffin (Danny Sapani) together. What is their relationship like and how is Bevan perceived in the force?
The word I would use is he’s ‘bullied’ by Griffin. He doesn’t have a very great manner about him and he hasn’t got the social skills to fit in. So like a lot of people who are bullied, people don’t see how talented he actually could be. What we discover throughout the series is that Bevan actually becomes quite obsessive about trying to get his job done and trying to find the truth.
The true line for Bevan’s character is that he’s a guy who wants to find out the truth. Whether he wants to find out the truth professionally or about what’s happening in his personal life, he’s very obsessive about that. I hope that the audience empathises with him because he’s got a lot of vulnerability about him, like a lot of these guys. I think we all know what it’s like when you feel incredibly frustrated.
You mentioned the difference between Bevan and Moriarty – how is this role different from other roles you’ve played in the past?
It is different and I like to do quite different things, going from one extreme to the other. I wouldn’t say he’s the complete opposite extreme of Moriarty, we’re still involved in the crime world, but there are differences. He is by no means a snappy dresser! It was liberating to play someone who people wouldn’t really look at in the street. He’s invisible in a weird way, people don’t respect him and he’s lost his mojo. He’s a lonely character.
Tell us a bit more about his relationship with Sylvie (MyAnna Buring)?
Bevan loves Sylvie desperately, and he finds it enormously difficult not to be able to see his children. Due to his slightly obsessive nature he goes about it the wrong way with Sylvie because he loves her so much. He probably smothers her a little bit too much, and that’s the reason that she chooses to get away. But it’s not for any dark reasons, although it may appear at times that he’s a dark character. He’s just very frustrated and talking to fathers who come from broken homes, that is something that they find terribly difficult having gone from seeing their children every day to not being able to see them at all. That’s what leads him to do some of the extreme things that he does.
How was it working with MyAnna Buring?
It was brilliant working with MyAnna, we had a fantastic time. It was nice that we didn’t have a huge amount of time together, even though our storylines are intertwined, the scenes that we do have really pack a punch. They don’t over-use them together. We see them on their single journeys quite a bit. She’s a really wonderful actress and very generous and kind to work with.
Can you tell us about the style of the drama?
There’s a very noir-ish vibe to the whole thing. It’s naturalism in the sense that it’s very truthfully written, but you wouldn’t describe it as an everyday naturalistic drama. There’s definitely a style to it, particularly with the main characters. The characters are normal but in extreme situations, and the way that we styled ourselves and our performances are on the same note.
What was working with director Tom Green like, and how did you go about preparing for the role?
I was very interested this time around in the way the character looked. We spent a lot of time discussing how Bevan would look and Tom was very open to all suggestions. A lot of his references are very filmic. I went in to meet him he really responded to my ideas about my character. Originally Bevan was described as a ‘big fridge of a man’ which obviously I am not. I wanted to bring my own take to it and make him more of a mental rather than physical fridge, if you can see what I mean. So Tom was very collaborative and creative and I had a great time with him.
How is Bevan involved with Daniel (Christopher Eccleston’s character)?
It’s very ambiguous as to what information Bevan has about Daniel. That ambiguity is very important. The audience probably know more about what the link between Bevan and Daniel is than Daniel and Bevan do. Throughout the three parts they’re moving closer and closer together, and that’s what you should feel. We know that they’re linked but we don’t know exactly how and how much. That’s what makes it interesting. When they do meet I felt that scene between Chris and myself very electrifying to play. I’ve worked with Chris before (Lennon Naked), so I know how much of a brilliant actor he is and I really enjoyed our scenes together.
So what was it like working with Chris again?
It was terrific. He’s incredibly generous and he’s always been very supportive to me. He’s got a really good eye for what the story is, and I think people have an association with Chris and very high quality acting and pieces. I’m thrilled to have worked with him again, I think he’s one of our best actors.
What made you want to become involved in the drama?
I thought it was very different. When I first read it I didn’t know exactly what it was, which always helps. You think, this is a story that I don’t know already and I was interested to see what way they were going to produce it. The thing that drew me to it was the great story, and chiefly it was such a departure from the last thing I filmed, which was Sherlock. It was nice to be able to do the flip side and be playing a detective rather than a criminal. There’s also a family drama at the centre of it as well which is really interesting. I think it’s got a dark sensibility but it’s very accessible and colourful.
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