The Endeavour actor talks Fawlty Towers, detective dramas and Irene Adler in Sherlock
By Claire Webb - Radio Times
What can’t you miss?
I watch Channel 4 News every day. I love it. I rarely watch any other news programme. There’s just something about it – and I’m not talking about Jon Snow’s ties and socks, but I appreciate those too.
What makes you reach for the off switch?
I don’t understand The Only Way Is Essex and Made in Chelsea: the way they pretend there’s no camera. I cannot fathom the attraction.
Who’d be your ideal dinner guest?
Beyonce. I’m sure she’d be good company.
Have you ever been star struck?
I’m not that kind of person.
Film of choice?
I recently saw Rust and Bone, which I would recommend. It’s about a woman who works at a marine park and has an accident. It’s a great story and really well told.
My brother and I loved ThunderCats and Robin Williams coming out of an egg in Mork & Mindy. At the time I thought it was funny but looking back it was a crazy concept!
We rarely see you smile on screen. What makes you laugh?
When I was in my late teens I discovered Fawlty Towers and Monty Python and they still make me laugh.
Are you an opera fan like Morse?
I can appreciate the virtuosity of it but would I elect to listen to it when I’m not working? Probably not. I really like Malcolm McLaren’s version of Madame Butterfly but that’s where it begins and ends for me.
Do you enjoy detective dramas?
When they’re done really well, I think they’re hugely satisfying. My favourites are Columbo and a brilliant Italian drama I chanced upon called Inspector Montalbano. It’s similar to Endeavour in that place is a really important part of it: you enjoy the amazing villas of Sicily but it’s not overpowering.
Did you watch your old Wreckers co-star Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock?
I’ve only seen one episode of it – the one with Irene Adler – but I thought it was great: it looked beautiful, too.
And Adler stripped. Do you think Morse would benefit from a naked arch-nemesis?
There’s always a place for nudity!
Were you apprehensive about how Endeavour would be received?
I wasn’t, actually. There’s no room for that because ultimately you’re paid to do what you can. If you’re full of fear and anxiety then it impedes you doing your job. It’s not because I’m cocky but because there’s no time to be scared.
Was the pilot popular in the US?
I think so. When I went over there to promote it, I toned down my Liverpudlian accent. You’ve got to play the game, haven’t you? If you present yourself too differently then it’s hard for people to believe it. That’s why I worry about doing personal interviews like this...
Can we look forward to a second series of Endeavour?
I’ve no idea at this stage.
Would you be keen?
If there’s an audience and we can continue telling good stories then definitely.