The actor Jamie Dornan said he has been left scarred by playing a serial killer in BBC2’s The Fall, the channel’s most popular – and most violent – new drama for 20 years.
The Belfast-set series about a family man who is also a psychopath was acclaimed by critics but came under fire for its scenes of violence against women, described in one newspaper as “the most repulsive drama ever broadcast on British TV”.
Dornan, the former underwear model who will star in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, said: “You can’t fail to be left slightly scarred by inhabiting someone like that for two seasons.
“I do carry elements of him with me in a worrying way. I find him relatable … I have a deep understanding of him and why he is why he is.”
Speaking at the launch of the second series on Tuesday alongside his co-star Gillian Anderson, Dornan said he would “scare myself” by absorbing some of the reactions of his character, the sexually motivated killer Paul Spector.
“He had such distaste for everything,” he added. “You do carry some of that anger and that hatred in you a little bit, especially towards the end of a few months playing him.”
Nearly four million viewers watched the final episode of the first series in June last year. The show’s writer, Allan Cubitt, who also directed the second series, defended its graphic scenes of violence against women, saying he hoped it would be seen as a feminist piece.
“Obviously there were a lot of people who thought the diametric opposite of that,” he said.
“But there were plenty of people who did understand what I was trying to achieve. In a sense it’s a dissection of a certain kind of male view, an exploration of misogyny.
“Anything that sets out to explore a complex and difficult subject like that always runs the risk of being held up as being an example of it, rather than a critique of it. Obviously if you think The Fall is misogynistic then I would have failed completely, abjectly.”
Cubitt, who previously wrote Prime Suspect 2, said he “did not self-censor” the second series as a result of the criticism. He said the French supernatural drama The Returned, shown on Channel 4 last year, was more violent and “overtly sensational” than The Fall.
Anderson, the former X-Files star who came to the end of her acclaimed run in the Young Vic’s A Streetcar Named Desire this month, said she would be keen for her character, the enigmatic DS Stella Gibson, to return in another series.
“Who she is and everything she stands for and how she operates, I find that very compelling and I don’t feel like I have really seen that before,” she said.
“She makes it very clear how she feels about violence against women, how these women are represented and how they are perceived. She is a supporter of women and women being treated respectfully and she doesn’t mince words. It’s in her bones. I like that about her.”
Asked if he was a feminist, Dornan said he would “never totally describe myself as a feminist. I have feminist values. I am well aware what my character is doing is wrong.”
He said the role had “totally transformed” his life and career, and hinted that his character could yet return, even after the end of the six-part second series which will begin on BBC2 later this year.From Evening Standard
Gillian Anderson has admitted she was “slightly shocked” at the direction of the new series of acclaimed thriller The Fall - but said she would “definitely” return to play the super-cool detective Stella Gibson.
Speaking at a special preview of the second season in London, the former X Files star said: “The series as a whole has been just kind of miraculous from the very beginning for me.”
The Fall, which was the most popular new drama on BBC Two for 20 years when it premiered last year, saw Anderson’s detective – dressed in modest yet sexy blouses - hunt a serial killer, Paul Spector, played by Jamie Dornan. The second series sees the search continue.
“I just think she is a very interesting character on television and not just because she is an island and enigmatic,” she said.
Anderson, 46, who has just finished an acclaimed run in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, said part of the appeal of the character created by writer-director Allan Cubitt was her attitudes on important issues.
“She makes it very clear on a semi-regular basis about how she feels about violence and about violence against women. She really is a supporter of women and women being treated respectfully. She doesn’t mince words when she speaks about it. It feels like it’s in her bones. I like that about her.”
She said the second series script was “one of the best things I had ever read” and she was “impressed” if“slightly shocked” by the direction of the second series and “how unpredictable some of the avenues are”.
And she would “definitely” be interested in playing the character again, possibly in an off-shoot series.
Dornan, 32, said playing a serial killer had definitely had an impact on him. “You can’t fail but be left slightly scarred by inhabiting somebody like that. I carry elements of him with me in a worrying way,” he said.
But it had also proved a game-changer. He was virtually unknown when cast, but won the leading role in the film version of 50 Shades of Grey after the first series.
“I feel this job [The Fall] has totally transformed my professional horizons. It totally changed my life,” he said. But Hollywood has not claimed him for good. “If Allan wants to keep writing Spector, I’m in.”
Cubitt revealed the “growing obsession” between his two creations develops in the new series but denied the series glamorised violence against women.
“It is in a sense a dissection of a certain kind of male view, an exploration of misogyny. If you explore a difficult and complex subject like that you always run the risk of being held up as an example of that rather than a critique of it.”
The new series will be broadcast this year but the date has not yet been confirmed.Via: jdornanlife