Wed 17 Feb 2016, 08:00
New series The Night Manager shows Elizabeth in a different light.
Get ready for thrills with The Night Manager on AMC (140). The intriguing new thriller is bound to get you hooked when it premieres at 20:00 on Monday 22 February.
Starring actors Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman and Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager is proving to be a series worth getting into.
We chat to Elizabeth Debicki about her role as Jed Marshall, see what she had to say:
What was your reaction when you initially got the script and got the call about this project?
I think the script and calibre of the writing was so incredible, it instantly drew me into it. I think when you are working with something that is based on le Carré, the thriller aspect of it is riveting to read and I also just fell in love with the character. And, of course, having someone like Susanne Bier directing – that combination was diabolical, so I just had to be involved.
When we meet your character, Jed, at the start of the season she is a vision of glamour and sophistication. Can you tell me a little bit of what is going on underneath?
Jed is Roper’s mistress, girlfriend, lover, partner in crime. I think she is, for want of a better cliché, a bit of a swan – she is very serene on top and desperately paddling underneath. She is self-made and not unlike Jonathan Pine in the sense that she’s a chameleon and she adapts to whatever environment she finds herself in. When we first meet her, she has adapted to be Roper’s mistress and that role calls for high maintenance glamour and a kind of cheery disposition and wit.
What do you think Tom Hiddleston brings to the role of Jonathan Pine?
Tom is an incredible actor and he has an amazing ability. What’s interesting about Jonathan Pine is that he has all these different personas that he is juggling at once. He’s a different man with Jed and a different man with Roper, so we only ever really see the real Jonathan Pine when he is on his own. I think what Tom brings to the role is this kind of clandestine, chameleon, almost ninja-like ability to slip out of the shadows and be these different forms of Jonathan Pine. I think it is a testament to Tom’s ability as an actor, the way he swivels out of these different personas.
How does Jed react to Pine?
When they first meet each other, I think that Jed is intrigued by him because he is handsome and she is bored. When we meet her at the beginning of the story, Jed has an air of entitlement and I think she finds him interesting so she feels like she is going to have a little bit of harmless fun. That changes the next time they meet each other – it is under very different circumstances – so their relationship instantly shifts.
What was it like working with Hugh Laurie?
I suppose you should hate Richard Roper, but you can’t because of Hugh. He’s so intelligent, funny and likeable, and you sort of admire the character because he is a self-made billionaire. Although morally what he is doing is completely wrong, he is also doing it with such aplomb that you are almost fascinated by it and you can’t help but tip your hat. It is a really interesting character to watch and I think what Hugh does is really humanise someone who could be very black and white. I feel like when you watch Roper you love and hate him equally at the same time, which is amazing.
What was the most enjoyable part about working on the project?
For me, the most enjoyable parts were when we got to play scenes with the three of us because of that tension. Though the story really builds, I feel like each character is dismantled by what is happening to them to the point where nobody really knows what anyone wants or who they are. That kind of tension is amazing to play as an actor – you have so much to draw on, so much juice. Also, working with Susanne was such a dream as she really is ruthless in what she asks you to do as an actress - and the relationship that we developed as actor and director was really incredible.
Get hooked by The Night Manager on AMC (140), 20:00 on Monday 22 February.