Thu 18 Feb 2016, 12:00
Interview with Tom Hiddleston about AMC's new series.
The Night Manager on AMC (140) hits our screens soon and promises to be immensely intruiging, The new thriller premieres at 20:00 on Monday 22 February.
A man of morals, see how Pine reacts with Burr:
The Night Manager is proving to be a series worth talking about - lead role Tom Hiddleston gives us some insight into his expreiences as Jonathan Pine:
Could you start by telling us about your character in The Night Manager?
I play Jonathan Pine who, at the beginning of the story, is a lost soul. He is the night manager of a five star hotel in the ski resort of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, living an almost monastic life, literally and figuratively buried in snow, silence and darkness.
I think he is a mystery to all men and to himself – the uniform and the face he prepares to meet others is a mask that protects him from having to know who he is. Behind an immaculate three-piece suit, immaculate tie, polished black shoes and impeccable manners, he almost has no character because he is filled with guilt and shame because of what has happened in his past. He is a former soldier who has served two tours in Iraq, so though he has disbanded from the military, he is still a serviceman – he is just serving the hotel now as opposed to in the army.
What drew you to this exciting project?
I was sent the first episode by my London agent, telling me that Simon and Stephen Cornwell – John le Carré’s sons – were seeing who might be interested in a television adaptation of The Night Manager. I read the first episode, and from the very beginning, I was completely hooked into the story and the character. I fell in love with it immediately.
Credit: Des Willie
Pine (Tom Hiddleston) © 2015 The Night Manager Limited. All Rights Reserved.
What appealed to you about the character of Jonathan Pine?
The character appealed to me because I knew, as an actor, I was going to have to operate at the highest level of my intellectual and physical ability because he is a field agent, but also has to be smart enough to go undercover. I found his nobility, courage and morality very appealing – he is actually a very moral character and is filled with le Carré’s own moral authority about the world. There is a certain line that you can feel underneath all of le Carré’s work which is a very robust moral foundation: a belief in right and wrong; in decency and its opposite.
What has Academy Award-winning director, Susanne Bier brought to the project?
Susanne is a crusader for the truth and has an extraordinarily rigorous compass for what seems natural and plausible as sequential storytelling. I don’t think I have ever worked with a director who has such an incredibly instinctive authority over what she will allow in terms of what she believes, which is so important in a story like this. It is very easy in a spy drama – or in anything that requires a procedural cohesion – for people to make compromises because it looks good or it’s easier for the schedule. The excuse is the audience won’t see it, but the audience will see it and so does she. With Susanne, the stitching is so fine and intricately woven that there are no loop holes and no fuzzy plot points – she doesn’t let anything go and is unbelievably rigorous about story and piecing together the puzzle in an appropriate way so that it really holds as a narrative.
Why does Pine feel compelled to help Burr and risk his life by going undercover to expose Roper?
I think Jonathan is looking for a reason to live. Of course, he is physically alive and he has a job, but is hidden away on a mountain in Switzerland and working nights in a hotel. I don’t think it is a vocation, I think it’s a comfort because the discipline and the patience and the manner required is something that is familiar to him from the army. When Burr comes to find Pine, she reawakens something at the heart of him which has been lying dormant for some time and which is, I think, his moral fibre and anger. It is moral anger that is shared, as far as I can tell, by John le Carré, which is that there are people doing things in this world who should be stopped. And that somehow he feels brave enough to take on.
Catch The Night Manager on AMC (140), 20:00 on Monday 22 February.