David Thewlis Discusses His Role in “An Inspector Calls”

David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) will next be seen on our screen in BBC’s new feature length adaptation of the classic J.B. Priestly play An Inspector Calls. In the drama, Thewlis will take on the role of Inspector Goole, a mysterious character whose investigation into the death of a young girl tears apart the peaceful world of the Birling family.

The play was first staged after the Second World War and revived by Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry at the National Theatre in 1992, before running in the West End and Broadway for many years. Thewlis commented,

I’ve not done TV for a long, long time. I’ve managed to stay in film for a long time, but it was just something I was very keen on. I saw the production at the National years ago and remember being rather blown away by it. I thought it was a fantastic, strong piece of writing, and I bought it and read it, and it always stayed in my head.

The actor admits to being relieved that BBC did not try to change or update the story to fit a new generation.

I think it’s supposed to be timeless in its message. Fundamentally, if you had to explain that message to a child it would be, ‘Don’t be selfish,’ which I think stands up pretty well today.

An Inspector Calls is required reading for lots of students all over the UK since it forms part of the English GCSE curriculum, so did he feel any extra pressure as a result of this?

It feels a privilege, to be honest. Knowing it’s not just going out on TV and then will be forgotten about but that people may discuss it and use it as part of their education. It’s a well-respected and well-studied piece, and I hope I’ve done it justice!

The actor also revealed that he often get stopped in the street by fans who want to talk about his work on the Harry Potter films.

I now get lots of mums coming up to me, and they’ll turn to their children and say, ‘So you know who this is, don’t you?’ Of course, [the kids] don’t have a clue; it’s their parents who grew up with Harry Potter, but I don’t mind. It’s not that many actors [who] get a chance to be part of something so huge, and if you can make someone happy with a quick autograph or an anecdote about what it was like on set then that’s an incredible privilege.

Thewlis will co-star in the adaptation alongside former Potter alumna Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter), who will be taking on the role of Sybil Birling. Check out a trailer below:

An Inspector Calls airs on BBC1 at 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 13. Are you excited for this new adaptation? Let us know your thoughts!

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