Jim Broadbent Talks Role in “London Spy”
UPDATE: Nov. 12
In more Jim Broadbent news, the actor, along with a whole host of former students at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts), recently lent his support to a fundraising campaign to complete the drama school’s $42 million redevelopment. Broadbent has become the first person to name a seat in the school’s new 200-seat venue; the Simon Sainsbury Theatre. He is a patron for the Take Your Seat campaign, which is also backed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Rory Kinnear; who starred as Barry Fairbrother in the recent TV adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.
Getting into LAMDA was the most exciting day of all… Without LAMDA, the industry would be poorer.
LAMDA’s redevelopment, which will include the 200-seat theater, an education wing and new backstage facilities, is expected to be completed by fall 2016.
Jim Broadbent (Professor Horace Slughorn) is making a return to the small screen in the new BBC five-part drama series London Spy, which premiered last night on BBC2.
As one of Britain’s leading actors of stage and screen, one would naturally assume that Broadbent has a wide variety of projects to choose from, but the actor revealed to What’s on TV that as he gets older it is more important to only take on roles that are really appealing to him. He explains,
I’m still passionate about acting but not quite as hungry to do it all the time as I used to be. I leave gaps when nothing comes through that particularly appeals to me. So I’m not quite as needy or obsessive about it. My career sort of takes care of itself now, so I can relax and do things when I want to do them!
Case in point, his new role of alcoholic gay civil servant Scottie in London Spy was simply too good to pass by. He said,
London Spy” isn’t like anything I’ve seen before. It just has a lot of tension, a whodunit element, and it’s a cracking narrative.
Scottie gets drawn into assisting his young friend, Danny Holt – played by Ben Whishaw, who can currently be seen as Q in the latest James Bond installment, Spectre, alongside another former Potter alumnus, Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) – search for the truth behind the murder of Danny’s lover, Alex. On this new role, Broadbent said,
I like the fact that Scottie[ i]s an interesting, complex and sympathetic character. He’s got his own issues and problems – it turns out that in his youth he joined the secret service as a spy but was ousted because he was gay, and that made him vulnerable to blackmail. His career was stymied, and he never found a life partner. I’ve played some extremely camp characters before who[m] I suppose were gay, but it was never spelt out. There’s probably more gay characters of Scottie’s age portrayed nowadays, but this isn’t a gay story as such; it’s about people in a severe predicament who happen to be gay.
Scottie has a very strong friendship with Danny, although there’s a bit of unrequited love! Scottie[ ha]s supported Danny over the years, so when Danny gets into trouble he turns to Scottie for help. Their relationship is very much tied in with Danny’s search for the truth.
London Spy continues in the UK on BBC2 next Monday at 9 p.m.; no air date has been set for the US yet, but it is expected to air on BBC America in the near future. Check out a trailer below:
It’s certainly a busy month for Broadbent; he can also be seen alongside two former Potter alumnae, Dame Maggie Smith (Professor Minerva McGonagall) and Frances de la Tour (Madam Olympe Maxime), in The Lady in the Van, which will be released in the UK on Friday. Read our review of the film here.
Are you looking forward to watching London Spy? Let us know your thoughts!