28 August 1977 |
Obviously, 'Homeland' is not just a spy thriller. It's more than that, but 'Tyrant' will be a bit more of a palace drama. It'll be about the families, but there will be political intrigue as well.
We shot a bit of 'Hunted' in Tangier, and you are in a very, very different world. It's very difficult to blend in over there.
'Homeland' is a thriller with a lot of cloak and dagger spy stuff, which is one of the things that makes it so much fun.
I certainly have a sliver of me, which is definitely American, and feels a great pull towards where I spent time when I was very young, which is in California.
Everyone working on 'Tyrant' wants to present the world and the issues in it in an intelligent, open, fair, non-reductive kind of way. For the actors, we have to try and make these stories as truthful and compelling as possible.
That's the great thing about university: you've got people around you who are taking a risk and trying things out themselves. It gives you the confidence to try and take it to the next step, which was drama school.
I've done shows that aired on American TV, but none of them proved to be successful, so yes, no one here knows who I am.
British audiences tend to want to see their own lives reflected on TV, whereas American audiences are quite aspirational and enjoy high-concept shows that show them lives that are perhaps slightly more exciting than they aspire to.
I had some great high points and thought: 'This is fantastic. I'm going to be a huge star.' Then something happens, and you can't get a job to save your life.
People have to respond to the characters and respond to the situations that they're in. That said, it still has to be a compelling narrative that drives along and keeps people coming back week after week. So really, with any successful show you could name, there has to be a mysterious blend of both of those.
To be honest, unless you rocket straight to stardom as a gorgeous young vampire, you can spend a lot of time working behind a bar.
I'm actually half Brit and half American. I have a British father and an American mother, but as far as I'm aware, no Middle Eastern blood.
I don't devour huge amounts of television. I'm more naturally inclined to watch movies, but given my job, I need to have an understanding of what's on TV.
My mother is American. I first went to school in America, and we came back when I was about six to rural Norfolk. In primary school, I was teased immediately and mercilessly. I probably dropped that accent within about 10 days.
So my character on 'Tyrant' is a chap called Barry Al Fayeed, and he is the second son of a fictional Middle Eastern dictator. But, he has grown up since he was young in America. He's trained as a doctor. He's married a beautiful American girl, had two kids, so he's very much an American.
Who knows – I would like to think that I'd be a fantastic president, and I'd be extremely levelheaded, and I'd be very fair, and I wouldn't persecute people, and I'd listen to the people that disagreed with me and all the rest of it, but who knows.
We rarely just hate people or love people. Normally, the people we have moments of the most impassioned hate for, it's because we love them so much.
I was always interested in it when I was younger, but it was when I was at university, getting together with other like-minded theatrically inclined types, that I admitted to myself that I wanted to be an actor.