Bitch Rufus Sewell on playing Prince Andrew in ‘Scoop’: He’s ‘a product of his environment’

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Netflix will release this Friday Scoop. Scoop This is the behind-the-scenes story of how BBC’s Newsnight made its big reveal in 2019 with Prince Andrew. Gillian Anderson plays Emily Maitlis, a steely BBC journalist who finds herself pitted against the empire’s scheming, conniving, lying prince. Andrew is played by Rufus Sewell, and they made Sewell really ugly for this role. The British media doesn’t seem to understand how scandalous this is going to be, meanwhile I haven’t seen much about the scoop in the American media. However, Andrew’s interview made global headlines at the time, and I’m sure the film will attract international interest when it is released. Wire Wrote a long piece on the filmWith lots of quotes from Gillian Anderson and Sewell about how they adapted their characters and what they think about real people (hint: Gillian is in awe of the real Maitlis while Sewell makes up for not making her version of Andrew so clever. Was working hard real).

While studying the interview Sewell was reminded of Ricky Gervais in The Office: “Watching Andrew was like watching a comedy masterpiece. He actually reminded me a lot of David Brent, but with a little less natural warmth. This was the way he was speaking directly to the viewer after the interviewer; He was very conscious of the effect he wanted – as fresh meat for the camera, he wrote little stories himself.

Sewell on Andrew’s “crime”: “I have strong feelings about whether he’s guilty or not that I want to keep to myself, but it’s a very important part of the job to remind people that these are human beings who do these things. I grew up in an era where Andrew was considered ‘cool royal’. When he was younger, I saw a lot of footage of him talking to people in factories and offices and he was really – undoubtedly – ​​charming.

They had to work really hard to make Rufus Sewell look ugly: Once filming began, the make-up team spent up to four hours a day preparing Sewell for the camera. “They put on a bald cap, grew thin hair over it, and then added pieces to the nostrils, chin, forehead and cheeks,” he says. “As my face moved back, her face came forward.” At one point the resemblance became so strong that even the actor’s friends failed to recognize him in photographs, and producers decided to minimize the prosthetics so that, as Sewell says, “if you go too far, you’re unwatchable.” “Starts happening in the wrong way.”

Gillian Anderson on Unanswered Questions: “It is very exciting. It’s inspiring, despite the fact that we know what the end result will be.” Furthermore, Anderson points out, a lot of unanswered questions remain: not least, why exactly the late queen’s middle son (and reportedly But his favorite) ignored his mother’s orders – “Never complain, never explain” – the consequences of which one commentator would later compare “a plane collides with an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, Which caused a nuclear explosion.”

Gillian on Andrew’s narcissism: “We do not know to what extent Andrew had practiced, or whether his answers were his own or were given to him. But someone thought it was a good idea. He got a chance to approach the interview in a very different way. Even later, she thought it was a success – to the extent that Emily was given a tour of Buckingham Palace.” But, she adds, it’s worth bearing in mind that the royal family “plays a role that “That’s very valuable to a lot of people in this country and part of that role involves being isolated and not necessarily living in the real world.” So why would we expect them to be able to respond in the real world?”

Sewell agrees that royal life is a sham: “Andrew is a product of his environment. It requires the subject’s acceptance to become what he believes himself to be. It’s clear he’s never sat across from anyone who said, ‘Oh, this b—-s’ or ‘F—k off!’ Him.” Returning to the original interview footage, he says, “When you look at him, you see a strange mixture of guilt and innocence and victimhood. In my opinion, this is a man who makes himself worse. The person does not believe and has a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy for himself…. He has created a story in which he is somehow a victim of his own honor. The people who were sent to rescue him also says the same thing: ‘He was made to stand.’ This is quite likely, given Epstein’s modus operandi. However, one could argue: If you’re setting a honey trap, how do you know who likes the honey and who doesn’t?

Gillian was intimidated by playing Maitlis: “It was even more difficult than playing Mrs Thatcher. I worried, ‘Am I asking for trouble – not only embodying someone who is alive, but who has such a tremendous presence, who has real fans and who people have real opinions about?’

Sewell feels that Andrew underestimated Maitlis because she is a woman: In the end, Sewell concludes, the thing that brought Andrew down was a submissive but firm woman refusing to budge. “As a child he was complimented and praised for being a scoundrel, a lovable castle rogue, all the things that boys are celebrated for – even more so then. He has been led to believe that it is his natural charm that makes people like him, not his prince status. In this position, sitting across from Emily, he is attempting to revive her but is unable to get the oxygen to do so. This is not a lack of manners, or rudeness, or aggression on Emily’s part. She’s not keeping her half of the contract he expected – and he’s gasping for air.’

[From The Telegraph]

I found Sewell’s quotes fascinating – he has really studied the interview, not just for the mannerisms but for the motive, to really try to understand the layers of Andrew’s performance within the interview. As for the big mystery of why Andrew did the interview… Epstein died in prison just four months before the interview, and there was a lot of new energy on Andrew’s association with Epstein. Like, I understand from a “crisis management” perspective why someone at the palace thought it would be a good idea for Andrew to go on the record to formally deny all of this. What they didn’t believe was that Andrew’s answers made no sense, his denials came across as lies and the man had no charisma on camera.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Netflix. Screencap courtesy of BBC.

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