Ripper Street: Matthew Macfadyen interview with NY Daily News

Matthew Macfadyen has been interviewed for his latest role in Ripper Street, which begins this Saturday on BBCA, by New York Daily News.

In the article, it is discussed how he is more famous as Mr Darcy in the US, but as Tom Quinn in Britain.  He also enjoys television as an acting medium because it currently has some of the best writing.  Be sure to read the entire interview HERE.

Matthew Macfadyen plays Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in a period police drama on BBCA, 'Ripper Street'

The British actor's character must try and keep London calm and safe in the aftermath of the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2013, 6:00 AM

Matthew Macfadyen plays Detective Inspector Edmund Reid on “Ripper Street” on BBCA.

PASADENA, Calif. — Matthew Macfadyen muses wryly that his point of entry to American television police dramas didn’t directly lead him to his role as a police inspector in the new BBC America drama “Ripper Street.”

“Ripper Street” premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. with Macfadyen playing Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, whose unit is charged with keeping a tense London calm and safe in the immediate aftermath of the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders.

Reid is a refined, well-spoken man in a world that often seems to be neither. He plays this period role with a reserved, understated tone that will remind many Americans of perhaps his most endearing film role here, Mr. Darcy to Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet in the most recent film adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.”

“You do become known for particular roles,” says Macfadyen. “In Britain, I’m probably best known for ‘MI-5.’ And that's okay.”

He enjoys series TV, he says, and it provides some stability in a profession where “when the phone doesn’t ring for three weeks, you start thinking, ‘My God, I’ll never work again.’”

He was drawn to Reid, he says, “because of the writing. He’s not a stock type, some jaded copper. He’s a forward-thinking man who sees that the world is changing with all the technology that’s about to arrive, and wants to stay ahead of it.”

There is also a strong undertone of humor in “Ripper Street,” particularly with Reid’s sidekicks Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) and Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg), a free spirit who also sees the ways technology and forensics will one day enable the good guys to catch more bad guys.

But the humor, woven into a world of corruption, deception, prostitution, pornography and family secrets, has little resemblance to the kind of police humor Macfadyen says he first remembers.

“When I was young we used to watch mostly American television,” he says. “I particularly recall watching a lot of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’”

He says he still enjoys a good escapist show, though he’s better known here for more intense roles like Stiva, the Russian prince in the current film version of “Anna Karenina,” where he’s reunited with Knightley.

For all his film success, as well as periodic forays into live theater, he has a fondness for television these days.

“Some of the best writing now is being done for television,” he says. “Because TV has the luxury of giving you the time to get to know the characters.

“The film industry does less of that these days, except in small films with a $36 budget that no one will ever see. If you do that project for television, it can be seen by millions.”