Behind the scenes with Gary Oldman and the cast of Slow Horses as the spy drama returns | Ents & Arts News

When we think of on-screen spies, we tend to think of James Bond or Ethan Hunt – super minions, gadget-laden and seemingly unkillable, make spying seem like the best job in the world.

Slow Horses gives us the antithesis of this.

Based on a series of books by mystery writer Mick Herron, they tell the story of the titular Slow Horses – a group of spies who for various (often embarrassing) reasons have been excluded from working at MI5’s main building and instead find themselves to work. mostly boring work under Jackson Lamb – a seemingly rude and mean manager who, with his taunts and shrewdness, could teach them how to become good at their jobs.

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The lamb, known for soiling himself, drinking takeaways and having holes in his socks, is a far cry from 007, and Gary Oldman, who plays him, told Backstage, Sky News’ TV and film podcast, that he is one of the great things about the show.

“I think you go and see something like a James Bond movie – I definitely remember as a kid, you know, wanting to be in that world – you’re like, ‘Wow, who wouldn’t want to be James Bond?'” Oldman said.

“He can shoot 10 bad guys, fall off a building and then dust off his tuxedo, you know what I mean?

“With Slow Horses, I think maybe some of the characters you watch, you go, ‘Oh, thank God, they’re not like that’ – it’s the complete opposite.”

Jack Lowden, who plays an agent desperate to be a field agent, says the charm of the drama lies in its authenticity – what he calls the “M25ness” of the action.

Jack Lowden in Slow Horses.  Image: Apple
Jack Lowden in Slow Horses. Image: Apple

He explained to Backstage: “They’re meeting in stations and service stations rather than on the edge of a romantic cliff or something or hanging from a plane – so it’s definitely cheaper.

“But no, it’s great to play and it takes less imagination in a way and it means we can really focus on the interaction between the characters and how they function as people – that’s my favorite thing about it.”

Also returning for the second series is Kristin Scott Thomas, whose character Diana Taverner is the Deputy Director General of MI5 and often at odds with her Slough House counterparts.

Kristin Scott-Thomas and Gary Oldman in Slow Horses.  Image: Apple
Kristin Scott-Thomas and Gary Oldman in Slow Horses. Image: Apple

She says being on the show gave her insight into the type of spy she would make.

“I’d be completely stupid, I know that, but it’s fun to pretend,” explained Scott Thomas.

“I think it’s pretty fun to play with someone who has such incredibly strong antennae and can pick up on things and anticipate what people are going to do.

“It’s a lot of fun to play someone who is so in tune with her environment.”

Saskia Reeves, who plays Lamb’s oft-criticised office manager Katherine Standish, says she is delighted the series – which has already been renewed for a third and fourth series – is continuing.

“I love my character, I love Katherine.

“I was so happy when I got the chance to play her and I’ve read all the books and I know where she is. [going]it’s just fantastic.”

“And it’s great to play a woman of a certain age and not have to pretend to be something else, you know? I love that.”

Sasia Reeves in Slow Horses.  Image: Apple
Saskia Reeves in Slow Horses. Image: Apple

It seems that there is a crossover between the worlds of espionage and acting – both require a certain pretension.

Lowden says it’s something he understood, although his series offers a less glamorous approach to the undercover profession.

He said: “Funnily enough, I watched a film the other night which was about a true story about an operation that the police did, an undercover operation, and it really hit me when I watched it when I saw how much does acting have. to be in the game, to catch people.

“And I wonder if they like to try an accent or, you know, a mustache — I think there’s massive crossover.

“And how much, as someone told us, how much our industry has done for the intelligence industry in terms of recruiting — our industry makes it look a lot sexier than it probably is… maybe not that, however.”

Series 2 of Slow Horses is now on Apple TV+

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