He’s been a James Bond villain and the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes but Andrew Scott says his role as the “Hot” Priest in “Fleabag” was really the “ideal” role for him.
After getting offered a lot of “sub-Moriarty” roles following his much-loved performance in “Sherlock”, Scott, 43, was ready for a change when “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge pitched him the character known only as “Priest” (The “Hot”, we assure you, is warranted but unscripted).
“I think ‘romantic comedy’ is very underrated; I was always looking for something that explored romantic love in a really intelligent and human way and I felt, when I first started talking to Phoebe about it, that this was ideal,” he tells British GQ. “At every given stage of your life, you’re associated with a particular role.”
While that might have been Moriarty for a while, now it’s his “Fleabag” character, which means it’s time for the Irish actor to “smash that down and start focusing on the next thing.”
One of the things Scott is most proud of in his 25-year career is the 2014 drama “Pride”, based on the true story of an LGBTQ group who supports striking Welsh miners in solidarity.
“A lot of really clever politics and a great message about humanity and solidarity is smuggled in through great comedy. It’s extremely funny, warm, and pretty subversive. And it tells a story that has never been told before,” he says of the film, which co-stars George MacKay, Dominic West, Bill Nighy, and Imelda Staunton. The film, which premiered at TIFF, still has people talking nearly six years after its release.
“[O]ver the years, it’s the film people still keep writing to me about. I think we forget that, around the world, those films are really necessary. In places where the law has not changed, films like that are real handholds for people,” says Scott.
For Scott, who also has a healthy stage career, says his fandoms from “Sherlock” and “Fleabag” have also translated into newfound theatre lovers.
“The way it’s worked out for me is that people who have seen ‘Fleabag’ or ‘Sherlock’ come to see [me in] Shakespeare or Noël Coward,” he says. “I think it’s been unfairly reported that fans of TV shows make noise in the theatre and behave like animals. That’s not my experience at all. And if people are a little bit more vocal or show their enthusiasm in a slightly different way than polite, reserved silence, then I don’t see the problem with that. ”
Scott will next produce and star as Tom Ripley in the Showtime series “Ripley”, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel.
Read the full feature in the June issue of GQ available via digital download and on newsstands now.