Face time with actor Matthew MacFadyen (Jan 2004)

Face time with actor Matthew MacFadyen

by Mike Antonucci (The Mercury News - San Jose, 12 janvier 2004)

MacFadyen, 29, is registering much more strongly on the American public's radar thanks to the A&E network's broadcasts of "MI-5" a spy series from British TV (where it's known as "Spooks"). But some movie fans will recognize him from the 2001 thriller "Enigma," and he recently completed filming in New Zealand of "In My Father's Den" a drama with Miranda Otto.

On "MI-5," MacFadyen is agent Tom Quinn, a counterintelligence agent whose harrowing, covert work has not meshed well with his personal life. A six-episode DVD collection is scheduled for release next week from BBC Video ($35-$50).

Q: "MI-5" is billed as a somewhat realistic depiction of espionage. Do you think that's really true?

A: Yes and no. It's kind of halfway between George Smiley and James Bond, I would say. The things that you would think are absolutely B.S. are probably the most true. The things that are most ludicrous are the most real because they come from lots of anecdotal evidence from ex-spies. In Episode 1, Zoe (Keeley Hawes) breaks into a house to bug it on a rainy night. The cat gets out, so they have to retrieve the cat and find a blow dryer to blow-dry the cat to cover their tracks. This came directly from a source who said it happened.

Q: What has it meant to the show and you for it to be televised in the United States?

A: Well, very simply, it gave the show a wider audience, and I certainly think it helps our careers to be seen on the other side of the Atlantic. There is no real British film industry to speak of.

Q: You have a real-life romance with your co-star Keeley Hawes. Can you go out in public together without being mobbed by fans?

A: Yes. We do get the occasional gawker, but we're certainly not mobbed. We do get people coming up to us. I was in a record store and a guy came up to me, right in to my face, and he said very quietly, "I've blown your cover." It was almost sort of disturbing.

(c) 2004, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).

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