Ripper Street: Interview with Matthew Macfadyen did an interview in Italian with Matthew Macfadyen for Ripper Street. You can read the interview in Italian HERE or use google translation HERE.

This is a fabulous interview in which Matthew happens to reveal his childhood poster and his interests in sports, among other things.

But a nerd? That is hard to believe.

Below is the translation done by forum member, Sylvie. Thank you!:

Matthew Macfadyen tells us about the Victorian London of Ripper Street

by Antonio Cuomo published Oct 7, 2012

The British actor was one of the hosts of the BBC's Day to present the world premiere of Ripper Street, a new British series that we will see soon in Italy.

It has been one of the two world previews of this day dedicated to BBC in the 6th edition of the Roma Fiction Fest, Ripper Street, a series of 8 episodes. It is historically set in a well-reconstructed Victorian London, gritty and dirty, in the period following Jack the Ripper’s murders. It follows the investigations by the police ill-equipped with contemporary techniques.To present this new made-for-TV production at the RomaFictionFest, Matthew Macfadyen who brings life to the Inspector Edmund Reid, one of the main characters of the show, appeared. His character, as are those of Bennet Drake and the captain Homer Jackson, are the evidence of the complex narrative constructiion of the author Richard Warlow. 


1. The story of the pilot is well articulated and introduces some different tidbits that may be developed in the following episodes. Will there be details concerning each character? Will we know something of their background?

I think that the series was wonderfully written, the author had 8 episodes to do so but he has introduced the characters with their individual story in the first one in a magistral fashion, including the Inspector and his wife. That goes for the other characters as well, for example, the lady I will meet in the second episode. Furthermore, he described very well the three men, Jackson, Drake and Reid, and their story will be developed throughout the series. It is all a creation but, at the same time, each episode is a story in itself and all the episodes are linked together. More importantly, the interaction between the three men is really well rendered and the trio creates an interesting dynamics.


2. Are you interested by this historical era that took place in London?

There is always a fascination for the Victorian London because so many events took place. The citizens felt they were involved in something quite special eventhough the police was facing major obstacles in their investigations: there were no fingerprints, the police worked a little bit gropingly. Work was based on few elements and that really required an enormous implication on behalf of the investigators. It was thus very interesting to plunge into such a detective's role.


3. Is there a substantial difference between working in a costume drama for TV and one for the big screen such as it was for T3M in 3D?

No... if there is a good production and costumes designer, that is a tremendous help for the actor. For RS, it was amazing (by the way, the name of the designer for RS is Denis.... Darcy! Thanks to Luce for finding this!) and you felt you were there, living in this era. Each set was perfect, the producer was marvelous.


4. In what role did you feel the most at ease: T3M, P&P or RS?

I could not say, they are so different. Each part is a creation, you have to wear a specific costume that will dictate how you move. I have to say I did not like the boots worn by the musketeers because the heels were too high and it was hard to do those battles on the pavement, the actors were complaining of sore feet (he laughs)


5. You have interesting roots, Welsh, Scottish... Could you tell us which is the best place to drink and relax between Great Britain, Wales and Scotland?

Wow, I have many Welsh relatives on my mother’s side and many Scottish ones on my father’s side. We have recently discovered we even have some North-Irish roots, I have a bit of everything in me. As for the best place where to drink... I would not be able to tell you, there are so many places. I drank a lot of Guiness while in Dublin where I filmed RS.


6.Do you speak Welsh or Celtic?

No, not at all.


7.You have a very beautiful and deep voice, which is an asset for an actor. As far as dubbing is concerned, do you think a character looses its quality when another actor dubbs the original voice? Have you ever thought of that?

The first thing that comes to my mind is how fantastic it is to have the opportunity to reach another country and then... you have to hope for the best. I had the chance to meet the actor who dubbed my voice in France: I met my “French voice”. We then had a drink together... Really, I don’t mind and I am appreciative of the work these actors do.


8. British TV has so many high quality series. Do you follow them, is there a production that you particularly appreciate and in which you would like to participate?

I don’t watch too much TV and I have my kids to blame for that. Maybe I am just lazy. When I am far from home, I sometimes get a whole series that I will watch all at once. (He gives two titles The Killing and Breaking Bad) I am not aware of what is going on in British TV at the moment eventhough I know it is fantastic. Which is the last series I watched? I don’t remember because, after we put the kids to bed, my wife and I don’t watch TV. We eat, we talk... But I think British TV is incredible.


9. British cinema too is really interesting, for example Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that is considered as the equivalent of the American action movie. Do you like that type of movie or do you prefer action movies such as the Bourne saga?

I like both, there is space for both. I adore the Bourne saga because those who made it were conscious of the type of movies they were making, they were creating. But as much as I tremendously appreciate movies such as TTSS, I also love the TV series with Alex Guiness; it is very slow- paced, there are scenes that last 6 minutes, something that is extremely rare nowadays. The producers are intimidating, they think “ I have to cut, I have to keep the public interested”.


10. Were you a nerd, as a student, totally immersed in studies and reading, or were you a rebel?

I was a bit of both, I've always been an avid reader and I was involved in many plays, but I also loved sports such as tennis, rugby, squash...


11. What about soccer?

No, I am not a big fan of soccer.


12. What was the poster you had on your bedroom wall as a teenager? 

Good question! I had a poster of Jim Morrison.