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Andrew Scott: 'Sherlock fans aren't freaky... they are just enthusiastic, which is cool'

The Conversation

By Holly Williams

Published 24/12/2015

Game’s afoot: Sherlock star Andrew Scott
Game’s afoot: Sherlock star Andrew Scott

The 39-year-old actor from Dublin, who was Moriarty in the BBC's Sherlock and a Bond baddie in Spectre, talks about playing the villain and why Ireland's recent referendum on gay marriage was important.

Q: Do you enjoy playing villains?

A: Of course I do, I do a lot - I think the word is antagonists, rather than villains … but having said that, it feels nice to do something really different (he is currently appearing in a London stage version of The Dazzle as one of real life hoarders the Collyer brothers). I'm not going to be in any way antagonistic next year.

Q: Daniel Craig criticised Bond, and its misogyny. What do you think?

A: You have to be very wary of heroes in films having to be flawless. Human beings aren't perfect - I hate perfect heroes. It's boring. It's kind of smug, actually, those American ones carrying babies out of explosions and saying politically correct things. They're more sinister …

Q: How was it, being part of the Bond juggernaut?

A: It was a really lovely experience, part of history and all that. It isn't that different (to other roles) - there's just a lot more money.

Q: You had to learn to play the piano for The Dazzle. How's that going?

A: That's part of the challenge. I will love it eventually, but I'm at the point where it's just frustration …

Q: Do you get any starry-eyed Sherlock fans at your stage performances?

A: They don't scream, and shout out things, as has been completely exaggerated in the Press … that really makes me angry - because that's 100% not true. That's snobbery. And if someone did get overexcited and shout something out - so what? Snobbery: my least favourite thing. People say, "Are they freaky?" (Sherlock fans) They're not. They're just enthusiastic. I think it's cool to get really enthusiastic about things. Actually there's another word I hate - cool. Who wants to be cool? It is boring. Love something, and love it deeply.

Q: So, will Moriarty come back from the dead and make an appearance in the Sherlock Christmas special?

A: From the sublime to the ridiculous. Did you get bossed into asking that question? Well I'm just going to bat that back.

Q: You're just back from Dublin where you presented arts prizes to school children, how was that?

A: It was brilliant. I was taken back to when I was 18 and really wanting to be an actor.

Q: You went back to Ireland in May to vote in the referendum on gay marriage. Was that important to you as a gay man?

A: It was an absolutely amazing day. It sends a message of hope to parts of the world that need it even more than we do. I'm incredibly proud of it … and I absolutely abhor the idea of people being cynical about it. It's so easy to be cynical.

Q: Some of your Sherlock co-stars have tackled Hamlet and Richard III, do you have your eye on any Shakespeare projects?

A: I am going to do some Shakespeare at the beginning of 2017 - I am. It would be dishonest of me to say I'm not. I am going to play Ham ... one of the Shakespeares in 2017 … sorry to be so coy.

Belfast Telegraph

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