Andrew Scott at MCM London Comic Con: “Moriarty is the original Super-Villain”

Andrew Scott at MCM London Comic Con: “Moriarty is the original Super-Villain”

0 comments 📅01 November 2017, 14:09

“My job is to be frightening, I don’t have to be frightened of [Moriarty],” actor Andrew Scott says of his character from the hit BBC television series Sherlock. Speaking on Saturday afternoon in the Platinum stage at MCM London Comic Con, Scott is quirky and playful, cracking jokes left, right and centre as a room full of fans eagerly listen to his every word. “I don’t have to see him as a dark character at all, it’s just everyday life for him – he’s a very playful character,” he continues. “I knew I’d done well [in the audition] because Sue [Vertue, the show’s producer] said she was very frightened! So that’s the name of the game with this guy.”

And frighten us he most certainly did. Having first appeared onscreen as Sherlock Holmes’ infamous arch-enemy seven years ago, Scott talks fondly of the character he helped to re-create in modern times. “Moriarty is the original Super-Villain…when I was growing up I always liked the idea of shape-shifting characters, and that’s what Moriarty does.”

“He really was brilliantly written. He’s scary but I think it’s good not to reveal his really vicious side too much because what’s scary about him is that you don’t know when he’s actually going to prance,” he continues. “A lot of the time it’s just what he’s suggesting and how he’s being spoken about. My actual amount of screen time isn’t that much but people speak about him so there’s this build up, certainly in the first series you don’t see him at all until the last ten minutes, that’s why I think it’s very well written.”

It’s not just the writing that’s brilliant; Scott captured our hearts with his electrifyingly terrifying performance. He was the perfect mirror for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, and his captivating take on the less-than-sane character made us shake with anticipation for his next appearance. Even when the character had passed on, it didn’t take long for him to return with a simple question: ‘Did you miss me?’

“That scene just involved me and Mark Gatiss, who was directing it, going to the back of a parking lot and I said this one line that took ten minutes [to film],” Scott says of the scene. “I thought it was so explosive. That was really cool, and all that stuff went up on Piccadilly Circus which was great.” So when the series’ Victorian-era Christmas special came around fans had their answer: yes, yes we did.

“You know when we first started talking about [the show] our biggest worry was would the audience accept Sherlock in a non-Victorian setting,” he says of the show’s origins and the series’ special, smiling as he does so. “We were worried if people would really respond to that, and then four years later people were saying ‘oh, I’m not sure if people will accept Sherlock in the Victorian era.’ So that’s really a testament to how brilliantly [the story] was written.”

Since starting Sherlock, Scott has been catapulted to fame and has starred in many hit films like Pride and Spectre. This came as an interesting surprise to the actor, and also had some unexpected results: “I’d never been on such a popular television show, but now I’ve started to try and work on quite a lot of different characters so people know me a bit better.

“To be honest with you I was working for about 15 years before I ever did Sherlock, I’ve played a lot of different characters but for a couple of years a lot of the offers that came in were to play less good versions of Moriarty, so I’ve made a conscious effort in the past couple of years not to do any more bad guys because…I’d like to play lots of different kinds of things.”

Despite that, the show seemed to help in other aspects of his acting work, namely keeping secrets, something he’d done for a long time for the BBC show: “It’s been seven years now so I’m so used to it and just say ‘haha I can’t tell you!’ In fact when I went to do Spectre they were saying how I have to keep everything a secret and I just told them I’ve been keeping secrets for years. Compared to Sherlock that was a piece of cake!”

While at the panel he also talks passionately about Mental Health and LGBT+ issues, highlighting ways in which we can help others and also giving advice to those that ask him questions about it. It’s a question near the end of the panel about which character he’d play if he wasn’t Moriarty that generates the most laughter, though: “I’ve been asked this question before, and I always give the same answer, but I would be Mrs. Hudson. That’s a really good example of why the show is brilliantly written because that is a small part but Una and the writers made that part really witty and funny, people adore her.”

Written by Roxy Simons

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