Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - By Colin Vick­ery

OLIVIA Col­man knows how to spring a sur­prise. The award- win­ning ac­tor, best known as DS El­lie Miller in Broad­church, had been given the role of MI6 in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer An­gela Burr in The Night Man­ager when she dis­cov­ered she was preg­nant.

Col­man had to spill the beans to di­rec­tor Su­sanne Bier be­fore film­ing be­gan on the TV ver­sion of the John Le Carre best­seller.

Bier had al­ready made the de­ci­sion to make Burr a woman ( the char­ac­ter is a man in the book). Now she had to re­write the script to ac­com­mo­date Col­man’s preg­nancy.

Burr re­cruits for­mer Bri­tish sol­dier Jonathan Pine ( Tom Hid­dle­ston) to infi ltrate the in­ner cir­cle of in­ter­na­tional busi­ness­man Richard Onslow Roper ( Hugh Lau­rie) who is in­volved in the il­le­gal arms trade.

“I’m very grate­ful,” Col­man says. “The fact that I was preg­nant added to the feel that Burr and Roper are ab­so­lute op­po­sites in their morals, their be­liefs, and what drives them.

“Burr is like El­lie in Broad­church; They both have a very keen sense of what is right and wrong. They are dis­gusted by peo­ple who are dis­hon­est. I think if they were to sit down to­gether they would re­ally get on.

“Burr knows Roper is an arms dealer of the filth­i­est kind and that he’s mak­ing a for­tune out of death, mis­ery and poverty. She is de­ter­mined to take this mon­ster down so she sets out to se­duce Pine … know­ing he’ll be able to infi ltrate Roper’s in­ner cir­cle.”

Lau­rie, best known as Dr Gre­gory House in the long run­ning House med­i­cal drama, is an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on The Night Man­ager.

“I re­mem­ber on the train go­ing up to Zer­matt, he was do­ing an aw­ful lot of work on the script, and I thought, ‘ That’s very keen for an ac­tor!’” Col­man says. “I just thought that was how he works.

“It wasn’t un­til af­ter­wards that I found out that he was so pas­sion­ate about get­ting this story on the screen and that he’d op­tioned it years be­fore.”



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