Holmes, sweet Holmes
Sherlock Holmes groupie Jonny Lee Miller had one important phone call to make after securing the lead role in a new series
ACTOR Jonny Lee Miller sought the blessing of his pal Benedict Cumberbatch after landing the lead in forthcoming Sherlock Holmes series Elementary, to assure him the American show would be nothing like the British detective drama.
Cumberbatch has been starring in Sherlock, the BBC’s modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of the fictional London sleuth, since 2010. Miller found himself following in his friend’s footsteps when he was announced as the main character in Elementary, which transposes the fictional investigator to modern-day New York.
The Trainspotting actor admits he’s a big fan of Cumberbatch’s portrayal and would often dissect the latest episode of Sherlock with his friend over the phone. But Miller insists his version of Holmes will be completely different.
‘‘I love the work that Benedict has done with Sherlock,’’ Miller says. ‘‘So I would call him up like a groupie after every episode came out and want to talk to him about it. And we had a discussion about this project as well. Benedict has been very, very supportive, and, you know, I wanted to reassure him about how different this script was and project was. All of the other differences will kind of be apparent. That’s another country and a whole lot of vibe.’’
Miller, who was once briefly married to Angelina Jolie, says he’s been busy researching the role.
‘‘Playing Sherlock is not like a boyhood thing for me. I have discovered this character myself by reading . . . I’ve almost finished all of the literature. I haven’t quite finished it all yet, but for me to discover that has been a wonderful thing and to have that vast reservoir of information and research available to you – by just a terrific writer. But it’s a challenge, you know.’’
Miller says he is feeling the pressure to do the character justice: ‘‘There’s different versions of it out there recently, and so it’s an extra bit of pressure, but it’s a fantastic character, and opportunities like this don’t come along as often as people might think for us. So it’s wonderful.’’
Miller and Cumberbatch bonded while starring on the West End stage in director Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein in 2011.
Coming soon. Airs in Australia, Nine, NBN.
Jonny Lee Miller.