Warm­ing to the idea:

Why James Nes­bitt re­turned to Cold Feet.

The TV Guide - - NEWS -

J ames Nes­bitt would be the first to ad­mit that for a long time he fought against the idea of re­viv­ing the hit Bri­tish drama se­ries Cold Feet last year. It had last been broad­cast in 2003, and the ac­tor felt Cold Feet should re­main cold in the earth. The pop­u­lar North­ern Ir­ish ac­tor, who plays the twinkly Adam in Mike Bullen’s show about the vac­il­lat­ing for­tunes of five close friends (played by Nes­bitt, Hermione Nor­ris, Fay Ri­p­ley, John Thom­son and Robert Bathurst), con­fesses that, “I’d al­ways re­sisted bring­ing Cold Feet back. “I didn’t want to re­visit some­thing and go along that well-trod­den path where things are res­ur­rected and then don’t have the strength, in­no­va­tion or the voice they had orig­i­nally.” But Nes­bitt says the mo­ment he opened Bullen’s script, he changed his mind. “When I read the scripts, I thought they were very good. We slot­ted back into it re­ally well but there was no com­pla­cency.” Even once they had made the new se­ries, Nes­bitt says the cast felt a huge bur­den of ex­pec­ta­tion to live up to past glo­ries. “We did feel un­der pres­sure.” But they needn’t have wor­ried. View­ers flocked back to reac­quaint them­selves with these five well-loved char­ac­ters. It was like greet­ing the re­turn of old friends. Ac­cord­ing to Nes­bitt, “The re­ac­tion was ob­vi­ously very grat­i­fy­ing. “It was lovely that peo­ple took to it. The film­ing process was such an en­joy­able one last year. We were all hop­ing it would go down well with view­ers be­cause we wanted to do it again. And we’re very grate­ful the au­di­ence re­acted in the way it did

to the re­turn of Cold Feet.”

So, with the pres­sure now over, Cold Feet is back for a sec­ond se­ries in its new in­car­na­tion. All the char­ac­ters are fac­ing new devel­op­ments in their lives, with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess.

For his part, Adam is still in the throes of ro­man­tic bliss with his land­lady Tina (Leanne Best). He is a man who is in love with be­ing in love.

Nes­bitt ex­plains that, “Adam is eter­nally ro­man­tic. To be a real hope­less ro­man­tic, you also have to be a bit reck­less. Ro­mance is ac­tu­ally about reck­less­ness as well. To make those great ro­man­tic ges­tures does in­volve a cer­tain reck­less­ness. I think that’s what is ex­cit­ing about it.”

As the past has demon­strated, though, when Adam is at his most con­tented, he is also at his most vul­ner­a­ble. Nes­bitt, who has also starred in such well-re­garded work as The Hob­bit, Bloody Sun­day, The Miss­ing, Mur­phy’s Law, Oc­cu­pa­tion, Five Min­utes Of Heaven and Jekyll, re­flects that at the start of this se­ries, “Adam is pretty happy, in a fairly good place.

“But his­tory has shown us the minute Adam is con­tent, he be­gins to look for rea­sons to not be con­tent. There has to be some kind of con­flict, some ele­ment of dan­ger, guilt, self-loathing or tom­fool­ery about him for Adam to func­tion.”

The 52-year-old ac­tor con­tin­ues that, “The ques­tion of chil­dren comes up in this new se­ries. Adam is a man of 50 faced with that ques­tion, ‘What’s next? Is there a next? Or am I just bid­ing my time?’

“It’s that mid­dle-aged angst which a lot of peo­ple will recog­nise. I think that’s with him al­ways. Es­pe­cially so for some­one who has been youth­ful all of his life. The older he gets, the harder it is to rec­on­cile his ad­vanc­ing years with that in­stinct of want­ing to be 17 again.”

One of the rea­sons for the peren­nial suc­cess of Cold Feet – which was first broad­cast 20 years ago – is that at its heart it is about the last­ing power of friend­ship.

“I think friend­ships do en­dure,” Nes­bitt says. “My life is cer­tainly like that. It’s not a lot of time since I wrapped Cold Feet with my friends. There’s five of us who have been friends now for a long time.”

As the re­vival of Cold Feet has done so well, would Nes­bitt like to con­tinue mak­ing it?

“If that’s what the au­di­ence wants, I think it would be very un­likely that the cast wouldn’t want that, too. We’ve cer­tainly loved mak­ing it. This new se­ries is more of life. Five, six or­di­nary peo­ple lead­ing rather ex­tra­or­di­nary lives at times – which is ex­actly what peo­ple are do­ing as you and I speak right now.

“Where there is dys­func­tion, there is also func­tion. Where there is love, there is pain. Where there is ro­mance, there is reck­less­ness. And I think Cold Feet is all of that.”

“It’s that mid­dle-aged angst which a lot of peo­ple will recog­nise.” – James Nes­bitt on Cold Feet

P14. James Nes­bitt from Cold Feet

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