Gabe is le­git in many ways but he has dug his own grave

What hap­pens when you spy on friends, fam­ily and neigh­bours? MAR­ION McMULLEN finds out about Paddy Con­si­dine’s role in BBC1’s tense new thriller, In­former

Bristol Post - - WHAT’S ON TV -

Af­ter Peaky Blinders and The Sus­pi­cions Of Mr Whicher, you are now play­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism of­fi­cer Gabe in In­former. How you would de­scribe your char­ac­ter?

GABE is very se­cre­tive and covert. He has worked un­der­cover for many years and most re­cently with a right-wing gang of skin­heads.

Go­ing that deep into his un­der­cover work has left a scar on his psy­che. He def­i­nitely car­ries around the weight of the work that he does and is al­ways run­ning away from things about him­self. He is ac­tu­ally a bit of a ghost and isn’t par­tic­u­larly com­fort­able any­where; not at home or at work.

In or­der to sur­vive in that kind of world you’ve got to be very di­rect but I think Gabe some­times takes him­self a lit­tle too se­ri­ously.

What are the de­mands of Gabe’s job?

GABE works for coun­tert­er­ror­ism, so it is a pretty high alert job. You have to be pre­pared to show up

24 hours of the day. They are con­stantly try­ing to pre­vent ter­ror at­tacks on UK soil and so are al­ways on the look­out for sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.

They have to weave their way through the un­der­belly of it all, try­ing to find links and any­thing that can pre­vent an at­tack.

Gabe doesn’t have any su­per­hero delu­sions about what he does, he’s a real­ist, and is very aware of what his job is. But there is some­thing very ad­dic­tive about that kind of work and he just wants to keep on do­ing it.

What do you think of Gabe?

HE is good at his job and a very sin­gu­lar minded char­ac­ter when he has to be but there is a lot of noise in the back­ground.

He’s a bit of an ac­tor; able to go un­der­cover and take it to an ex­treme place. But, he does have his lim­its within that world and finds his un­der­cover life dif­fi­cult to let go of. There’s a part of him that en­joys let­ting him­self off the hook and be­ing some­body else.

Gabe is so shielded that it’s hard to find some­thing to like about him. It’s only when he starts to re­veal his hu­man side that I start to en­gage with him more.

What is Gabe’s re­la­tion­ship with sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Bri­tishPak­istani Eas­ten­der Raza who he re­cruits to be an in­former? THERE are cer­tain rules about how to op­er­ate with in­form­ers. You can’t be friends be­cause you have to be able to drop them at any mo­ment.

You can’t be­come in­ti­mate and you have to re­mem­ber there is a pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship. But some­times that can teeter into the per­sonal.

That starts to hap­pen with Gabe and Raza. Gabe starts to re­spect and feel af­fec­tion for this young kid when he sees how good he is at get­ting him­self in and a out of sit­u­a­tions.

How Ho did you find work­ing with Nab­haan Na Rizwan who plays Raza? Raz

I DIDN’T DID check up on what he’d done be­fore, I’m not that kind of per­son.pers I just meet peo­ple and work with them. It doesn’t mat­ter to me what any­body’s ex­pe­ri­ence is. But I was v very sur­prised to find out that it was his first job be­cause, as far as I am con­cerned, he’s a nat­u­ral.

He is a very ta­lented and in­stinc­tive ac­tor. It’s not like he’s even try­ing to find his way with it, you don’t see him strug­gling, he has just taken to it.

What were your favourite scenes to film?

I FLOUR­ISH in the scenes of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween peo­ple who are hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion. The scenes where Gabe comes alive are the more per­sonal scenes. Those are also where I feel like I am con­tribut­ing as an ac­tor. Some of those scenes have been fan­tas­tic.

Tell us about the lay­ers of re­la­tion­ships in Gabe’s life? THERE is a whole web of peo­ple in Gabe’s life. He is al­ways jug­gling dif­fer­ent el­e­ments and play­ing dif­fer­ent roles. He’s en­trenched in these worlds and it’s hard to fig­ure out when he is be­ing the most truth­ful be­cause he’s bal­anc­ing so many lies about him­self.

Over the course of the story things start to fall down and his iden­tity be­gins to crum­ble. His covert life starts to in­fringe on his per­sonal life and it be­comes a threat. I think that’s when he finds out how much he re­ally cares about the peo­ple at home.

Gabe spots Raza’s po­ten­tial and, as a re­sult, steals him. He sees him­self in Raza and starts to de­velop an af­fec­tion for him. He also feels guilty for draw­ing the poor kid into this world which is like a dark web that you can’t get out of.

Does Gabe value his in­form­ers? HIS in­form­ers are very im­por­tant to him. They are the peo­ple on the street, in the newsagents, in the butch­ers or wher­ever it may be. They are the guys hear­ing all the talk and com­ings and go­ings.

It’s im­por­tant to have these in­form­ers down there on the street level who are in and amongst it all.

Gabe can’t march down those streets and ask ques­tions so he has to have these peo­ple around. It is im­por­tant for him to be able to go to these ter­ri­to­ries, pay peo­ple off and get any tiny bit of in­for­ma­tion that he can.

There’s this whole other world of in­for­mants who are scat­tered across Lon­don and Gabe uses them all the time. It’s im­por­tant for him to have some­body on the ground who has a rap­port with these com­mu­ni­ties.

Does Gabe go by the rule book? GABE lies to a lot of peo­ple, in­clud­ing his su­pe­ri­ors, but he isn’t un­der­handed about it and he doesn’t rough peo­ple up for in­for­ma­tion. He is re­spect­ful of his in­form­ers.

In a way he does go by the book but there is al­ways that shad­owy side of him. He has to bal­ance the lies that he has cre­ated in his life and at some point they are go­ing to come back and bite him.

Gabe is le­git in many ways but he has dug his own grave.

Paddy Con­si­dine is Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Wa­ters – a coun­tert­er­ror­ism of­fi­cer who be­gins to al­low his emo­tions in­trude on vi­tal work

Nab­haan Rizwan as Raza, who is drawn into a murky world of lies and trick­ery

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