Andrew Scott Says Playing Ripley Was An ‘Enormous Challenge’

Actor Andrew Scott goes to considerable lengths in his role as Patricia Highsmith’s fictional con man Tom Ripley in Netflix’s series, “Ripley.” Scott explains in his cover story for emmy magazine that the role demanded significant stamina and was an intensive yet rewarding experience. Via an exclusive look at Scott’s emmy profile, we gain an insightful glimpse into his process of playing the renowned grifter.

Exploring Ripley’s Journey

Scott sheds light on the intensive process of bringing the character to life. Unlike many other television roles where an ensemble cast shares screen time, Scott spends a majority of the eight-hour series as the main focal point. The adaptation of Highsmith’s 1955 novel, “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” sees Scott assuming the mantle of the complex character who navigates a life of deceit and crime.

The series, released on Netflix on April 4, features Scott portraying Ripley, a grifter struggling to survive in early 1960s New York. He shares the screen with Dakota Fanning and Johnny Flynn, adding depth to a storyline that revolves around Ripley’s many layers of manipulation and deceit.

Deep into Ripley’s Mind

Scott finds Ripley’s secretive nature to be the most challenging aspect of his character. Despite Ripley’s dubious moral code, Scott strived to discover and portray the character’s vulnerable human core. The actor highlights Ripley’s vulnerability and fallibility, which paradoxically adds an element of relatability and even lovability to the character’s complex personality.

Highsmith’s Legacy Comes Alive

Highsmith’s series of crime novels featuring Tom Ripley began with “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in 1955 and has been a popular subject of interpretation in the years since. Notably, the 1999 film adaptation featured Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law, showcasing Ripley’s character to audiences worldwide.

Unlabelled Complexity

In an interview on Extra, Scott said: ‘I’m not sure I can think of a television character where we’ve spent so much time with only them, so that’s hard. Coming from the theatre, and I love the vibes with the other actors so, I loved when Dakota and Johnny and everyone was there.’

‘We had this extraordinary Italian crew who were wonderful. I genuinely couldn’t do it without their support and the fun because it’s dark and to me, you’ve got to have some playfulness.’

‘There are moments in the story where he’s just incredibly vulnerable and trying to fit in and he’s awkward. Then there are other moments where he’s very streetwise, and there are moments when he’s quite flirtatious, and then he’s murderous and then moments when he’s regretful.’

Scott stars alongside Dakota as Sherwood and Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf in Ripley.
Andrew Scott. Pic: Mike Marsland/WireImage
‘It’s an incredibly human character and it has been an enormous challenge because of the stamina that it’s taken.’

Scott resists categorizing Ripley as a “sociopath” or “serial killer,” aiming instead to capture the character’s complexities without resorting to conjecture. The actor argues that speculation about a figure like Ripley, including his sexuality and mental state, can sometimes be more harmful than helpful in accurately portraying such a character.

Wrapping Up

Scott’s commitment to authentically portray Tom Ripley is a testament to his careful craft and dedication to complex characters. His coverage in emmy magazine, debuting April 13, promises to provide further insights into Scott’s process and journey with the character. For more Hollywood news and features, visit HitPlay.

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