NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 17: Matthew Macfadyen attends the “Succession” FYC Event at Time Warner Center on April 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
  • Interviews

HFPA in Conversation: Matthew Macfadyen Doesn’t Judge His Characters

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in late 1990s. Now he can be seen as Major Charles Ingram – who became well known in the United Kingdom during the trial where he was accused and convicted of cheating on the show – in the AMC series Quiz.

“I remember vaguely the couple who cheated but I didn’t really know a lot about it at the time. I just remember watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? because it was such an enormous show. I think it was on every night as well, so that was fascinating,” Macfadyen told HFPA journalist Sam Asi.

When Macfadyen read the script written by James Graham he stayed neutral toward his character Charles Ingram. “As an actor, your job is not to pass judgment on. You’re just doing what they do in the script and so I kept an open mind.”

But he and his costar Sian Clifford decided to play various scenes in two different ways.“We would do one take that was a little suspicious and another take that was pure as the driven snow and then director Stephen Frears can do what he likes when he’s cutting it.”

Macfadyen is also in Golden Globe-winning series Succession. He plays the husband of a daughter of media mogul Logan Roy played by Golden Globe winner Brian Cox.

“I hadn’t done an American show and I wanted to and I was a big fan of Jesse Armstrong’s. I thought it was such a wonderful bit of writing and I just wanted to be involved. I didn’t really care which part I played.”

Listen to the podcast and hear about his meeting with Charles Ingram; whether he takes his characters home with him; why he was confused while he filming his first TV movie, Wuthering HeightsPride and Prejudice, was liked by the audience; what he can tell us about Succession’s third season; why playing Tom Wambsgans on Succession is liberating for him; how is his chemistry with his costar Sarah Snook; why he thinks human behavior is similar generation after generation; how was his experience on filming a ten-page long scene in The Assistant