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Dominic Cooper on Ian Fleming

Dominic Cooper on Ian Fleming
Highlights

Anyone’s life can be compelling if portrayed in the right way, but author Ian Fleming, famous for his James Bond series, had a story unlike anyone else: from where he came from and the failure he thought he was to the war, discovering his genius and then writing the books that became the films which are the biggest franchise we’ve ever known.

Anyone’s life can be compelling if portrayed in the right way, but author Ian Fleming, famous for his James Bond series, had a story unlike anyone else: from where he came from and the failure he thought he was to the war, discovering his genius and then writing the books that became the films which are the biggest franchise we’ve ever known.

Dominic Cooper who plays Fleming in the British drama, ‘Fleming: The Man who would be Bond’ that airs every Tuesday at 10pm on Zee Café feels that even if you’re not a Bond fan, the story is compelling. ‘You see all those references and where the inspiration comes from, but actually, just as a love story it’s quite beautiful, touching and very sad. A story about war and loss, and a man who was a genuine failure in many ways, who had a dark side but at the same time was a very special artist who made a big impact,’ he says.

In an interview, the actor speaks about his motivation for the role.

Excerpts.

What was your initial reaction to being cast as Fleming and why did you want to take the role on?

I was terribly excited by Fleming’s life more than anything. I read the script and I was immediately drawn into his world and who he was, and actually how he was a more complex man than I’d ever thought him to be. I know that I’m a very different person in terms of looks, so I always questioned whether I’d be their choice, but I thought the best way to approach this was to have an understanding of who that man saw himself as being, rather than who he was.

What are some of the characteristics Fleming shares with Bond?

You can see where Bond has come from, and what we have done is create someone slightly darker and nastier than the man who Bond has become now. The only huge difference is that our man is flawed and that he fails.

What sort of research did you do to prepare?

Well, I love doing this for the reason that you are immersed in the wealth of background information about this person. For me, starting from zero or creating a character from nowhere apart from a script is always the challenge because you have to be very self-assured in your decision making. So, with this you can always refer back to it.

I try not to feel the pressure of portraying someone and getting them exactly right, and I know that if someone knew Ian and watched what I’m doing with him, they might just go: “Well, it’s nothing like him”. So, I’ve taken what I can, the riches and wealth of this person, and the research, and, I suppose, created someone I think he would have liked to have been seen as.

Is there a particular style or look to the series?

The choice was just to make it look beautiful. It’s a wonderful era: you’ve got smoky late-night jazz clubs and beautiful Victorian houses in London, so there’s a very distinctive look, and we’ve chosen an era that you can have a lot of fun with – the cars are stunning, the clothes are beautiful. There’s a certain elegance to it that certainly doesn’t exist now.

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