Gary Oldman said the source material for his new spy series Slow Horses differs from the work of respected author John le Carre because of its “biting wit”.
Airing on Apple TV+, the spy thriller is based on award-winning author Mick Herron’s 2010 novel about a team of British Secret Service agents working in an MI5 landfill.
A lifelong fan of British author le Carre, Herron has been described as heir to his legacy in the field of spy thriller fiction.
Le Carre, who wrote best-selling novels like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and The Night Manager, died in December 2020 at the age of 89.
Academy Award-winning actor Oldman stars as Jackson Lamb, the leader of spies who ended up at Slough House after career-ending mistakes, and said the story’s “human” drama sets her apart.
He told the PA news agency: “Mick has achieved something wonderful. People say that (he) is the heir to John le Carre – there are people out there who think he is better than le Carre.
“But what he’s done is he’s taken that world and really humanized it and injected it with this humor, a biting wit kind of thing. That’s what sets her apart.
“After discovering the books through the series and reading Slow Horses, I was like, ‘Gosh, if the scripts are as good as the book…’
“Just the human (Element), it really grabbed me, you know. It’s a world you’re familiar with, but he does something so wonderful with it.”
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Discussing his unhygienic, naughty character, Oldman added, “No vanity. There is no eff. And being so liberated and cynical is delicious stuff.
“And a sparring with River. It’s a great, really beautiful dynamic.”
Jack Lowden plays River Cartwright, an agent exiled to Slough House after a botched and publicly embarrassing training mission.
As for their characters’ relationship, Oldman said, “I think it’s tough. I think it’s a tough love thing.
“I think he sees potential in Cartwright, even against his will, because he has a whole history with the grandfather.
“But he sees something in River, and I think that’s particularly why Jackson rides him as hard as he does.”
The series premieres on Apple TV+ every Friday with new episodes.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/gary-oldman-on-the-difference-between-slow-horses-and-classic-john-le-carre-41513915.html Gary Oldman on the difference between Slow Horses and the classic John le Carre