“Game of Thrones” star Jerome Flynn heads back to 1880s Whitechapel London, playing a rough and tumble detective sergeant in the police force, alongside “Pride & Prejudice” star Matthew Macfadyen, in BBC America’s “Ripper Street,” premiering this Saturday at 9/8c on the network.
Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake has a few things in common with Flynn’s “GOT” character Bronn, the sellsword at the right hand of Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister.
“They’re both pretty into the worlds they inhabit,” Flynn told AccessHollywood.com about the comparisons between the two characters. “They’re both pretty raw — and lawless and uncivilized.”
Set just after officers have called off the search for Jack the Ripper, Drake is second in command to Macfadyen’s Inspector Edmund Reid (a real life detective who worked on the Ripper murders, although the Brit did not base his character on the actual man), and viewers will get a taste for Drake’s rawness right away. The series opens up with the Detective Sergeant duking it out (undercover) in a boxing ring, and Flynn confirmed he actually got hurt during the process.
“I was just a bit over keen and he was a big guy… and I brought my neck up into his fist, so I was a bit, crocked for a few days,” Flynn told Access. “But… it was nice to be able to satisfy that kind of ‘Rocky’ fantasy and get in the ring. It’s always nice to have to train for a part, because it just gets you into the psychology, and he’s a very physical guy and violence is something that defines Mr. Bennet Drake quite a lot.”
A famed actor and singer in the UK, Flynn took a break from the spotlight for several years, before being wooed back in front of the camera in recent years. Flynn revealed his work – as the quietly frightening Bronn – helped lead to the “Ripper Street” role.
“Actually, one is responsible for the other, ‘cause I was doing ‘Thrones.’… I didn’t even know if I was gonna go back on screen. I went off to West Wales and was enjoying myself by the sea and kind of in the community there and renovating old cottages,” Flynn explained of his time away from the camera. “My agent gave me a ring and I happened to be going down to London. I hate auditioning, but Bronn was there and that happened and the writer of ‘Ripper Street’ saw me in that and said when he was writing that, he was thinking of me.”
“Ripper Street” premieres Saturday, January 19 at 9/8c on BBC America.
-- Jolie Lash