Interview with New World’s Jamie Dornan

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Jamie Dornan is mostly known to British TV viewers for his highly acclaimed and spine chilling performance as serial killer Paul Spector opposite Gillian Anderson in The Fall (BBC2). A role he will revisit as Season 2 begins filming in Belfast this Spring. Yet since finishing New Worlds Jamie has taken on his biggest role to date and one that certainly looks set to make him a global household name, that of the playboy Christian Grey in the film adaption of E.L James’ smash hit book series Fifty Shades of Grey. Here, he discusses playing the very different character of Abe Goffe, in new Channel 4 drama New Worlds.

You play Abe Goffe in New Worlds, can you tell us a bit about how you saw his character.

Abe is a young, idealistic renegade who is very determined in his fight to make England a true republic and end the tyrannical rule of the Stuarts throne. It is a similar fight to that taken up by his father William Goffe who was a real historical figure and one whom Abe idolises. He is trying to uphold the mantel of his father’s campaign and muster up support among others. He is headstrong, too much so at times, and is often quick to use his fists but he learns during the course of the drama that there are better paths of action.

Your character in The Fall was such a dark, violent one was it hard to get into the mindset of someone who was such an idealist, almost a Che Guevara type character – they couldn’t be more different.

Of course there are no comparisons between the two of them but I like playing characters who are passionate about something. It is appealing as an actor to play characters who take care, precision and put commitment into something they are passionate about. In the case of Paul Spector that is the act of hunting and killing and covering up his crime and obviously it is a very different motivation with Abe but he is equally a focused man with what he sees as a very clear objective. It is exciting to play such strong characters.

Do you think young audiences today will relate to Abe’s struggle?

I think the themes of New Worlds are all ones that young people watching the drama can relate to. Young people still feel enraged about the same injustices, although I like to think in England people now are treated with greater decency and things aren’t as brutal and bloody as they were at that time.

Did you do much research into the period?

A couple of books were suggested to us, there was one book ‘Cavalier’ by Lucy Worsley that I know Freya and I both read and was recommended to us by Martine Brant. It became a joke competition between Freya and I to finish it, my copy was more subtly on my iPad but Freya constantly lugged her copy around everywhere with her as I teased and tested her knowledge! Because I went to school in Belfast the English Civil War wasn’t high on the curriculum so to some extent I had to learn from scratch. I had no idea that it was such a barbaric time and to discover that was quite something. We don’t want it to be a four-part history lesson but I think audiences will certainly learn something from watching New Worlds.

What did you enjoy most about the filming?

Being an outlaw was great fun, I am probably stuck in some transition period from boy to man, but I loved all that running through woods with guns, arrows, unwashed hair and your band of mates indulging your inner Robin Hood!! Everyone got on really well on set so we had a good laugh.

Some of the locations around South West England that you used to shoot in were very stunning – coming from Northern Ireland did you know that area of the UK?

I have lived in the UK for over 11 years so I did in fact know countryside around the Bristol area quite well but the historical buildings especially those used for Fanshawe house were beautiful and that sense of the period and atmosphere along with costume all really help when you are getting into character. We were very lucky to spend the hot summer in those parts of the country and it seemed every day we were in a new stunning spot.

Abe is a romantic character but he seems to fight his relationship with Beth and not want the distraction in his life, why?

Although Beth was born into a family embroiled in the turmoil of the Civil War and she has this rebellious blood running through her veins especially from her father Edward Sexby who is another one of Abe’s heroes, she has been protected by her mother Angelica and Abe initially finds her naivety frustrating. Abe resents that she has grown up in such a protected, safe way in this commonwealth environment created by her mother when he has chosen to face the much tougher realities around them. He doesn’t understand how she can’t see her life is an illusion. They are classic star crossed lovers to start with but ultimately they can’t help themselves – as we all know love is a very powerful thing! I have to say it was nice to play a romantic hero especially after The Fall where I had to apologise to pretty much every actress after each shot was filmed…

What drew you to this role?

Essentially it was the script first, then the character that I felt I could play, felt intrigued by and would hopefully interest an audience, and then I hoped I would get on with the director and everyone else involved. On all these counts I have been so lucky with New Worlds. Peter Flannery and Martine Brant have worked so well together on this drama and I don’t think Peter has ever written a bad script so you know you are getting the best. I really enjoy good TV drama, I was gripped by Broadchurch and thought Southcliffe that Joe (Dempsie) is in was brilliant and I am a big Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development fan and more recently have been watching Homeland. We are so spoilt for choice with good television these days.


Jamie Dornan, Gillian Anderson return to The Fall for darker series 2

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan have begun filming series two of The Fall.

Shooting on the new six-part run, written and directed once more by Allan Cubitt, commenced this week in Belfast.

As series two begins, Stella Gibson (Anderson) is on the hunt for fugitive Paul Spector (Dornan) with a personal link from the killer’s past revealing new clues.

But the closer Gibson comes to capturing him, the more Spector trespasses into her private world, delighting in taunting and provoking her. As the net gradually tightens around him, Spector becomes psychologically ever more dangerous and destructive.

“I’m over the moon to be back in production with this team again and to step into the shoes of the elusive Stella for what promises to be an even darker second season,” Anderson said.

Dornan added: “I’m delighted to be back in production for the second series of The Fall. Allan Cubitt has outdone himself and the scripts are stunning.”

Bronagh Waugh will also reprise her role as Spector’s wife Sally-Ann, while John Lynch will again play Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns.

“We were delighted with the response to series one and can’t wait to unleash Allan Cubitt’s superb new scripts on the audience,” said Stephen Wright, head of drama for BBC Northern Ireland.

The Fall debuted on BBC Two in mid-2013 and was the channel’s biggest drama series launch in eight years.

Since the first series aired, Anderson has filmed roles in US series Hannibal and Crisis, while Dornan landed the lead role of sadomasochistic billionaire Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.


Gallery Additions

I have added two images from the photo session Jamie did for ES Magazine to our photo archive. The second, larger image has the tag on it and a huge thank you to for that image.

Scans from ES Magazine have been added to our photo archive, thanks to jamiedornanpt

An additional image from photo session 004 in 2013 has been added to our photo archive thanks to

I have also caught up on the New Worlds images that had released the past few days and added those to our photo archive. Credit to for those.

I also replaced our Behind The Scenes + Interview (Screen Captures) captures due to an issue I noticed with them that I had forgotten to correct.

As well as captures from the sneak peek of New Worlds.

‘Fifty Shades’ Star Jamie Dornan on How the Movie Changed His Life (Video)

The above is part two of his appearance. You can view part 1, part 3 and part 4 at the respective links.

The actor also told the BBC’s “Graham Norton Show” that he doesn’t know how the film will be received and that he lied when he was being considered for the role.

Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has no idea whether the upcoming movie will change his life, but filming it already changed him physically.

Appearing on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show, Dornan admitted he doesn’t know how the film adaptation of the best-selling book will be received.

“Look, we’re in a very powerful position in that 90-plus million people have read the book, so if like a third of the … if hundreds of those people, that’s successful, if they see the film, so it’s a nice position to be in, but I have no idea what it’s going to do,” Dornan said.
But filming Fifty Shades did help the star change the way he walks.
Dornan explained that he used to walk on his tip-toes, leading to comments from others and giving him a bit of a complex about it.
For Fifty Shades, he had to learn how to dance, after telling filmmakers that he knew how to dance when he couldn’t.

“So I had dance lessons. We did the fox-trot, and I was really struggling with it, and the dance teacher said, ‘You know what you need to do? Just think about it as walking,’ ” Dornan explained, making a face to indicate that that wasn’t the most helpful advice. “It’s funny; I’m not great at walking. He said, ‘Just think, walking heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe.’ And I was like, ‘Heel-to-toe?’ And no one ever told me that. I thought it went toe to like more toe.”
The Fifty Shades star stopped short of debuting his new way of getting around, but audiences will likely see that, as well as his dance skills (and probably a lot more), in the Universal/Focus release of Fifty Shades, which is set to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day 2015.
Watch Dornan’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show below (his interview begins at 2:48).