Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell praise one another at ‘Scoop’ premiere
(Credits: Netflix)

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Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell praise one another at 'Scoop' premiere

After corralling interest in the Royal Family with Harry and Meghan and The Crown, Netflix will release Scoop on April 5th. The feature-length drama dramatises Prince Andrew’s infamous interview with Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis. 

In Scoop, Gillian Anderson portrays Maitlis while Prince Andrew is played by Rufus Sewell, famed for previous roles in The Holiday and A Knight’s Tale. The supporting cast also includes Billie Piper, who appears as Sam McAlister, the Newsnight producer responsible for the interview, and Keeley Hawes as Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew’s former private secretary.

The feature received its world premiere on Wednesday, March 27th, during which Anderson and Sewell discussed their roles in the drama. Anderson praised her screen partner’s attention to detail and seamless portrayal of the disgraced royal. “I’m seeing Rufus doing exactly what Prince Andrew did,” she recalled via The Hollywood Reporter. “I just wanted to go: ‘What the fuck?!’ You were so good!”

Sewell wasn’t ready to claim it wasn’t one of his greatest acting triumphs but returned the praise with a warm compliment. “You made it very easy for me by making it very difficult for Andrew,” he told Anderson. Addressing the room, he added that the set was “strangely safe for me” but, of course, “unsafe for the character.”

It’s not every day an actor receives a request to portray one of the royals in such delicate circumstances, but Sewell remembered feeling honoured to be considered for the role. “My initial reaction was actually, I was quite flattered,” he revealed. “I was flattered because it was an acting challenge.”

The well-written screenplay adaptation of Sam McAlister’s memoir, Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, consolidated Sewell’s intrigue. “The script was amazing and somehow managed to make something that we thought we all knew a nailbiter,” he said. 

Anderson added that she was initially unsure whether she wanted to take on the role of Maitlis due to the pressure involved in portraying such a familiar public figure. “She is a superwoman of sorts, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to subject myself to the kind of criticism if I had got it wrong,” she said. However, screenwriter Peter Moffat and director Philip Martin turned her argument in on itself: “That’s exactly why you should do it,” they said, ultimately convincing her to take the role. 

Martin, also present at the premiere interview, discussed his impetus to take on the ambitious project. “I saw the original interview, and then I heard that Andrew, as we saw in the film, was thinking that it had gone really well,” he said. Intrigued by this dissonance of perception, he concluded, “It felt like such interesting territory for a drama to exist in the difference between how everyone else saw it and how he saw it.”

Scoop will be available to stream on Netflix from April 5th. Watch the official trailer below.