Tom Brittney joins PBS ‘Masterpiece’ mystery for Season 4
Q: In joining “Grantchester on Masterpiece” as Reverend Will Davenport for Season 4, your episodes already have aired in England. What did you find the response to you to be there?
A: The feedback was excellent. I know that people say, “Stay away from Twitter,” and all that kind of stuff … but I did have a look. This is my biggest job. I wanted to see what people thought. And you know what? Luckily, I had nothing but good feedback.
I was so desperate for people to like Will, like he wants people to like him. It’s the same. It’s life replicating art. And luckily, so far, it’s been really, really lovely. And I only have the writers to thank for making that transition so organic and easy.
Q: How do you feel about succeeding another actor and character well-known to the program’s audience?
A: If you just took (former star) James Norton and made him leave and then it was like, “Boom! This is the new guy,” people would’ve been angry. But they’ve done it over the course of a few episodes and doing it that way, I think, just eases (you) in.
You start to see me a little bit and realize that taking James Norton away doesn’t make “Grantchester” not be “Grantchester” anymore. It still retains everything that makes it so wonderful.
Q: Robson Green continues as “Grantchester” detective Geordie. How have your dealings with him been?
A: Meeting him at the chemistry test before I got the job, he just came up to me and gave me a big handshake: “Yeah, I’m Robson.” And I was like, “Yeah, I know. You’re TV’s Robson Green.” He was wonderful, and he became and is a really, really close friend of mine. And hopefully, that chemistry translates to the screen as much as it did with James and him.
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.