Martin Clunes’ way into ‘Manhunt’ character
Actors have their own ways of creating characters and no two are the same.
For some, all the information they need is in the script and they take it from there. For others, donning the uniform and letting their imagination take over works for them. And for still others, if it’s a real person, there’s no replacement for meeting the man or woman they’re portraying.
For Martin Clunes of Acorn TV’s British crime drama “Manhunt,” which begins streaming Monday, March 11, the key came in spending time with the subject of his portrayal, London police detective Colin Sutton, who spearheaded the investigation into a young woman’s murder in 2004, which is the storyline of the three-part miniseries. But it came with some trepidation on the part of the portrayed.
“I think it was uncomfortable for him,” explains Clunes, a 57-year-old Londoner, “because when we first met, I think he was sort of aware that I was kind of scanning him. … And hard for him, I think maybe (because) this silly guy off the telly is about to be him and he’s sort of handing over a section of his life to us to portray.
“But he’s really nice,” he continues. “I mean, he’s as friendly as I hope he appears because I’ve never met him in the work environment. I’ve just met him socially so I have to imagine what he’s like. But I think I know what he’s like when he’s working because’s he’s got a steely, dogged side to him.
“But he’s my way in to the whole thing, the idea of getting around him and showing how it really happens, written from the horse’s mouth.”
Full name: Alexander Martin Clunes
Birth date: Nov. 28, 1961
Birthplace: Wimbledon, South London
Alma mater: Arts Educational Schools in London
Family ties: He and his wife, “Manhunt” producer Philippa Braithwaite, have a 20-year-old daughter, Emily; father is Shakespearean actor Alec Clunes; uncle is actor Jeremy Brett (“My Fair Lady”)
TV credits include: “Doctor Who,” “Jeeves and Wooster,” “Gone to the Dogs,” “Lovejoy,” “Doc Martin,” “William and Mary,” “Reggie Perrin,” “A Mother’s Son,” “Strike Back,” “British Men Behaving Badly,” “Arthur & George,” “Vanity Fair”
Movie credits include: “The Russia House” (1990), “Swing Kids” (1993), “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Saving Grace” (2000), “Rock My World” (2002), “Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?!” (2014)
Did you know: Has a farm in Dorset in Southwest England, where he has Clydesdale horses