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Polished Edge: James D’Arcy of ‘Those Who Kill’ on A&E Network
Q: Your character, forensic psychologist Thomas Schaeffer, is brilliant but troubled, and his pursuit of serial killers is damaging to him. What do you think of him?
A: We identify as human beings with flawed individuals. One of the things that’s really fabulous about television is people get to explore those parts of themselves from a relatively safe vantage point. They can feel emotions that are dangerous to feel, from a pretty safe place. Obviously, in terms of our professions as actors, it’s exciting to play as three-dimensional a character as you can.
Q: Did you have to handcuff anybody, or is that out of the realm of a forensic psychologist?
A: I didn’t have to handcuff anyone, which is a shame because I’ve held a lot of guns and handcuffed people, so that would have been easier. I did find some of the forensic speeches a bit tricky. But the biggest challenge for me was, I’ve never done an open-ended TV series before.
It’s the first time I’ve done something where I didn’t know what the end was when I accepted the role. It’s the first time I’ve done anything where I didn’t read all the scripts. If you’re shooting a movie, if you wanted to, you could learn the entire movie left, right, upside and down, the first day you walk on the set. But with an open-ended TV show, sometimes the scripts are coming 48 hours before you shoot.
Not in a bad way, but it was a real challenge.
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