Count Arthur Strong’s Rory Kinnear stars in BBC series Quacks

Credit: express.co.uk

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Count Arthur Strong’s Rory Kinnear stars in BBC series Quacks  - World News

Rory KinnearBBC

Actor Rory Kinnear plays his wackiest role yet in the new period medical comedy Quacks

So why Quacks? 

I read the script and I thought, “That’s actually really funny...”, so I did the pilot. Then it took more than a year before we were all available to get back together, which meant that James [Wood, the writer] had time to work on the scripts.

We even rehearsed for a month before filming.

What’s your character Robert like?

Well, surgeons - particularly the top surgeons - were rock stars [in the 19th century]. People came to the theatres to see them perform and to operate, and I guess we still sort of think of surgeons in terms of their levels of confidence, shall we say.

Robert has that kind of God complex whereby, you know, a centimetre either way can end somebody’s life, and you have to have a certain degree of conceited arrogance to be able to do that sort of thing.

Did you go for any realism then?

Well, James in particular is a stickler for trying.

Obviously there is no one alive today who would be able to tell us, but the medical historians and The Wellcome Trust have been involved with this in terms of giving advice.

I’ve spoken to a few surgeons as well because lots of it hasn’t changed that much, apart from perhaps size. An appendectomy would have involved a cut from top to bottom, whereas now it’s tiny.

Are you squeamish?

I don’t think I could be a doctor, I hope everyone would be pleased to hear that.

Rory Kinnear

Quacks, BBC2, Tues, 10pm; whole series then available on iPlayer

How does he get on his with three rival doctors?

I think they kind of admire and hate him, but they feel like a gang, friends that have known each other a long time.

They love each other and would do anything for each other and are well aware of each other’s weaknesses and stupidities, and certainly they find him unbearable at times, but equally they sort of know how important what he does is, and they sort of support each other.

They take the mick out of each other, the three of them, but if someone else was to take the mick out of one of them, they would defend each other. It’s one of the most fun jobs I’ve had.

Rory Kinnear

'I read the script and I thought, “That’s actually really funny...”, so I did the pilot'

Your career is hugely eclectic: you’ve done lots of theatre, films, and TV... how does this compare?

The sets are quite lavish... Obviously having done Penny Dreadful for Showtime, that’s set in a similar-ish time but a bit later. But in terms of sets and costume that have been created with this level of detail, it feels incredibly detailed and lavish.

As a character, how does Robert compare to other projects?

I try and find different characters each time you do a new role, because otherwise you get a bit bored, but he’s... he’s a wally!

Is he the biggest wally you’ve played?

I think he’s the biggest wally that anybody’s ever played! I mean, there are other wallies, but not ones that are quite so justified. The most you can think about Robert is that he’s a prat. Because he knows he’s good at something, and he’s right - and he is one of the best surgeons in London, if not in England.

Quacks, BBC2, Tues, 10pm; whole series then available on iPlayer





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