Wednesday 26 October 2016

South Sudan visit helped me in Night Manager role, says Tom Hiddleston

Published 28/09/2016 | 19:26

Tom Hiddleston was interviewed by friend and fellow actor Benedict Cumberbatch
Tom Hiddleston was interviewed by friend and fellow actor Benedict Cumberbatch

Tom Hiddleston used anger fuelled by a visit to war-torn South Sudan to help him in his role as spy Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager, he has revealed.

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The London-born actor visited the African country to make a documentary on child soldiers a week before filming began for the BBC drama, which aired earlier this year.

Hiddleston admitted he felt "powerless" and "helpless" during his trip in an interview with friend and fellow actor Benedict Cumberbatch in Interview Magazine.

He said: "There is so much poverty and desperation in South Sudan, and yet each side is militarily equipped."

Hiddleston, who recently split with singer Taylor Swift after a whirlwind three-month relationship, said when visiting South Sudan he "witnessed first hand, the violence from which a man like Richard Roper in The Night Manager profits".

The Night Manager, based on John le Carre's 1993 novel of the same name, starred Hugh Laurie as arms dealer Roper.

The lengthy interview featured just a passing mention of Swift as Cumberbatch refused to quiz his friend on his former girlfriend.

Cumberbatch said: "Without getting into a huge debate, I just want to say that I'm not going to ask questions about my friend's personal life just because there are unsolicited photographs of him and a certain someone, in a relationship or together. I'm not going to get into that. So that door is closed, dear reader."

The actor chuckled and thanked Cumberbatch, according to the interview transcript.

Hiddleston said after returning from the African nation he had dinner with Le Carre and described his anger and helplessness at the situation.

"Le Carre leaned forward and just said, 'use it, use it'," recalled Hiddleston.

Cumberbatch and Hiddleston agreed that using their fame as a platform to stand up for people across the world was important.

"We're not UNICEF volunteers or staff in refugee camps. We're not policemen or politicians." Cumberbatch said.

"But, I suppose, after a certain amount of involvement or research or an affiliation with something, we can make a spotlight shine on people who do do that work, like the people who work for UNICEF on the ground. And that is doing a good thing."

He added: "I'd much rather be criticised for that than be silent in the face of such extraordinary suffering, which is painfully obvious to all. Whether it be in Syria or in Sudan."

Hiddleston replied: "Having seen what I've seen in South Sudan, there's no way I can't talk about it."

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