“It’s an epic story of a man’s life,” says “Patrick Melrose” producer Michael Jackson. The title character is “a man with a secret, a man with a problem that he needs to solve, and a man who’s incredibly dysfunctional for most of the story.” But in the end “there’s a certain potential redemption.” We chatted with Jackson and writer David Nicholls on the red carpet at the April 25 Hollywood premiere for the new Showtime limited series, which took place at the historic Linwood Dunn Theater. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Based on a series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, the show follows the life journey of Patrick Melrose (Benedict Cumberbatch) from his privileged yet abusive childhood, to his struggles with addiction and heartbreak, and to his ultimate redemption. Nicholls was always “a massive fan” of the books before he penned all five episodes of the series. “It was like watching someone grow up in real time. It has this trick of seeing him in different stages of his life from childhood onwards.” So bringing the books to the screen “was always my dream adaptation.”
Cumberbatch previously won an Emmy as Best Movie/Mini Actor for “Sherlock” in 2014, and he’s widely expected to return to the Emmy race this year for “Patrick Melrose.” One of our experts, Anne Thompson (Indiewire), is currently predicting him to win his second trophy from the TV academy. “He can do dark, he can do light,” says Jackson of the actor. “This is a very complicated character who feels a lot, but doesn’t want to tell you what he’s feeling. And so Benedict has brought all of his skills to bear in making this character a rounded, sophisticated whole.”
Nicholls received BAFTA TV nominations as Best New Writer for “Cold Feet” in 2001 and Best Single Drama for “ShakespeaRe-Told” in 2006. He has also written scripts for the films “One Day” (2011), “Great Expectations” (2012), and “Far From the Madding Crowd” (2015). Jackson is best known for his work on TV documentaries, including “America: The Story of the US” and “The Genius of Photography.”
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