“It’s fun to play someone who is a bit angry and who is on the side of the angels,” admits actress Olivia Colman as we chat (watch above) about her role as a British operative in the new AMC limited series “The Night Manager.” Based on the acclaimed 1993 John le Carre novel, the six-part program debuted April 19, coming off a hugely successful run on the BBC in the United Kingdom.
Colman’s character, Angela Burr, has to fight bureaucracy and corrupt officials in her own government. Knowing it would help to have someone from the outside, she recruits Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston), the night manager of a lavish hotel in Cairo, Egypt. Pine is looking for revenge following a tragic turn of events early in the first episode, so Burr enlists his help as a deeply-embedded spy to take down international arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie).
For Colman, “It’s frustrating to know that corruption happens and the willingness to turn a blind eye for a big chunk of money. It happens in all sorts of places.” It was an unusual choice to cast Colman as she reveals, “Angela is unique partly because she was a man in the book. They’ve done a very good thing and made her a woman for the telly version. She’s a remarkable person and sort of the woman I would like to be. She’s very bright, very sure, and no nonsense.”
American audiences will know Colman from her recent films “Tyrannosaur” (2011), “The Iron Lady” (2011), “Hyde Park on Hudson” (2012), and “Locke” (2013). She is a three-time BAFTA television winner for the comedy “Twenty Twelve” (2013), legal drama “Accused” (2013), and crime series “Broadchurch” (2014).