Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Roger Federer Sort of Looks like a Vampire in a Weird Way

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Roger Federer Sort of Looks like a Vampire in a Weird Way

Article excerpt

Downton Abbey's Matthew Goode, 40, tells GEMMA DUNN how he used a tennis legend as inspiration for his new role as a vampire in TV drama A Discovery of Witches

Why did you want to be a part of this project which is adapted from Deborah Harkness's bestselling book? I MET (producer) Jane Tranter, who is a force of nature. I've never known anyone to do a better take on a book that is 750 pages in absolute detail. By the end of that meeting I wanted to be a part of it because it sounded like an incredible world to inhabit.

I'd never played a vampire before and there's a kind of a dark mythology to it. The whole point of A Discovery Of Witches was that it was going to turn that on its head; it's more about my character's involvement with this human woman. So it has a love story and notions about equality. It has a lot to say about the politics of our time.

Tell us about your character and what attracted you to him.

MATTHEW Clairmont is a professor of biochemistry and an expert in genealogy. At the start, he is searching for the ancient manuscript, Ashmole 782. It talks about how vampires, daemons and witches came to be, and he's been looking for it for hundreds of years.

Matthew is so many different things: a chemist, a poet and he is also lethal. He is multi-faceted, but he is without love. He doesn't have all the answers yet and he is an intriguing figure - that's what attracted me to him.

He's mysterious and charming but at the same time he's deadly. It's a lot to play.

Can you tell us more about that manuscript? THERE is a board, effectively, which looks after the regulations. There are three of each of the creatures - daemons, witches and vampires - on this thing called The Congregation, and there are sets of rules to keep them separate.

So you can't have interrelationships, but all of their powers are dwindling; vampires are failing to sire. So Matthew wants to find the Book of Life in which there's the secrets of why they are how they are and how they were created, and he wants them all to be able to live peacefully.

That's his main thrust in the story. But unfortunately he falls for somebody he's not allowed to be with.

That character is a witch, Diana Bishop, played by Teresa Palmer. How does he feel about her? WHEN he meets her his only consideration is that he wants to find the Book of Life. Then, obviously, his opinion of witches is not great because of the wars that have been fought over many centuries.

So he first finds her quite intriguing. …

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