Ripley star Andrew Scott didn’t judge or diagnose his character

Ripley star Andrew Scott didn’t judge or diagnose his character

Andrew Scott, who plays Tom Ripley in the Patricia Highsmith-inspired Netflix series Ripley, says he didn’t judge or diagnose his character

Tom Ripley is a character who has been fascinating readers and viewers for decades. Not only was he at the center of multiple novels written by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley, and Ripley Underwater), but those novels have also received multiple adaptations: the 1960 film Purple Noon (where Ripley was played by Alain Delon), the 1977 film The American Friend (with Dennis Hopper as Ripley), the 2002 film Ripley’s Game (John Malkovich was Ripley in that one), the 2005 film Ripley Under Ground (with Barry Pepper as Ripley), a 1956 episode of the TV series Studio One, and perhaps most famously, the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, where Ripley was played by Matt Damon. Now Andrew Scott is taking on the role for Ripley, a limited series adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley that will be released through the Netflix streaming service on April 4th – and during an interview with Empire, Scott said he didn’t judge or try to diagnose his questionable character.

Schindler’s List Oscar winner Steven Zaillian has written and directed all eight episodes of Ripley. In the series, Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son Dickie Greenleaf to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.

Dickie Greenleaf is played by Johnny Flynn (The Lovers). Dakota Fanning (The Equalizer 3) plays Marge Sherwood, “an American living in Italy who suspects darker motives underlie Tom’s affability.”

Scott told Empire, “You have to be respectful (to the source material), but not too reverent, because otherwise there’s no point in doing this. You’ve got to put your own stamp on it. Some people will like this version, and some people will like other versions, and that’s okay. What you have to do is understand why this character remains so fascinating for people. I think to characterize him with any very particular neuroses would be a mistake. I never wanted to look at him as a psychopath. I didn’t want to label his sexuality too much. I didn’t want to just diagnose him with anything. The challenge was not to judge him.

Ripley was originally set up Showtime, where Zaillian was planning to use all of the Ripley novels written by Highsmith as “a road map to showcase Ripley’s transformation from con artist to serial killer” over the course of the on-going series. Now that it’s a limited series on Netflix, we’ll have to wait and see if there will be any further Ripley series to cover the stories told in the books beyond The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Ripley is a Showtime and Endemol Shine North America co-production, in association with Entertainment 360 and Filmrights. Zaillian serves as executive producer alongside Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy, and Philipp Keel of Diogenes. Scott is a producer on the series.

Are you a fan of the Tom Ripley stories, and will you be watching Ripley on Netflix? What do you think of what Andrew Scott had to say about the approach he took to the character? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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