Lethal Weapon TV series star on remaking the film: “I felt it was disrespectful… I feel like it should have been left alone”

Despite having been persuaded to join the small screen version of the classic cop movie, Clayne Crawford says he still feels "guilty"

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Clayne Crawford is one half of the detective duo in the new US TV remake of classic 80s buddy movie Lethal Weapon, which comes to ITV next week – but it took a long time, and a lot of persistence from the show’s producers, to convince him to get on board…

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Crawford plays Riggs – the unhinged cop with a death wish originally portrayed by Mel Gibson – alongside Damon Wayans as his partner Murtagh (stepping in for Danny Glover). But as a fan of the film, Crawford admits he thought the idea of trying to revisit it was “disrespectful” and that even now he feels “guilty” about taking it on.

“Frankly, I wasn’t interested in doing a show like this,” Crawford tells the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “Without even reading [the script], I said I wasn’t interested. I felt it was disrespectful to try and capture lightning in a bottle twice – that movie was so special, you couldn’t duplicate it. I wished them well, said no… but, man, they were persistent.”

Given his own reservations, is Crawford worried about how Mel Gibson himself might react to the show?

“Of course. I feel kinda guilty doing this,” says the star. “I feel like it should have been left alone. I’m not vain enough to think Mel Gibson knows who I am or cares what we’re doing, but if he does come across us I hope I make him proud.”

Lethal Weapon begins on ITV on Friday 10th March at 9pm

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Read the full interview with Clayne Crawford in the new issue of Radio Times, in shops and via iTunes, from Tuesday