Our first, very important question is… how do you pronounce your first name?
Ee-mon. it’s a passion name, so it’s like “Dream on” or like “Rubbing suncream on.”
Got it. So, a year on, what’s been going on in the life of Mr Moray?
He’s been banished so he’s been travelling the world for a year – he’s been in Paris and Morocco, just sourcing and curating things he can turn into profit and sell, accumulating exotic products. And he hasn’t been allowed back into the city for obvious reasons because Lord Glendenning, Katherine’s father, governs all this part of the world. He’s longing and pining for Denise and that has a certain effect on him, but he’s pretty good at distracting himself with work and business and allows that to fuel him. It gives him a reason to get up every day but eventually he’s sent a letter when he’s in Paris which invites him to come back to The Paradise to rescue things so he immediately starts to make his way back.
But Katherine has a new husband, Tom Weston – we can’t imagine he and Moray see eye-to-eye…?
For obvious reasons. He’s married to Katherine and finds out what happened between Moray and Katherine so he holds certain grudges. And [Moray] comes back and there’s no great fight to begin with – they’re kind of sussing each other out. I think Moray just tries to charm him initially and doesn’t allow that animosity to surface until much later on. Essentially Tom Weston, Ben’s character, could get rid of Moray like that – he has the status and the power so Moray just has to negotiate.
We’re guessing it doesn’t all go to plan…
He begins to unfold and unravel. He tries to put past events to the side and that doesn’t last long, especially with Tom Weston’s presence. Katherine’s still around and in control so he’s just struggling from the minute he gets back. And he’s really run the risk of losing everything. Usually he manages to keep that professional side afloat but now things are starting to cave in on him, people’s allegiances are starting to shift, even with people like Dudley who’s been his best friend his entire life. He can sense something in him – he’s leaning more towards Denise and isn’t trusting Moray’s instincts so much so he’s really having to fight his corner and deal with much higher stakes.
What about poor Denise? What’s she been up to since he’s been gone?
She’s been at the Paradise. She’s kept on and Dudley’s put in charge and oversees things and keeps the wheels turning…
So, come on, spill the beans… Do they start dating again?
Yeah, they spend a lot of time together – they go out for walks together and escape and try and find secluded, private spots, sometimes in The Paradise after hours and other times we use this beautiful estate where there’s rivers and beautiful bridges. We shot a lot at night so there’s a lot of Moray/Denise reunion staring into each other’s eyes…
No sex scenes…?
What’s Moray’s relationship with Katherine like now he’s back?
Moray’s being very, very careful. Katherine’s obviously a dangerous woman. She has a huge amount of power so initially he’s just at her feet saying, “You’re my employer now, I’ll serve you as best I can.” That line is in the script but as time goes on, Katherine’s affection starts to build again for Moray and Moray starts to play mind games with Katherine because he needs to wrestle the store back from Katherine and Tom. He decides the only way to do that is to mess with her mind and to try and put a wedge between them. So he’s being quite manipulative towards her, but I think in this series everyone has to pay the price for their actions at some point.
Are you enjoying having the moustache?
It seemed like a good idea to begin with and then you remember you have to live in the real world. Saying that, I was at a music festival a couple of weeks ago and I was walking through the crowd and a young girl stared at me and said, ‘Oh my god, it’s Mr Selfridge’. That’s been the best reaction so far.
Did you correct her?
Do you watch Mr Selfridge?
I haven’t actually seen it. My girlfriend loves it though. “What are you watching?” “Secretly sneaking off to watch Mr Selfridge.” I don’t take it personally.
Where would Moray’s career take him if he was living in the present day?
I reckon he’d go off and become a pop star. He’d be on the panel for The Voice.
Series two of The Paradise begins on Sunday at 8:00