Contains mild spoilers
Jamie Dornan says he’s been left “scarred” by playing the serial killer in BBC2 drama The Fall.
The Fifty Shades of Grey star said he was asked by the drama’s scriptwriter Allan Cubitt to read a “list of rotten books” in order to get into the mind of his character – a father of two called Paul Spector, who is also a psychopath who murders women for sexual gratification – and said that inhabiting the role has taken a psychological toll.
Speaking at last night’s launch of series two, Dornan said: “You can’t fail to be left slightly scarred by inhabiting someone like that for two seasons. I do carry elements of him with me in a worrying way. I find him relatable – be careful how you use that – I have a deep understanding of him and why he is how he is.
“He had such distaste for everything except for his project. You do carry some of that anger and that hatred in you a little bit, especially towards the end of a few months of playing him.”
Dornan said he also studied “fascinating” YouTube videos of real-life serial killers such as American multiple murderer Ted Bundy, who was executed in 1989.
Asked by RadioTimes.com whether he was still grateful for the part which shot him to stardom, Dornan said the role had “totally transformed” his life and career.
He was addressing an audience of invited guests at the screening alongside co-star Gillian Anderson who plays DS Stella Gibson, the policewoman who is tracking his character down.
Both Anderson and Dornan said last night that they would be keen to appear in a third series – remarks which raised questions about whether they were issuing inadvertent spoilers about their fates.
“Who she is and everything she stands for and how she operates – I find that very compelling and I don’t feel like I have really seen that before,” said Anderson.
The Fall series 2 is due to air on BBC2 in November