Wherever he goes, Andrew Scott can count on the support of the Sherlock fandom. The Irish actor – who plays arch villain Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s super sleuth in the BBC1 drama – has won a hoard of new fans for his Bafta-wining portrayal and he’s glad he can count on their support in future roles.
“I always think it’s lovely that people who watch more popular shows can watch the stuff that isn’t as well known like radio drama or more art house movies you might do,” he tells RadioTimes.com.
“An audience member is an audience member and I think if people are enthusiastic about some actors in it, brilliant. The more the merrier.”
Both Scott and his Sherlock co-stars, Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have tackled William Shakespeare in the last year. Freeman played Richard III on stage last summer while Cumberbatch stars as the same villain in BBC2’s The Hollow Crown, a series Scott has also signed on to star in as King Louis.
Does he feel a responsibility, with such a following, to raise awareness of Shakespeare and the like?
“I don’t think it’s a responsibility – the work that I choose to do is my responsibility and nobody else’s. I’d never feel dictated to. I feel no shame in saying that I’m an actor and an artist first.
“I certainly do feel like if there’s an audience watching. I do absolutely love that if I’ve done a Ken Loach film or if you play at the Royal Court, people come along. I think it’s great. A good story’s a good story so if people are fans of Sherlock or whatever, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to show any less interest in another show.”
One such “show” is Six Degrees of Assassination – a new audio drama from Audible – in which Scott co-stars with former Doctor Who actress Freema Agyeman. Set in July 2017, ten years after the terrorist attacks on London, the political thriller follows an MI5 investigation into the assassination of the British Prime Minister.
“It’s, I suppose, what we call the equivalent of a page-turner. It’s quite gripping and I love radio drama. I’ve done a lot and I feel very passionately about it. Sometimes I feel it’s an undervalued medium.”
Sign-up to Audible here and download Six Degrees of Assassination for free