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