The brilliant bottom in question belongs to The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston – and Skarsgård stands in awe of his fellow actor’s behind. “He’s got a way better ass than I do,” he adds. “I bet he squats a lot.”
The BBC’s latest John Le Carré adaptation is made by the producers behind 2016’s hit drama The Night Manager. And Skarsgård actually has been talking about Hiddleston’s bum all day – because the subject just keeps coming up.
Asked if he was aware of the “Hiddleston effect” that made the actor a household name a couple of years ago, Skarsgård summed up his experience of a day doing publicity: “Not till today! But people can’t stop talking about it – and his ass! I’ve been asked about his ass about 15 times today.”
But while Hiddleston bared his bum as Jonathan Pine on the BBC, Skarsgård’s will stay firmly covered up when he plays Mossad agent Gadi Becker in this 70s espionage thriller.
Florence Pugh, who stars as young actress Charlie Ross, explained to Radio Times that producers were more mindful of an international audience this time around: “America is quite scared of bums. And nipples. We had to make sure there were no bums and nipples out. I don’t know why. Such strange people.”
“Everyone was talking about it for so long, everyone was talking about it because everybody wanted another Night Manager, and everybody had been so excited and awakened from that series that I think there was this instant need for more,” she says. “And yeah, I think that definitely everyone’s attention went, ‘Okay, this is what’s going to be similar to that one…'”
But while there are certain similarities, The Little Drummer Girl has a very different feel. For one thing, it’s set in 1979 and closely follows its source material, while The Night Manager was reimagined as a modern-day story, brought into the present.
For another, South Korean film director Park Chan-wook (Stoker, The Handmaiden) has put his own stamp on the story, which sees an Israeli spymaster go up against a Palestinian revolutionary as a series of terrorist attacks take place across Europe.
“Obviously it’s going to be spoken about and it’s going to be compared because they’re sisters,” Pugh says. “But it’s obviously completely different, and it’s a different topic and it has a different pace and it looks different.
“Director Park directed six episodes, it’s obviously going to look like one of his pieces.
“And from that sense, I think we’ve made something completely unique and ours.”
The Little Drummer Girl will air on Sundays at 9pm on BBC1