Eddie Marsan has spoken out on toxic masculinity, pointing out why his new show, The Power, is such an essential watch.


The actor stars as crime boss Bernie Monke in the Prime Video series, with Ria Zmitrowicz playing his fierce daughter Roxy. The series sees the world disrupted overnight as teenage girls suddenly develop the ability to spark electricity from their fingertips.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com about why the show, based on the book by Naomi Alderman, is so important, Eddie explained: "If we were talking about a story about teenage boys suddenly gaining this power, there wouldn't be as much controversy because that power dynamic already exists.

"Men already have physical dominance over women, they're already physically stronger. And the thing I found most fascinating about when you reverse it, is men's reaction to it, they get so scared of it and so worried.

"I keep thinking, is it because you're worried that women are going to do what you do? They're going to behave the way you behave? That's why you're scared.

"And I think in a world where Roe v Wade has been taken away, where girls in Iran are being imprisoned, where women are forced to give up their divorces in Afghanistan and go back to the men they divorced seven years ago, and if they married someone else, they'd be imprisoned as an adulterer – if you live in a world like that, and you have a film, a story as brilliant as this, it has to go on. Because it's a really cathartic way of exploring these things."

Eddie Marsan as Bernie Monke in The Power.

He added of his specific role: "I always think, as an actor, you have to work out what the function of the character is, and then hide that function when you perform it. You have to conceal it in some way.

"And it was great for me to play someone who is the expression of an aspect of toxic masculinity, but to be directed by women and it to be written by women.

"It made it easier to hide that function, because I don't think men are aware how much we subconsciously hide our own toxic masculinity. And women have this radar – they know, they can smell it.

"So Naomi and the writers and directors all kind of guided me into playing this character in a more nuanced and complex way. So it was a more realistic performance for me than other times."

Zmitrowicz was also determined to do her character justice, especially with Roxy being one of the most important figures in the novel.

She told us: "I felt a huge responsibility to do the book justice, so I definitely read the book and took inspiration from that, especially [Roxy's] sense of humour, it comes across really strongly in the book so that's something I tried to incorporate into the Roxy that I play."

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The actress added of the story: "The characters were also three-dimensional, complex and complicated. Roxy definitely does questionable things but you can't help but kind of root for her because she she does have a lot of bravado.

"But also there's a lot of vulnerability underneath that. And she has a really dry sense of humour and a kind of wild, feral energy almost. And yeah, that was just something that was really fun to tap into."

The Power episodes 1 to 4 are on Prime Video now with new episodes dropping weekly on Fridays – sign up for a 30-day free Prime Video trial and pay £8.99 a month after that.

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