But Hugh Laurie says his latest screen incarnation is “the worst man in the world”.
Hugh plays seemingly-charming billionaire businessman Richard Roper in BBC1’s glossy new version of John Le Carre’s spy novel, The Night Manager, which starts tonight.
Behind the façade, though, it’s very different.
“He has built an empire from his trade in human life, selling arms to the highest bidder and purchasing whatever souls he can along the way,” reveals Le Carre fan Hugh.
He was so hooked by the book when he read it in 1993 he tried, unsuccessfully, to bring it to the screen then.
“I’ve absolutely no skill or instinct for producing,” he confides. “But this was the only time in my life I’ve tried to option a book.
“I tried to get the rights before I’d finished the third chapter.”
The lavish backdrop to the storyline meant there was no shortage of glamorous locations, something Hugh admits he lapped up.
“This is one of the reasons people hate actors,” he smiles.
“We began in Switzerland, which is the setting for the quiet hotel implied by the title. It’s quite something to open your bedroom window and see the Matterhorn staring down at you.
“We spent six weeks in Morocco and then Majorca for five weeks.
“Not a day went without a member of the cast saying: ‘I can’t believe I’m actually here doing this.’
“It’s our good fortune to be playing characters who live a very luxurious, jet-set life.”
The cast also features Tom Hiddleston and Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman.
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