Ripley: Andrew Scott ‘Didn’t Want To Diagnose’ Patricia Highsmith’s Sociopath – Exclusive Image


by Ben Travis |
Updated on

In a post-All Of Us Strangers world, it’s never been clearer: Andrew Scott is one of our greatest living actors. Always prepared to bring a fresh take to something familiar and archetypal – whether it’s Moriarty in Sherlock, or one of his astounding Shakespearean performances on stage – he’s about to do it all over again with Ripley, Netflix’s new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels. It’s a role that’s been brought to the screen before, most famously by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley – but also by the likes of John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, and Alain Delon over the years, to name a few.

Across the eight episodes of Ripley, Steven Zaillian adapts The Talented Mr. Ripley into a cool, crisp monochrome drama. And Scott will be putting his own stamp on the titular web-weaver. “You have to be respectful, but not too reverent, because otherwise there’s no point in doing this,” Scott tells Empire in the Furiosa issue. “You’ve got to put your own stamp on it. Some people will like this version, and some people will like other versions, and that’s okay. What you have to do is understand why this character remains so fascinating for people.”

For all his dangerous qualities, it’s hard not to get pulled in by Ripley – who inveigles his way into the decadent life of Dickie Greenleaf (here played by Johnny Flynn), causes chaos, and stacks lie upon lie as he attempts to squeeze his way to safety. Not that Scott wanted to put any specific labels on who exactly Ripley is. “I think to characterise him with any very particular neuroses would be a mistake,” the actor says. “I never wanted to look at him as a psychopath. I didn’t want to label his sexuality too much. I didn’t want to just diagnose him with anything. The challenge was not to judge him.” Like him or loathe him, you’ll still end up breathless waiting to see if he escapes.

Empire – May 2024 – Furiosa newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full Ripley story, speaking to Andrew Scott about his take on the character, in the Furiosa issue – on sale Thursday 14 March. Pre-order a copy here. Ripley streams on Netflix from 4 April.

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