INTERVIEW: Robson Green talks Grantchester and his Poldark moment
Grantchester, the drama about a country vicar turned detective and his ever-exasperated policeman companion finally returns to our screens this Wednesday at 9pm.
We left Sidney (James Norton) and Geordie (Robson Green) in a precarious situation after the pair investigated the shooting of a policeman. They solved the mystery, but Geordie was shot in the process, while Sidney’s lies caused disarray in his personal life.
We spoke to Robson Green about what to expect in the newest series, exciting new guest stars and his “Poldark moment” in the upcoming series.
How do we find Geordie at the start of series two after being shot at the end of series one?
You find him wearing swimming trunks with James Norton wearing swimming trunks, with the headline Phwoarchester: James and Robson still have pecs appeal! That’s how you find him: physically in good shape. Mentally, he’s all over the place. In the 50s men didn’t really talk about feelings – still today they don’t, but especially then – a lot of things were taboo, and imparting how you felt to your partner or your children or your loved ones was quite difficult. He’s never really spoke about the shooting and how he feels about it, it’s scary for him, and he can’t really admit that, being a man in the 50s in a very prominent position.
What can you tell us about the new series?
It knows what it is now, Grantchester, and it’s head and shoulders better than the last series. I’ve seen the first two episodes. The first one’s a beauty, it’s really dealing with the main arc of consequences and actions. If you committed wilful murder in the 50s and you were found guilty, you would hang. How do these two characters [Geordie and Sidney] who are fond of one another, care about one another, love one another, react when they have a fundamental differing of opinion? It is deeply rooted what Geordie sees justice as, and what Sidney sees justice as. Geordie seeks justice for the victim’s families and loved ones, and Sydney wants compassion, understanding. Geordie’s saying well, “I’ve got compassion for these people. Look at the destruction, look what you’ve caused, it’s not just one death, everybody died inside here.” Sidney’s going, “look at this individual, he wasn’t born like this, shouldn’t we ask the question why?” Both arguments are valid and great to play.
Can we discuss the Poldark moment in Grantchester?
Aiden Turner hates me! He hates my guts! [Laughs] It’s not really a Poldark moment.
When you read the script, did you have to step up the gym routine?
Have you seen James Norton? Of course I had to step it up! We’d look like Laurel and Hardy otherwise! There was many a gym war – James won the battle. I work out anyway, but James looks amazing. I got a lovely trainer up in the North-East, I went “look, this is the deal, I’m going to be standing next to James Norton with my top off” and so we just went through this regime and the results were okay. I still look after myself. Poldark moment, you reckon? Have you seen it?
There’s a great moment [in the new series]. Basically one of my missions in Grantchester is to get Sydney a woman and he asks how we’re going to go about that. I’m saying, “look, those looks of yours are going to fade – hair will stop growing on your head and will start growing out of your ears, and you’ll get a paunch.” He was like, “you can talk.”
What else can you tell us about Geordie helping Sidney find a woman?
It’s great. In the opening of series two, these women are auditioning – but it’s not successful because they’re all women Geordie would pick for himself! He goes, “she’s great.” Sidney says, “yeah, for you.” It’s very funny. They just want each other’s lives. I want his freedom. He wants my security and family.
Can you tell us a bit about the guest stars you’ve got coming onto this series?
Neil Morrisey? He’s great. He’s such a talent. He’s such a triple threat, he can act, he can sing, his accents are amazing… [I’m a] huge fan. I’d met him once before. He just came on and was a great energy to have on set and worked really well.