Gillian Anderson & Rufus Sewell Reveal They Both Initially Turned Down Roles In Netflix Prince Andrew Feature ‘Scoop’

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Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell have revealed they both said “absolutely not” when first asked to play Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew in Netflix feature Scoop.

Speaking via video link at the See What’s Next Netflix event in London, Sex Education star Anderson said she thought she would “undoubtedly fail” if she took on the role of the BBC interviewer, who achieved worldwide acclaim for the interview that preceded the downfall of the prince.

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“The opportunity to play her was a privilege and was daunting,” added Anderson. “She is a formidable character and journalist, and an incredibly impressive woman. So when first asked to play her I said, ‘Absolutely not, it’s too hard, she’s too amazing and everyone knows her too well and I will undoubtedly fail’.”

Sewell, meanwhile, said he didn’t accept the role until he had “worked on it on my own for a little while.”

“I had an instinct about playing him and thought I could bring something to it,” he added. “I don’t have the natural gift of mimicry but came to it in a different way.”

Sewell said he subsequently became “obsessed” with the now-disgraced prince, watching the interview over and over again and “dressing up” like Andrew constantly.

Sewell said he resisted the temptation to “avoid showing him in a good light” and “watched interviews from when his charm worked.”

When he came to film that notorious interview alongside Anderson’s Maitlis, the pair had not rehearsed at all but filmed for two days straight, they revealed. “We came in as each other and just went for it,” added Sewell. “It was like being in this very strange bubble.”

Scoop is “not the story of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims nor Prince Andrew’s story,” said Sewell, but the story of the women who made the interview possible, led by Sam McAlister, who is played by Billie Piper – also present at the Netflix event.

“I came to the interview after it had been widely reported on,” said I Hate Suzie star Piper. “It piqued my interest and I cared about it and I felt like there are unsung heroes in this story who need some recognition.”

Scoop is written by Peter Moffat, and co-produced by The Lighthouse and Voltage TV.

The pair were appearing at See What’s Next alongside the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Jack Thorne and Abi Morgan.

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