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Ripley Star Eliot Sumner Talks Risky Audition for Freddie Miles Role



In Netflix’s Ripley — Steven Zaillian’s foray into the world of con man Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott) based mostly on Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Gifted Mr. Ripley — Eliot Sumner’s Freddie Miles is English. Contemplating that in each the e-book and former 1999 film, the character could be very American, the singer-actor took a threat with the audition. 

“I got sent the audition in February 2021, and this was still pandemic time, so I’d been doing a lot of tapes but not getting much work, and this one comes up and I couldn’t really believe it,” says Sumner, whose dad and mom are Sting and actress Trudie Styler. “I thought that I definitely wouldn’t get it. I did it the way that I heard it in my head, and I risked it all by playing Freddie as an English person. Intuitively, I thought it might add some contrast to the rest of the characters. … Steven Zaillian wrote to me personally, saying that he’d like to give me the part, which blew my mind.”

Enjoying Freddie, a job beforehand portrayed by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman within the film adaptation written and directed by Anthony Minghella, initially appeared daunting. “He’s one of my favorite heroes of cinema, and I knew that nothing could go up against the way that he played Freddie, so I had to make it as unique as possible,” Sumner says. “In a way, that freed me from the shadow, and Steven’s vision for Ripley was so ingrained in it being its own thing.”

Sumner, whose performing credit embrace The Gents and No Time to Die, says that Tom and Freddie have extra in frequent than they know, however that doesn’t cease them from going head-to-head in episode 5, wherein — spoiler alert — Tom bludgeons Freddie with a heavyweight ashtray.

“Fraudulence is quite common with all the characters,” says Sumner. “Tom is a con man on paper. But Freddie’s definitely not a playwright. Dickie’s not an artist. Marge is not a very good writer. And even Inspector Ravini is lying about where his wife comes from. So, there’s all of these very microscopic character traits that link them. It’s fascinating.”

For Sumner, taking part in lifeless for a lot of the fifth episode was a problem. The actor provides that there was fairly a little bit of choreography concerned in Tom dragging Freddie’s physique out of the house. “It was about four months of being known as ‘The Body’ on set,” says Sumner, laughing. “It was physically quite taxing, as bizarre as that sounds, because I was just lying there, but the dragging around and not breathing for minutes on end … I’m sure they could have fixed that in post, but I wanted to do it properly.”

Sumner’s efficiency has been critically acclaimed, and it seems that Sumner’s father is simply as a lot a fan. “He loves it,” says Sumner. “He’s really into it. I knew he would be — it’s his cup of tea.”

And taking part in the position was simply as monumental for Sumner: “Slipping into Freddie was really easy to do in a kind of scary way. It’s a lot of fun. I find that his confidence and his arrogance, you don’t really get to see that every day in normal, polite society. I’m really sad that I might not ever get to play Freddie again.”

This story first appeared in a Might standalone difficulty of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click on right here to subscribe.

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