Philip Glenister is back on BBC One this week in conspiracy based drama Hidden, which also stars Thekla Reuten.
Glenister plays small-time solicitor Harry Venn who finds himself drawn into a complex conspiracy…
What is Hidden about?
I suppose it’s under the bracket of a conspiratorial thriller. I play a character called Harry Venn, who on the surface is just a normal high street solicitor, getting by, an every day sort of chap, with rather a shady past that comes back to haunt him in the guise of Thekla’s character Gina, who imparts some information about my past and her past which brings us together on a sort of mission.
What sort of character is Harry?
He’s fairly laid back, quite laconic. A high street solicitor- with a slightly dodgy past- which he’s left behind and the idea is that he’s going straight. But he still knows a few rough diamonds that he keeps in contact with and who become quite an important part of the story.
It was such a good script, written by Ronan Bennett, who is a terrific writer with a great reputation, and David Thompson was executing- who I’ve worked with in the past and is somebody I look up to and respect very much so to have that grouping behind you to begin with was fabulous.
When they approached me with this script it was a no brainer, I read the first one and it’s always a good sign when you immediately want to go on to episode two.
What was it like filming with Thekla – had you worked with her before?
I hadn’t worked with her before, and to be absolutely honest I didn’t know that much about her until somebody said to me that she was the receptionist in the film In Bruges and immediately, because she was so great in that, I was like, “ohh right, ok”.
Then obviously she was in the film The American which I hadn’t seen but made a point of watching. And she was great, I really enjoyed working with her, I think she was fantastic for the part – I think it’s great to have someone that maybe a British audience won’t know too much about. Gina is a mysterious character, and quite a glam character and I think not being English gives the role, and the show, some gravitas – and we had a good laugh working together.
What can you tell me about the relationship between Harry and Gina. How does their relationship progress?
Well it starts off from Harry’s point of view, he doesn’t know anything about Gina – he doesn’t know where she’s come from and the fact that she seems to know so much about him kind of freaks him out.
Initially he kind of dismisses her but then she mentions his brother, and a name from the past that he thinks only he and his mate and his ex wife know about. For this stranger to suddenly have this information freaks him.
He has no choice but to pursue Gina and find out exactly what’s going on, he follows her to Paris and she’s not giving anything away.
Their relationship starts off with massive distrust and Harry’s not sure if she’s working against him or for an organisation, it’s only through trial and perseverance that they begin to get anywhere and then from that point, when their lives are threatened and somebody from the past enters their lives, that’s when they start having to work together to try and save themselves and try to find out what’s been going on and how they’re involved.
What’s Harry’s relationship like with his son?
Harry’s relationship with his son is quite fractious – there’s not a lot of back story on that relationship but his home life is a mess, he’s been booted out by his ex wife – they’re still on speaking terms, and other terms as well judging by one of the scenes… But its something that Harry obviously didn’t want to happen – he’d like to be settled with his wife and she’s the one that says, “I cant deal with this any more – you’re never around,” because of work and because the character is slightly off the rails a little bit.
Their relationship is interesting because his relationship with his own father is very fractious and so that’s carried on with him and his son, and he basically hasn’t spent any time with his son and his son starts getting into trouble, so there’s this pattern at work.
What do you think viewers will enjoy about Hidden?
I hope they’ll enjoy the story and watching it unravel and I hope they’ll want to come back for more after each episode. Personally I like a good conspiratorial thriller, its always kind of fun, you have to work at them.
I think it’s a very grown up piece, it’s quite a slow burner to begin with but you need that to set the story up because there’s a hell of a lot of information to impart and a lot going on.
I hope that in the same way that, when I first read the first episode, I wanted to know more about where it was going and to find out about Harry and Gina, that viewers will really enjoy it and follow it.