Mad Dogs 3 Press Pack - Philip Glenister Interview.
Phil is one of the UK's busiest actors, barely pausing for breath in recent years in between roles. His biggest triumph was arguably playing the larger than life Gene Hunt in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, but the rest of his CV is equally impressive, with roles in classic dramas including Cranford. Mad Dogs marks the fifth collaboration for Phil and John Simm, after they paired up for Life On Mars, State of Play, Clocking Off, and the 2008 crime film, Tuesday. Brother to actor Robert, Phil has also taken lead roles in Sky1's Treasure Island and BBC1 drama Hidden recently as well as movie Bel Ami, in which he co-starred with Uma Thurman and Robert Pattinson.
Note from admin: We've put the interview under a spoiler button as it does contain spoilers for the third series.
How does the third series begin? Well, as you know we ended the second series in Morocco, and at the beginning of the third we are just in more s*** really - that's the only way to describe it! Because of all sorts of reasons, we have to move out here, to South Africa, and we don't see each other for a while until the story cuts drastically to two years in the future.
Is it different in pace? Yes, we had to move, we couldn't stay in Majorca. So we needed to crank up, and move it on a pace, and move location, which works really well. I think these are the best scripts so far.
How have you enjoyed filming in South Africa? It's great. This place is used so much for film and television, but it's never used as Cape Town - it's always doubling up for somewhere else. So what's been nice is to come here and say, 'Right, we're in Cape Town, let's not build a mini-London here, let's just show South Africa off'. So that's been quite liberating. The nice thing with a show like this is that we're amongst friends. That's the secret of making good work -surrounding yourself with the best people.
What about the tone - is that different too? Yeah. We see how the friendship between the four of them actually works, and how some are more reliant than others. Their characters come out much more in this I think, what they are actually about as people. It is also funny and it's very melancholic as well. It's very moving in places, some of the scenes, and it's awkward in that way that only male friends can do - do you just shake hands or do you hug? It's got all those little elements going on.
How does Quinn get on with the separation? Actually, he says, 'Right, have a good life, I'm off'. I suppose he's always been slightly detached from the rest of the group and I always feel that you never know what quite his thinking is. There is an ambiguity about Quinn when you think, 'What is he thinking?'. He is quite annoying in that respect! So for him, this is a complete new beginning. He intends to seize that opportunity to start afresh. That compares to Baxter who is desperate to get back to his family, or Rick who is trying to live in the past and stay young. Out of all of them, Woody and Quinn are the two who make something of the change. Woody finds a purpose in life and both him and Quinn adapt best to their new circumstances.
Have you enjoyed exploring Cape Town? Well, there is a weird thing about Cape Town - you could be anywhere, you could be in Europe, the States. It's very cosmopolitan. It's not until you get out of it there that it starts to be a bit more like real South Africa, you see the townships and stuff.
Quinn gets a girl this year, doesn't he? He does. That was one of my requirements for series three. I said to them, 'I want a very nice car, some nice clothes, and a bird'. I just thought we should give Quinn a lady and they cast this wonderful actress, Sylvie, who plays Christina but I don’t know, she might turn out to be not all she is meant to be. It was nice to see him interact and get a bit of action.
Did it cheer him up at all? Well that’s true, he is a miserable f***** really, you know. Somebody has got to be, haven’t they?
Are you pleased to be doing a fourth series? Yes, I'm up for it! It's a great job, and a fun job, and we feel confident about this series being the best script so we can only build on that.
Where would you like it to be set? The Isle of Wight would be nice. Or Richmond Park, so that I can go home on an evening. We have talked about starting off abroad somewhere then setting some of it back in the UK, so maybe it could be half and half. But that's not really my department, so we'll see.
Without giving too much away, your character gets Quinn in a headlock at one point. Was that fun to film? That was so much fun. I also gave him a 'wet willy', which is a finger in the ear. It was brilliant! I've never been asked to do a close-up on a wet willy before. I was like, 'Sorry, what?! Phil is really tall and I'm very small so it was hilarious.
What was it like to come into a drama where the four main actors are so tight? They are all so good, so giving. I was very nervous, as you are when you walk onto a set where they have been doing it for a couple of years and they are all very tight. It was very different to anything I've done before so it was quite nerve-wracking. But I loved it. I absolutely loved it. The boys are so giving, they are so sweet, I love them all. They're all big teddy bears, really.