Press Archive

Matthew Goode joins historical epic ‘Medieval’ (exclusive)

Matthew Goode has joined the cast of historical epic Medieval, which is currently shooting in and around Prague and also stars Ben Foster, Til Schweiger, and Michael Caine.

Petr Jákl directs and produces the J.B.J Film and Elevated Films feature alongside Cassian Elwes, who represents US rights with UTA Independent Film Group. Highland Film Group is in talks with international buyers here. Double Tree Entertainment also produces.

Medieval, based on the legend of 14th century warlord Jan Zizka of Trocnov (Foster), a brilliant Hussite commander and former mercenary regarded by the Czechs as a national hero.

Zizka and his band of men become bound up with the fate of an heiress and battle a rival king to establish equality for the Czech people.

Goode, whose credits include The Imitation Game, Downton Abbey, and The Crown, will portray King Sigismund of Hungary and Croatia, the brother of Czech King Wenceslaus, while Caine is Wenceslaus’ right-hand man Lord Boresh, and Schweiger is Rosenberg, the wealthiest lord in the land.

The film is being produced with the support of private investors and a number of Czech state institutions and regions, including the Czech Film Fund, the Prague Film Fund, Creative Europe – Media and others.

Additional support for the production comes from the Middle Bohemia Region, the Capital city of Prague, and the president of the senate of parliament of the Czech Republic.

Highland’s AFM sales slate includes: Joe Carnahan’s Boss Level starring Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts and Mel Gibson; Marc Meyer’s thriller We Summon the Darkness with Alexandra Daddario; and Shawn Ku’s action thriller A Score To Settle starring Nicolas Cage.


Matthew Goode on sex scenes, Weinstein, and Richard Madden’s Bodyguard nudity – The Telegraph – By Guy Kelley – 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

On a sticky midweek afternoon in central London, Matthew Goode is in repose: lolling on a hotel sofa, sipping a latte, and happily ruminating on the anatomy of the Bodyguard’s Richard Madden. I didn’t even need to ask.

“He’s dealing with that thing,” Goode says, airily referring to the fate that has befallen several male stars of Sunday night dramas, from Poldark’s Aidan Turner to Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager, in which a glimpse of naked flesh makes more headlines than the rest of their performance. “He doesn’t want to be objectified. And I know that’s been happening to women for centuries, but I think he feels pretty uncomfortable that his bottom is now all over the internet…” He shrugs. “But then it is a great-looking bottom.”

Goode, perhaps, has a vested interest: he and Madden have been friends since they worked together on the television adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong in 2012. A few days prior to our meeting, he was one of 6.7m people who saw more of Madden than they’d expected during the year’s most-watched sex scene.

He is delighted to stitch his friend up further. “Did you know, in Cinderella [Madden was Prince Charming in the 2015 Disney version] I think Rich may have… now, how does one put this… I think his ‘proportions’ in the nether regions were such that they had to be covered up, CGI-d out, because it was Disney and he had tights on.” A wicked grin flashes across Goode’s face. “Let’s put that out there.”

Goode has been in his fair share of big-budget TV dramas over the years – from Downton Abbey to playing Lord Snowdon in The Crown – but he’s glad to have turned 40 this year without ever becoming the national lust object some of his industry friends have. Especially as a married father of three.

“I’m old and settled and it’s not great for my wife [interior designer Sophie Dymoke] to see sex scenes,” he says. “I’ve always got the old sock on, but they’re still awkward, and you just want them to be over as quickly as possible, especially if you’ve only just met the other person. Honestly, I could do with no more sex scenes for the rest of my life.”

It’s not that Goode has no female fans – far from it. An American woman recently wished to show her appreciation for his career by offering to purchase his shopping at the supermarket checkout (“Utterly weird. I had to fight her off, she was going for the card reader”), but there are degrees of hassle.

“My mate Jamie Dornan [Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey series] doesn’t even like going out shopping. Now there’s a man who has a problem with female attention. It must be harrowing,” he says. “No one pays attention to me, I can just put on a silly hat and be gone.”

Goode has, to put it mildly, an unpredictable way with words. Every 45 seconds or so he’ll say something that makes his publicist wince – he once declared his 2010 rom-com Leap Year “turgid” – but I suspect he has enough charm to get away with mass murder. Casting agents appear to agree: over the years he’s come to specialise in playing charming rogues. Ideally in period costume.

“Or maybe just bastards? I think there’s just me and Dominic West who specialise in those parts,” he laughs. “I don’t think anyone goes, ‘hang on, I want to do another period drama!’, but it’s just how it happened for me. I don’t know, I’ve stopped watching them now. What a release.”

His newest role, at least, has been a departure. In Sky’s A Discovery of Witches, an adaptation of the first book in Deborah Harkness’s bestselling All Souls Trilogy, he plays his first vampire. It’s set at Oxford University, and tells the story of a historian and witch, Diana, who requires the help of an enigmatic but brilliant vampire academic (Goode) to unlock fantastical mysteries. Consider it a kind of supernatural, gothic Inspector Morse; or Being Human crossed with University Challenge.

“I’d never really done much in a fantasy world before. It’s easy to write,” he says, but “if you don’t have the cash it can get a bit hammy. Luckily they’ve done a really good job.”

A few years ago, Goode had the option to move to America, try his luck in Los Angeles and try his luck at becoming a Hollywood leading man. Instead, he chose to stay in Surrey and see his children – Matilda, nine, Teddy, five, and three-year-old Ralph – grow up.

“I once thought I was in maybe the top 40 actors in my generation in Britain, and I thought, ‘why don’t I be the one guy who doesn’t go to LA?’”

So he didn’t. Yet he’s still in constant demand, and has managed to appear in an impressive number of Oscar-nominated films, from The Imitation Game to Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Both of those, incidentally, were Weinstein films.

“I never had much to do with [Harvey Weinstein], not being the star of those films, but then I was also not a woman. I suppose there’s no smoke without fire, and 100 women is a lot of people,” he says of the allegations against the director that have abounded since the #MeToo movement began last year. “I heard the rumours when I was sitting there in drama school in the 90s. For it to come all the way across the Atlantic at that time, that’s weird.”

Goode’s agent in Hollywood called recently to inform him that “people think you’re dead out here”, but he remains perfectly happy with his lot – which involves a lot of staying in. “Getting into town and back costs an absolute arm and a leg,” he says. “The kids aren’t really mad about us going out, and besides, it’s better to have friends round isn’t it?”

Still, it doesn’t sound as if he’s wanting for ways to pass the time. A few roles have fallen through – he and Rosumund Pike were due to play Prince Charles and Princess Diana in a US series, Feud, about their marriage, but that’s been canned – yet a Jaqueline Wilson adaptation, a drama with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and of course the new Downton Abbey film, reuniting him with Michelle Dockery, are all in the works.

“That was so nice, I hadn’t seen her since she lost her fella [Dockery’s fiancé, John Dineen, died from cancer in 2015], and I’m so happy to see she’s doing well,” he says. “I can’t say a thing, but there’s some amazing new faces in [the film].”

It’s all going well, then. And he looks in fine fettle for 40. On the morning we meet, Mark Wahlberg – his senior by seven years – released details of his preposterously gruelling daily routine, involving two gym sessions beginning at 2.30am.

“At what f***ing time?” Goode shrieks. “I think I might go to bed occasionally at 2.30am after putting the wine away and scooping my wife off the sofa. He’s probably up to his eyes in protein shakes too. Good on him, I say. Although he did blind someone when he was younger, so maybe he’s making up for it…” He glances at a panicked publicist. “Say no more about that.”

No, it’s swimming 50 lengths every morning, playing golf and not working too hard that give him all this energy – though he says he is sent a suspicious number of father roles these days. Leave the sex symbols for Madden; Goode can do the dads. As long as they’re charming rogues, of course.


Written By Megan Sutton | 10 September 2018
Goode’s upcoming fantasy series is worlds away from his role as Tony Armstrong-Jones

Matthew Goode is fresh from a starring role in The Crown, and not long before that was a fan favourite in Downton Abbey, but his next role is worlds away from Buckingham Palace and Highclere castle.

Goode stars as Matthew Clairmont in upcoming Sky One series A Discovery of Witches, a tale of conflicting supernatural clans set at Oxford University. Clairmont is serious, an academic and just happens to be a 1,500-year-old vampire.

Fans of historical novelist Deborah Harkness will be familiar – the series is based on the first in her book trilogy and Goode says the TV version has stayed “very faithful” to it.

“We start by learning about Matthew and Diana [Bishop, a witch and the show’s other lead character played by Teresa Palmer] which is a good place to start as they’re the main focal point of the story really, and then there’s a shift to learning more about the witches and demons.”

Speaking to, the former The Crown star explained why the Sky series was such a fun project to take on.

“It’s very much something I’d never done, I had a lot of friends who were involved with Harry Potter and I think I felt sort of maligned about that, so I was quite interested in the genre. This is very different,” he said.

“What’s great about it is that it’s set now, in the real world and because it’s written by a historian there are so many layers and it’s very nuanced. It’s a fascinating world.”

The series is centred largely on Matthew and Diana’s complex and frowned upon relationship, and luckily Goode and Palmer got on “famously”.

“It was so nice to be opposite Teresa, we had a real laugh together. Some of the stuff involved was quite funny because it’s so fantastical,” he explained.

Those who watch A Discovery of Witches and find themselves to be firm fans of the leading duo are in luck – future series are already being discussed.

“What’s great is that there’s not just this series but hopefully more to come, so we get to sit in characters for a while. It’s a slow burn between the two of them and it’s complex and that’s a joy to try and work out for an actor.”

With a new series to get his teeth stuck into (pardon the pun), Goode isn’t missing The Crown too much. In fact, he’s excited to see Ben Daniels take on the role of Tony Armstrong-Jones when the Netflix hit returns.

“I saw a photo of him in character recently and thought he looked absolutely amazing, with his piercing blue eyes, in fact – probably better than I ever did,” Goode said.

Will he find it hard watching another actor play Tony?

“If it was just me being replaced I’d find that very hard, but I think this will be a fairly easy transition because it’s everybody. I think Ben is a really fantastic actor who’s been brilliant for years and this is going to put him on the map. He’s going to be like a duck to water with Tony, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does,” the actor enthused.

While he’s no longer starring as Lord Snowdon, Goode is still reaping praise for his wonderful performance in The Crown – namely a Primetime Emmy nod for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

“I’m very honoured, it was something that completely came from left field. I wasn’t expecting it. It was like getting a long-lost school report, it’s been a really long time since anyone’s said anything other than satisfactory,” Goode said of his Emmy nomination.

“I feel very humbled. I don’t need to win and I’m not expecting to as it’s fairly famously something younger actors don’t tend to get, which is fine by me. It’s nice to be on the list.”

A discovery of Witches is coming to Sky One and NOW TV on Friday 14 September.


Matthew Goode confirmed for Downton Abbey movie – but he says he will only be “popping in at the end”

What does his appearance mean for Henry Talbot and his wife Lady Mary?

By Eleanor Bley Griffiths
Monday, 3rd September 2018 at 7:00 pm

Matthew Goode has revealed he will be appearing in the Downton Abbey movie – but not for long.

The actor starred as Henry Talbot in the ITV series, and gave us the happily-ever-after storyline we were hoping for with his character’s marriage to Lady Mary.

The last time we visited Downton, Lady Mary was pregnant with their first child and Henry had set up an automobile shop with Tom Branson (Allen Leech) named Talbot and Branson Motors.

So you’d expect him to have a pretty meaty role in the upcoming feature film.

But Goode tells Radio Times: “I’m just popping in at the end, which is a nice way to do it.”

Perhaps his limited role in the movie is down to his other commitments. After all, Goode has movies in the pipeline including Official Secrets and Four Kids and It, and on Friday his new drama A Discovery of Witches begins on Sky1.

Still, it’s left us pretty worried. Have Lady Mary and Henry Talbot lasted the course or will we find them sadly separated when we return to Downton Abbey?

Read the full interview in Radio Times magazine, out Tuesday 4th.


Daily Mail On-line 31st August 2018

Blood lust! Forget Buffy – Matthew Goode says his new drama A Discovery Of Witches, which has forbidden love between a vampire and a sorceress at its heart, is aimed squarely at grown-ups
New series adapts Deborah Harkness’s bestselling novel A Discovery of Witches
Matthew Goode, 40, stars as blood thirsty professor Matthew Clairmont
Reluctant witch Diana Bishop, seeks Clairmont’s help after learning her heritage
Despite distrust between vampires and witches the pair attract each other
Matthew revealed the combination of love, mystery and thrill in the series
PUBLISHED: 22:30, 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 22:30, 31 August 2018

With his easy charm, swept-back hair and a deathly pallor about his gaunt face, Matthew Goode is about to become the sexiest vampire to grace the screen since Robert Pattinson’s saturnine Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga.

He plays Matthew Clairmont, an enigmatic professor with a taste for blood, in a major new TV adaptation of the bestselling novel A Discovery Of Witches – the first book in American scholar Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy.

But if you think you’re in for another generic slice of crucifixes and stakes through the heart, think again, says Matthew.

‘We’re so conditioned by what we’ve seen on the screen before that we think all magic is going to be like Harry Potter, and all vampire stuff is going to be the underworld,’ he explains.

‘But it’s not. People expect vampires to have fangs and be frightened of daylight and not like garlic very much.

Matthew Goode (pictured with Teresa Palmer as Diana), 40, stars as Matthew Clairmont in a new TV adaptation of Deborah Harkness’s bestselling novel A Discovery Of Witches. Here he gives an insight into the series which combines love, mystery and thriller

‘But Clairmont doesn’t have fangs and he prays in churches because he’s a devout Catholic.

‘The opening scene sees him on a bridge warming himself in the dawn sun, so all the things you think you know about vampires are turned on their head.’

The eight-episode series is aimed at a far wider and savvier audience than shows like Charmed and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

It follows American academic and reluctant witch Diana Bishop, who’s in denial about her magical heritage until her discovery in Oxford’s Bodleian Library of Ashmole 782, an ancient mystical manuscript which all the supernatural beings want to get their hands on.

This throws her into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of the vampire professor.

Despite an ancient distrust between witches and vampires, she seeks the help of Matthew Clairmont who is, in fact, a geneticist trying to uncover why his vampire species is dying out.

Together they face a barrage of supernatural threats as they probe the book’s secrets, while a forbidden romance blossoms between them.

Australian actress Teresa Palmer plays Diana, with Lindsay Duncan as Clairmont’s mother Ysabeau and Trevor Eve as evil vampire Gerbert d’Aurillac.

Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston has the role of Diana’s aunt and guardian Sarah Bishop, while Valarie Pettiford is Sarah’s partner Emily.

So just how supernatural is A Discovery Of Witches? ‘Everybody keeps challenging me on what the show is,’ says Matthew, 40, who’s best known as Lady Mary’s racy second husband Henry Talbot in Downton.

‘I’d say the love story between Diana and Matthew is right at the heart of it, but it’s also a thriller and a mystery.

‘It goes through the ages. It’s got everything in it. I know a lot of people think because it’s got vampires and witches it’s a sort of teeny-type thing, but it’s not – this is very grown-up.’

The story takes place in a contemporary world where a handful of witches, vampires and daemons live and work among humans, their true natures unrecognised.

‘We try to escape that Gothic thing so that you see they could live among us. I mean, obviously, as vampires, we’re slightly paler but then we live in England where many people are pale,’ laughs Matthew.

‘But all our characters feel like ordinary people with regular jobs. We want viewers to think, “Blimey, these people could live in our world.”

‘So you might be sitting at a table with a vampire and not even know it. It’s not a fantasy world – we were trying to make a different version of a zombie drama.’

Magic is key to the story, and when it happens the special effects go into overdrive. In the crucial scene where Diana attempts to take Ashmole 782 from the Bodleian’s hallowed shelves, all eyes in the library are furtively watching.

There are daemons, witches and vampires hiding in plain sight, waiting for this new chapter of her life to be unlocked and begin.

‘I’m reaching for this book and it flies into my hand,’ says Teresa Palmer, who starred with Andrew Garfield in 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge.

‘And when I open it, magic from the book is running down my hands and my chest and onto the table – it’s a bit like The Matrix with all the green lines running down the screen.’

But she too believes it’s the romance between Clairmont and Diana that’s the key element in the series.

‘It’s an unconventional love story,’ she says, ‘but they are instantly attracted. There’s this unspoken connection, this spark and this chemistry between them.

‘They’re very attracted to each other. You can liken it to Romeo and Juliet – the idea of star-crossed lovers.’

‘Clairmont may be 1,500 years old but he’s still quite spritely,’ adds Matthew. ‘He’s basically a batty professor with a very chequered past.

This is a love story but also a thriller and a mystery ‘He’s given up feeding on humans and makes a plan to leave Oxford and go up to Scotland to feed on deer.

‘So he’s quite an honourable man but he has to keep himself in check because any human blood can ignite certain senses – it’s called “blood rage” and it’s what sets him off.

‘When he first started feeding he discovered he was uncontrollable, it made him incredibly wild. He even wanted to commit suicide, which can cheese you off a bit if you’ve been told you’re going to live forever.’

Fighting to destroy the relationship between Clairmont and Diana – and indeed Clairmont himself – is Trevor Eve’s sinister and seriously powerful vampire Gerbert d’Aurillac, a former pope.

For Trevor, who played the young protagonist Jonathan Harker in Laurence Olivier’s Dracula film in 1979, it was fun to change sides.

‘I was on the good side then, it was me and Sir Laurence tracking down Frank Langella as Count Dracula. Now I’m on the bad side,’ says Trevor, 67.

‘You can’t really resist when someone calls you up and says, “Do you want to play a 1,000-year-old vampire?”’ Gerbert is based on Sylvester II, who was Pope from the year 999 to his death in 1003 and faced accusations of sorcery.

‘I have special powers that give me superhuman strength so I can hear, sense and smell anything,’ says Trevor.

‘But apart from a longer beard and shorter hair I look normal. I’m Clairmont’s nemesis because of something his father did to me 500 years ago.

‘He’s also broken his society’s rules by consorting with a witch. So I get to come up against all the witches and give them a hard time.

‘I use a vampire named Juliette – played by Elarica Johnson – as the bait for Clairmont. Gerbert can see where she’s been and what she’s done by tasting her blood.’

However, there were problems filming the blood-sucking scenes. ‘We were working in a beautiful room with a 14th-century panelled wardrobe,’ says Trevor.

‘The director said, “OK, so Elarica’s got some padding on her back, now hurl her against this cupboard.” And about six people ran up and said, “No. They’re super-valuable old panels of wood.”

‘But he said, “I don’t care, hurl her against her it.” So we got pillows in the end and buffered Elarica and she got thrown.

‘It softened the blow but they weren’t worried about her, they were worried about this priceless cupboard!’

Matthew, who has three children with his wife Sophie, has always had the gift of an almost supernatural beauty.

So much so that it’s helped him forge a glittering career playing a portfolio of prepossessing characters from the dashing Charles Ryder in the 2008 remake of Brideshead Revisited, to the British toff in Woody Allen’s Match Point alongside Scarlett Johansson, and the rakish Lord Snowdon in The Crown.

It was his role as Lady Mary’s fast car-driving love interest Henry Talbot in Downton Abbey that put him firmly in the spotlight though.

He had always wanted to be in Downton but it hadn’t quite worked out until he happened to be working with Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary, on the 2015 sci-fi film Self/Less and they had such a hoot that she asked him, ‘Would you like to come and marry me in Downton?’ And so he did.

Statuesque, with an affable charm and a sharp sense of humour, it’s no wonder he’s a hit with his co-stars.

He similarly hit it off with Teresa Palmer, who uprooted her husband Mark and two young sons Bodhi and Forest for the six-month shoot in Wales. ‘I’ve never seen anyone work so tirelessly,’ says Matthew.

‘Teresa really is like an earth mother. And she’s fully vegan. Normally when I meet a vegan I think, “Uh-oh, I’m not sure this is going to go particularly well.”

‘But she’s one of the great vegans. It’s quite funny though, when as a vampire I’m thinking, “I’d like to take a bite out of her.”’

A Discovery Of Witches starts on Friday 14 September at 9pm on Sky One and Now TV.


‘Ordeal by Innocence’ reinvents detective genre
By Josh Trebuchon in ‘Technique on August 28, 2018

Amazon recently released an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1958 whodunnit “Ordeal by Innocence.” The novel follows the struggle of the Argyles, an upper-class British family, to determine who among them is responsible for the murder of the family’s late matriarch Rachel. After an abundance of twists, the true nature of and motivation for the murder are revealed to be rather ordinary.

In director Sandra Goldbacher’s take on the classic novel, the setting is moved to an appropriately gloomy Scottish manor. While the premise and characters remain largely unchanged (though “Argyle” is changed to “Argyll”), the Amazon miniseries is a completely new beast, something much darker and much more cynical than anything Christie ever wrote.

When the three-part miniseries opens, the audience is introduced to the Argyll family and the horrible crime of which Rachel Argyll has been the victim through a series of fast-moving non-chronological clips which set an exceptionally dark tone and disorient the viewer.

While these clips do an excellent job of controlling the flow of information to the viewer and set them up for a strange tale, the sequence is one of the weakest of the miniseries. It draws on a bit too long and does too little to advance the story.

Still, as soon as the viewer escapes this sequence, they are immersed in the gorgeously vibrant world which is perhaps the best feature of Goldbacher’s adaptation. Every set is immaculate. Every shot perfectly set up. The series is a joy to watch if only for the beauty of its universe, and even viewers who are skeptical of such things will begin to take notice of Goldbacher’s meticulous use of symmetry and powerful imagery to create a haunting effect.

The viewer must be careful not to let the overwhelming beauty of the miniseries distract from the complexity lurking beneath the surface. Goldbacher’s work is far from a simple adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel. She makes deliberate changes to the plot and characters which enhance the story and change the tale from a traditional piece of detective fiction into a postmodern thriller rife with flawed characters, substance abuse and moral ambiguity.

Every character in Amazon’s “Ordeal by Innocence” is either deeply flawed or struggles with serious personal troubles, from drug addiction to alcoholism to mental illness. Few of the characters are likable, but at some point the viewer feels sympathy for each of them. The cast deserves the credit for portraying the characters convincingly.

Perhaps the least likable character in the series is the one most masterfully acted. The character of Phillip Durrant, a former war pilot who is paralyzed from the waist down by a car accident, is the Argyll family’s resident provocateur. Portrayed by Matthew Goode (“The Imitation Game”), he airs out each character’s doubts about who has committed the crime with detachment and brutal honesty, as though he approaches the consequential issue as a mere intellectual exercise.

In the hands of a lesser actor, Durrant would come across as a villain, but Goode’s performance highlights the character’s brokenness and demonstrates that his cruelty is simply a method by which he copes with his
own disability.

Ella Purnell (“Churchill,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”) turns in an equally superb performance as Hester Argyll. Purnell does an excellent job of portraying her character’s internal struggle over the possibility that she may have murdered her mother in a fit of rage. Hester is also quite possibly the most likable character in the entire miniseries. She labors under the imposed burden of her mother’s perfectionism, trying desperately to please her until she can simply no longer stand to be at home. Just before her death, Rachel’s excessive control over Hester’s life becomes so unbearable that Hester later believes that she may have killed her mother without realizing it.

Thematically, the most compelling feature of “Ordeal by Innocence” is the nuance with which it treats the central murder. One of the recurring motifs in the miniseries is the idea that “it could’ve happened to anyone.” The characters can sympathize with their mother’s murderer; they understand that their mother placed enormous pressure on everyone in her life and that any one of them could have just as easily been the one to snap.

This is what makes the series so refreshing. Stylistically, it is very similar to a traditional whodunnit crime story, but it lacks the central moral voice which typically defines that genre. Whereas traditional detective fiction features a clear cut villain who is typically motivated by money or self-gain, the flawed characters in “Ordeal by Innocence” are simply the product of their environment. The series poses questions about what makes a person evil and what that means for the idea of justice.

Since the midpoint of the 20th century, the detective fiction genre has declined and largely died out in western culture, in part because its moral framework is too black and white for the world of contemporary literature. Goldbacher’s greatest accomplishment with this miniseries is reconciling the genre with the morally ambiguous values of modern thought.

She treads the fine line of contemporary morality with plenty of nuance. While the viewer and the characters sympathize with the circumstances which led to Rachel Argyll’s murder, justice is still ultimately delivered; even if the crime is a product of the perpetrator’s circumstances, the criminal is responsible for his individual actions and deserves punishment.

“Ordeal by Innocence” is positively fantastic to watch, and the miniseries has the potential to revolutionize the crime fiction genre. If the impact of the series is that viewers get to see more shows like this one, the future of television is certainly bright.


Express – A-Discovery-of-Witches – updated 15th August 2018  – by Emma Nolan

A Discovery of Witches release date, cast, trailer, plot

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES is a brand new supernatural drama that’s due to start on Sky this autumn. Here’s everything you need to know including release date, cast, trailer, plot and more.When is A Discovery of Witches released?

Romantic fantasy drama A Discovery of Witches is set to be released this autumn.

The Sky Original production will premiere on Friday, September 14.

Eight episodes are set to air weekly on Sky One when it is released.

A Discovery of Witches is based on a trilogy of novels called All Souls by Deborah Harkness.

It follows a historian and reluctant witch whose life is changed when she discovers a magical manuscript and a vampire professor in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

This is set to appeal to fans of shows like The Originals and Vampire Diaries and even Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Who is in the cast of A Discovery of Witches?

Leading the cast as the main character Diana Bishop is horror movie actress Teresa Palmer.

The Australian actress is known for starring mostly in horror and supernatural movies including Warm Bodies and Lights Out.

Her character is a history professor who is forced back into the magic world after she discovers a bewitched book.

The Crown and Downton Abbey actor Matthew Goode plays Matthew Clairmont, a mysterious vampire who helps Diana.

Alex Kingston plays Diana’s aunt Sarah and Valarie Pettiford plays her partner Emily.

Other cast members include Game of Thrones actor Owen Teale as Peter Knox and Sherlock’s Louise Brealey as Gillian Chamberlain.

What is the plot of A Discovery of Witches?

The official synopsis from Sky One reads: “A Discovery of Witches is a contemporary love story set against the backdrop of Oxford academic life, but in a world where a handful of witches, vampires and daemons live and work unseen amongst humans, hiding in plain sight.

“Teresa Palmer will star as brilliant academic and historian Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch denying her heritage.

“The discovery of a manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library throws her into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of enigmatic geneticist Matthew Clairmont, who we discover also has a dark family secret: he is a vampire.

“As Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the secrets of an ancient manuscript and as their relationship develops and their heritage comes in to play, events threaten to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between witches, vampires, daemons and humans.”

Speaking about the upcoming series, showrunner Kate Brooke said: “The show is a relationship drama, grounded in emotional truth.

“Diana and Matthew, like all couples who meet and fall in love, at times struggle to understand each other and come to terms with their differences.”

She added; “And if you’re a vampire and a witch – those differences are huge.”


Matthew Goode Is Even Better In ‘Ordeal By Innocence’ Than He Is In ‘The Crown’
By Meghan O’Keefe  – Decider August 10th 2018

Pardon the pun, but British actor Matthew Goode is having a very good year. He gets paid to drink wine and giggle on The Wine Show, stars in this fall’s A Discovery of Witches, and just nabbed his first Emmy nomination this year for playing Princess Margaret’s husband Tony Armstrong-Jones in The Crown. So, yeah, Matthew Goode is doing good. However, his biggest triumph of the year might be happening this weekend. Matthew Goode is co-starring in Amazon Prime Video‘s new Agatha Christie adaptation, Ordeal By Innocence. And here’s the thing: Goode is even better in Ordeal By Innocence than he is in The Crown.

As murder mysteries go, Ordeal By Innocence is one of the better ones. It’s a stylish, disloyal interpretation of Christie’s work, lifted by exquisite costume design and an exceptional cast that includes Bill Nighy, Alice Eve, Anna Chancellor, Eleanor Tomlinson, and the aforementioned Matthew Goode. A wealthy woman, known for opening her home to orphans and adopting them as her own, is murdered in the opening scene. It’s thought that the family embarrassment, Jack, is responsible for the murder, and he is sentenced for the crime and dies in jail. A little while later, though, a man claiming to be Jack’s alibi shows up on the eve of the widower’s wedding to his former secretary. It seems the killer is still free, and the killer is one of the remaining family members.

Goode plays Philip Durrant, an alcoholic war hero who has married the family’s eldest daughter, Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson). We first see Philip in a private moment of strength, exercising on some parallel bars (while also sneaking some unholy looks at his sister-in-law Hester). Soon it’s revealed that Philip broke his back in a car accident and is confined to a wheelchair. Philip is a smoldering mess of bitterness. He snipes at his wife and bemoans his condition with dark humor. He delights in addling the family and likes to unsettle people by urinating in a special caddy at the dinner table. He would be odious, but Goode gives him that glimmer of despair that makes you understand that pain has driven him to this point. It’s physical pain, but also the fact that his injury, and his position as a hanger-on to a rich family he hates, has annihilated his personal sense of pride.

Now the reason why I personally think Goode is better here than in The Crown is that he only gets halfway to this point of self-loathing as Tony Armstrong-Jones. It’s a similar role, to be sure. Both the Earl of Snowden and Philip Durrant suffer from the same affliction: vanity twisted into sourness thanks to an advantageous marriage gone awry. However, Tony Armstrong-Jones is louche figure, strutting into affairs with ease and kind of in love with his unhealthy romance with Margaret. Durrant is more tragic because he seems to crave a connection with someone — even if that connection is between a sadist and his plaything.

Goode has bounced around film and TV projects for the last 15 years, and it hasn’t been until recently that he’s been cast in the right kind of roles for what he’s good at. He’s a tremendous romantic lead, and a delicious cad, but he excels at playing beautiful men who are battling ugliness inside. In Ordeal By Innocence, he lets that nastiness shine through in performance that is ironically exquisite.

Ordeal By Innocence is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.


‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Gets Greenlight; Original Cast Returns For Summer Start – Deadline July 13th 2018

EXCLUSIVE: It’s official, the Downton Abbey movie is a go. Focus Features has set production with Carnival Films to begin this summer for a return to all things Crawley. The original principal cast, including Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and more, are set to reprise their upstairs/downstairs roles with Focus and Universal Pictures International distributing.

Creator Julian Fellowes has written the film’s screenplay and will produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Brian Percival (The Book Thief), who directed the series’ pilot, will helm the film. Nigel Marchant will also return to executive produce.

The game-changing Downton Abbey followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them for six seasons on the UK’s ITV and PBS’ Masterpiece in the U.S., garnering a massive worldwide following and helping to kick-off the so-called new golden age of television while making period drama chic again — we also learned terms like “entail” and, famously, mused “what is a weekend?” The series won three Golden Globe Awards, 15 Primetime Emmys (out of 69 nominations in total) and a special BAFTA. Downton is the most nominated non-U.S. television show in the history of the Emmys.

Story details are being kept under wraps for now. The drama had its fair share of sad season conclusions from the outbreak of World War I to Matthew’s death by car crash. But turns of events as the post-Edwardian clan rang in 1926 in the 2015 series finale kept things cheerful with Edith marrying — and outranking her entire family; Mary expecting her second child; Anna and Bates welcoming their first; Tom and Henry christening their fancy new car dealership; Robert accepting Cora’s role outside the house; Isobel and Lord Merton in wedded bliss; and more blossoming romance for the downstairs crew: Mrs Patmore & Mr Mason, Daisy & Andy, Baxter & Molesely… Also notable and emotional was the resolution of Thomas’ arc from footman-you-love-to-hate, to tortured soul, and finally a place of honor on the Grantham estate — which even a somewhat humbled Carson couldn’t argue.

Not every recurring character we’ve seen over the years will feature in the film, although Highclere Castle will return as the family’s hub.

Gareth Neame, Carnival’s Executive Chairman and the film’s producer said, “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production. Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

Focus chairman Peter Kujawski adds, “Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”

The Downton Abbey movie is a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International distributing. A release date has yet to be set.


Maybe You Should Chill Out And Watch ‘The Wine Show’
BRIAN GRUBB  – 1st June 2018

Let’s say, hypothetically, you’re stressed out. It’s your job, or it’s your family, or it’s the never-ending hellspiral of online discourse that gets beamed into your brain by the tiny computer that might as well be bolted to your palm. Let’s say you’ve been on edge and arguing with strangers on social media and shouting “Get off the road, you maniac!” at sweet old ladies who are trying to make a left turn into the pharmacy to pick up the arthritis medication they can barely afford. Or whatever. Again, purely hypothetical. But let’s say you can relate.

Well, here’s a suggestion: Maybe you should chill out and watch The Wine Show.

Are you familiar with The Wine Show? I do hope you are. The Wine Show is a goddamn delight. It is a show produced by ITV in Europe that is now in America on Hulu and the Ovation Network. It is literally a show about wine and drinking wine and gadgets related to wine. And it’s a show about friendship. The first-season is hosted by Matthew Goode (who you know from Downton Abbey and The Good Wife) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans), who appear to be having just the best time any two buddies have ever had. They’re so charming together. Goode comes off kind of like James Bond’s mischievous younger brother and Rhys is a total goofball. He’s a giggly bearded mess the whole time. I love it. I think images will help. This is how Matthew Rhys looked in every episode of The Americans.


This is how he looks in every episode of The Wine Show.


You’ve never seen two people have more fun on television. With good reason. They are getting paid to travel around Italy and drink wine. A lot of wine. So much wine that, well, let’s let Matthew Rhys describe how much wine:

“It’s an incredibly hard show to film because you start drinking at 8:30 every morning and you drink solidly —there’s no spittooning — until 6:30 p.m.,” says Rhys. Apparently that limited Rhys and Goode’s ability to say anything other than “this is a nice red” or “it’ll go well with chicken” about the wines. “By 6:30pm they’re cutting the script because we’re slurring so much and they say just use short words and short sentences.”
There are worse jobs.

But I hear you. You’re saying “This all sounds nice, but are there segments on The Wine Show or what?” Buddy, there are segments. There are so many segments. Each episode has the same basic structure, with extended travel bits featuring wine expert Joe Fattorini, and bits where a chef will pair a dish to a wine (instead of the opposite), and bits where co-host Amelia Singer will venture off to introduce the audience to some off-beat winemaker (one of whom, I promise, is Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan), and a truly wonderful bit where Fattorini will present a comically elaborate and overpriced wine gadget to Goode and Rhys and the two of them will crack jokes in their best Sean Connery accents for about five minutes.


The best segment, however, is the one where Goode and Rhys are sent off into Italy to taste and learn about a specific kind of wine, with each of them selecting a bottle and bringing it back to Fattorini so a winner can be chosen. Do you want to see Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys sipping wine in scenic locations all over Italy? Do you want to see them sit in chairs like naughty schoolboys while a wine expert gives them a hard time about their wine selections? Let me answer for you: yes, you do and yes, you do.

Oh, crap. I didn’t tell you about the villa yet. The villa! Each episode begins with an intro that explains the series, in general, and during that intro we are treated to sweeping shots of a luxurious Italian villa located on a vineyard. This is where the gadget segment is filmed and where — we are led to believe — the showcase segment is filmed, too. But listen to the narration Goode delivers in the intro, where he says “Our team of wine experts has traveled to 11 countries on five continents to bring back the best and most interesting wines, here, to our Italian villa.”


Notice that? “Our.” Now, the rational part of me knows, for a fact, that by “our” he means “the villa the producers rented for the filming of this series.” But I have to tell you, if you watch The Wine Show, which I really do insist you do for your mental health, please do pretend that Matthews Goode and Rhys own the villa. Like, that’s it’s theirs, and they live there full time when they’re not acting in their respective projects. It adds a chef-kissing-his-fingers layer to everything that you deserve to experience.

And guess what: Once you watch this first season of The Wine Show, you can then treat yourself to a second season of The Wine Show, this one featuring Goode and actor James Purefoy gallivanting about France, with Matthew Rhys back in London on gadget duty. There are so many Wine Shows and they’re all an hour long and like an audio/visual dose of a high-powered benzodiazepine. You owe it to yourself to watch The Wine Show. It’ll be good for you, and your soul, and your blood pressure. And that sweet old lady you cussed out on the road. She’s doing the best she can. You know that. You’re just not yourself right now. You need something to help you balance out a bit and get back to being a human.

Let The Wine Show heal you.

The Fix – 26th April 2018


And while James is certainly the leading lady in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, she is one of a stellar ensemble cast, featuring many other familiar faces from Downton Abbey, including: Penelope Wilton (Mrs Crawley), Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil) and Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot).

Gushing over working with Goode again — who most recently played Princess Margaret’s love interest in The Crown — James says, “There’s this sort of sparring [between their characters] and this banter that they have that felt very easy, and I kind of felt very at ease with him, perhaps ’cause I had worked with him before and also because of who he is. He’s so hilarious.”


Border Counties Advertiser 25th April 2018

Michael Hudson, from Oswestry Film Society, on upcoming actor Matthew Goode.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is currently on general release, an adaptation of the bestselling novel set in post war Guernsey.

Lily James leads and among the supporting cast is Matthew Goode, you may not know his name, but his face will be familiar. Goode has the look of a 1950s matinee idol crossed with a minor royal and often plays vaguely aristocratic characters (Brideshead Revisited, The Crown) mostly in supporting roles. He seems to be an actor that directors know is great, but haven’t quite figured out how to use. He’s done romantic fluff (Leap Year), big screen misfires (Self/Less) and minor British flicks (Pressure).

In the same way we can gauge how bad a Nicolas Cage film will be by how bad his hairstyle is in the poster, we can guess how underused Goode will be by whether or not he sports large round glasses. Like a lenticular card however, those good looks viewed from a different angle seem to hint at something mysterious, something darker, something unusual.

To quote Ann Widdicombe’s description of Michael Howard, there is definitely “Something of the night” about him, and it’s when we get to see this that he excels.

In 2013’s Stoker he played the shadowy Uncle Charlie. We first see him from a long distance, shimmering in the heat and slightly out of focus, and he stays this way even up close. His character is polite, gallant even, but always observing and waiting, curious, forever slightly removed. For my money its his greatest performance, unshowy and contained, well mostly, when he finally reveals his true nature, all bets are off.

Most recently you may have seen him playing philandering photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones in The Crown. Ambiguous in every way, his courting of Princess Margaret is gentlemanly yet cruel. This is when he’s at his best, embodying two contradictory traits simultaneously.

So, Matthew Goode, an actor wasted playing just one person at a time, how mysterious, how unusual, how curious.

The New Statesman – 12th April 2018 – Eve Cooke

[Extract] there is Matthew Goode’s quite delicious performance as the wheelchair-bound cad, Philip Durrant. Oh, boy. For all that he’s in a cravat, beside him everyone else looks so pale and weedy. The nastiness just oozes out of him, like blood.


The Times – 9th April 2018

[Extract] Oh, but hang them all — they pale into insignificance next to Matthew Goode’s deliciously reptilian Lieutenant Durrant. What a beauty of a performance. Whether hissing “confess” at Tina or doling out piping hot home truths over his breakfast grapefruit, Goode didn’t just steal every scene he was in, he convinced us that the scene belonged to him in the first place and, what’s more, he had the original receipt to prove it. How — spoiler warning — will we survive without him?

BBC Interview with Matthew Goode – Ordeal by Innocence

21st March 2018

Interview with Matthew Goode – Playing Philip Durrant

‘He was a really fun character to play because there’s no limit to the nastiness that you can bring to him… I found myself apologising after takes’.

Can you tell us about Philip Durrant and how we first see him in the story?

When we first encounter Philip, he’s disabled in a wheelchair and we’re not quite sure where it happened or why it happened. He was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force and flew fighters. I suppose the psychology of Philip is that he had all that freedom, was a war hero yet when we first encounter him he’s poisonous, a drunk, addicted to morphine and also likely to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. He’s a very interesting character. I also think he ended up this way is because of the way he has to live, it being the 1950s, some of the conditions he has to live his life by are particularly shocking.

Can you tell us a little bit about his relationship with Mary, and how that is affected by his accident?

Unfortunately for Mary, we hurt the ones we love the most as Philip becomes trapped in this effeminate room with no escape. Mary over does her care for him. Imagine someone continually touching and fussing over you, the poor girl has to do everything for him; all of the stuff that isn’t particularly nice. I think he does love her in some way but for someone to see you in such a state when you were such a hero and a very masculine character to now be completely emasculated and trapped in this room and this life, where there’s no escape must be nightmarish.

He seems like a very brash and hard character?

He’s not shy of letting people know exactly what he thinks and thinking he can get away with it. He treads a very dangerous line but no one’s going to throw him out because of his circumstances. I think there’s a vast amount of sympathy for Mary but no redeeming qualities in Philip. It sounds awful to say but he was a really fun character to play because there’s no limit to the nastiness that you can bring to him or the story, the duplicity. I found myself apologising after takes, I would go full Philip and after “cut” was called, I was just so sorry. Although very fun to play.

Is he actually attracted to Hester or is he just doing that to be spiteful to Mary?

I think he probably does, but the thing with Mary is he probably was in love with her, was attracted to her, she came with money. But then he lost the ability to use his lower half shall we say, and therefore the person looking after you and babying you and saying it’s ok they don’t need that part of her life anymore, it enrages him as that can’t be romantic.

How is it playing a character in a wheelchair? There must be a lot to think about in terms of the physicality of the part, as well as playing the role of Philip.

What I found difficult was the way Philip showers, and the way he brushes his teeth. We decided that it might be that he drags himself in, which was very likely and again sort of underlines what a nightmare he lives and how other people would have lived after the war if they’d had a similar injury. It’s quite interesting that we see him exercising because he needed that upper body strength. There is a vanity to him, massively, but this wasn’t a vanity for him, he just needed that strength.

You see him use that strength to his advantage when he goes to see Arthur. Tell us a little bit about that scene and story.

That was the first scene we shot. Luke Treadaway is a very, very talented actor, just fabulous. It’s really interesting to see what’s he’s done with Arthur. I suppose that’s one of the reasons it’s such a great Christie is that it doesn’t follow the same format as many of the other stories, there’s no detective. In a weird way Arthur is the detective but he doesn’t go about it in the way that a normal Christie would work. The scene between them both is an interesting one, on the one hand Philip is being the nice guy from the family because Arthur has been shunned as a liar, but Philip can’t quite hide his true self as he’s been drinking and had an enormous injection of morphine. You get to see him at full speed, to see the cogs working. Arthur can’t really see a train when it’s approaching I think it’s fair to say, so it ends with Philip sort of getting his way and terrifying the wits out of Arthur and making it look like Arthur has attacked him. It was quite a smart play in a weird way.

This Christie seems to be a lot darker than perhaps we’re used to of previous adaptations in which you’ve starred before (Patrick Simmons in Marple’s A Murder Is Announced). Have you seen the style of Christie change since then? And how do you think Sarah Phelps has contributed to that?

It seems to me like there’s a slight shift in realising that a lot of this older stuff, the way it’s been shot before was very chocolate boxy and everything’s great. Whereas actually in the post war period there was a lot of philandering going on, a lot of people who had lost everything financially. Why commit murder? Most murders are to do with money and to do with sex. That aspect doesn’t change, but the way we are now filming it has. It feels like it’s been updated into a language we can understand, rather than it being twee. So the violence is going to be slightly more graphic and so too is the language.

Sarah is so descriptive in her scripts. How does that help you as an actor?

I love it. We would call it the given circumstances. It feels like it’s almost wasted words really because none of them are being spoken. Sarah is just really, really talented and so nice to work with. She’s as cool as Bill Nighy, and that is saying something.

Speaking of Bill how has it been working with him?

He’s a joy. I’ve loved Bill for a long time and met him years ago; I was thrilled that he actually remembered me. He is everything that you’d want him to be and more. He is charming, incredibly smart, and intelligent and a clinically brilliant actor. He knows exactly what he’s going to do and it’s a joy to watch. He also brought a calmness to the set and I think everyone was just slightly in love with him.

You feel sympathy for so many of the characters.

I think all of the characters have that. That’s what’s so great about it. One of the ways Sarah has crafted the script is that it’s not one character heavy, or two characters, everyone gets a fair crack of the whip in it which I think really suits the format of the murder mystery as everyone’s in play. Everyone does things that are slightly morally dubious or slightly corrupt and that’s fascinating. There’s no one red herring, as a red herring generally stands out, with this particular story, it could be any of them.

How has it been working with Sandra (Goldbacher, Director)?

Sandra was brilliant; she’s very smart and with John, our extremely capable DOP it worked very efficiently. She had a lovely short hand way of working where it’s not reams of notes; it’s succinct and was very adept at the psychology of all the characters. There wasn’t a person I witnessed that didn’t go ‘Ah that’s a good idea’, which is exactly what you want from a director.

The story is very dark and disturbing. Have there been chances to have some fun on set?

That’s the thing with Agatha Christie; it’s just really fun. I think that’s the case with all sets, you need to lighten the mood a little bit but also I’m playing one of the most ridiculous characters. He’s in his wheelchair and he’s angry and high on all kinds of things and just completely vile which has been fun.



Matthew Goode On Growing Up In Cornwall, Family Life And The Crown –

Viv Groskop for Red Online – January 3rd 2018

[ note – Matthew did not grow up in Cornwall so we were all rather confused by that part of the interview.  We think the interviewer may have misheard him!]

From Downton Abbey to The Good Wife (not to mention a Hollywood film career, a perfect family life and a collection of famous mates in between), actor Matthew Goode has had it pretty good so far. And with a starring role in the new series of Netflix’s lavish royal drama The Crown, things are about to get even better, says Viv Groskop

Despite his extremely caddish good looks, I find myself wanting to dislike Matthew Goode intensely. You see, he’s just a bit too good to be true. He has the perfect life. The pick of film and TV roles. Best mates with “Ben” (Cumberbatch) and Jamie Dornan. A gorgeous wife, Sophie, and three kids. A luxurious country pile in Surrey. (OK, I’m guessing it’s luxurious. He has not invited me round yet.) Really, he should be incredibly annoying. However, it turns out he’s the opposite. Completely, almost ludicrously, charming. And funny, entertaining company. Much as you want to hate him, you just can’t. I can see why “Ben” and Jamie want to hang around with him.

Already well-known for his roles in The Imitation Game (alongside “Ben”), Match Point, A Single Man, The Good Wife and Downton Abbey, Goode is about to hit the even bigger time with a star turn in The Crown, the Netflix phenomenon. He’s playing Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, the aristocratic society photographer who had an ill-fated, stormy 18-year marriage to Princess Margaret (played spiritedly by Vanessa Kirby).

He got the call just before last Christmas. It later turned out the director (Ben Caron) had directed Cumberbatch in Sherlock and also went to school with Matthew’s sister (of course he did). “Ben [the director] is extremely passionate and funny and he gave me this huge folder of stuff about Snowdon. I didn’t know a huge amount about him, although obviously I knew who he was. I decided to jump into it…with some trepidation as I was a fan of the first series. But more than most actors, I’ve had experience of jumping into successful series. It can give you the willies. But Ben gave me the confidence that I could pull it off.”

His performance is very, ahem, watchable, zipping around the back streets of London with Princess Margaret (Kirby) on his motorbike. Goode says he wasn’t intimidated by playing a real-life character but it was unnerving that Snowdon died just as they started filming. “In the first film I ever did, The Imitation Game, I was playing the writer Hugh Alexander. But when you’re playing Lord Snowdon… He’s a well-known public figure and there are still many people who can remember how he sounded, how he acted. You don’t want your performance to become an impression, though, you’re trying to find their essence. That’s what Claire [Foy, as the Queen], Matt [Smith, as Prince Phillip] and Vanessa [Kirby, as Princess Margaret] have managed to do so brilliantly.”

He loved “zipping in and around Buckingham Palace” on the bike and the fact that the shoot was in the UK, so that he could be with his family. And he loved Snowdon’s look. “I remember when I was working with Tom Ford [on A Single Man, alongside Colin Firth], he was very enamoured with Snowdon and his sense of style. Snowdon was pretty modern and interesting and dressed rather wonderfully. The costumes I had… I thought they were quite flash.”

A lot of people expect Goode to be based in Los Angeles but he says he would hate to leave the UK. So The Crown is perfect for him. “I’m very much based here. I have three children and a lovely wife and I just don’t like being away from them. Of course, needs must occasionally. But I’m very lucky. I’ve been able to mix work and family.” He grew up in the countryside in Cornwall and feels as if he has come back to his roots, just in a different part of the country. “I do miss Cornwall a bit. It’s one of the reasons it has been nice to retreat outside of London and be in a rural area. I grew up in a farming community. I adored it and had a fantastic childhood. Then I lived in cities from the age of eighteen, first in Birmingham, studying drama at university, then in London. It’s been so nice to wake up and see some fields in the morning. And the air quality is better.” See? He is even nice enough to care about air quality.

Although Goode comes across as old-school posh (and many of the parts that have most captured our attention channel this part of him), he says he had a fairly ordinary upbringing. “My mother divorced from her first marriage with three kids and met my father in a folk music club. He was a geologist and she was a nurse. She did have a huge passion for the theatre, though, and ran The Campion Players, the local amateur dramatics group. She involved me from a young age. I always thought that actors were an incredibly fun bunch and smart with it.”

It may not have been the most thespy of backgrounds, but I suspect when you look like Matthew, things just sort of land in your lap. His mother’s best friend happened to know Stephen Daldry (the director of Billy Elliot and The Hours). He mentions in passing that he was chatting to Nicole Kidman about this recently. As you do. Despite the am dram experience, though, he says: “I never imagined that I would be an actor. I was just trying to put off getting a job. When I went to study drama, a friend of mine Garry Crystal [an actor turned documentary maker] got into Webber Douglas [a London drama school] and I thought, ‘I should give that a crack.’”

Although he has worked steadily throughout his career, it was his role as Lady Mary’s fast car-driving love interest in Downton Abbey that really propelled him to people’s attention. “I had asked to be part of it a few years before and it hadn’t worked out.” (Interesting. I could see him in the role Dan Stevens took and eventually abandoned, having his character written out when the series became unexpectedly popular and kept being recommissioned.) “Then I happened to be doing a job with Michelle Dockery [Lady Mary] and we had a laugh. She said, ‘Would you like to come and marry me in Downton?’ I love her so much and I thought what a brilliant giggle that would be.” You see what I mean? These things just happen to him.

Downton Abbey was a job he loved as it was forty-five minutes from his front door. Clearly, family matters. “It’s not easy,” he says, when I mention the challenges of juggling family and career, “But I’m very blessed to have an amazing wife who encourages me to get out of the house. You do feel a bit bad about being away. And I haven’t taken certain jobs when they’ve said, We need you here for six months. I think it’s fine to say: ‘I don’t feel the need to do that.’ I feel like the family is a great litmus test against a script. If you feel like the work is going to take you away from your family, it had better be worth it.”

What’s the secret of a happy marriage? “A good cellar. Somewhere you can store wine. And not being in each other’s pockets the whole time. You have to have something for yourself. I’ve always had a hobby. When the kids go to school, I go fishing. Sophie used to ride a lot when she was a child and she recently got back into that. So we have a bit of fun on the side,” he laughs. Mostly their life is happily boring, he adds, “We stay in and have friends around.” He is a boxset and Netflix binger and recently got heavily into the Jason Bateman series Ozark.

He is also a big fan of golf, which is apparently a good way to meet Jamie Dornan. I may have to take it up. “My major passion is the Dunhill Links.” You’re losing me a bit here, Matthew, but go on. “I was invited to play the European tour event this year at St Andrews with Jamie Dornan and that was joyous.” Yes, that bit of it is joyous. “My dream is to get to a four handicap like I had when I was sixteen. Now it’s seven. But as Jamie says, ‘I’ve never actually seen you play to that handicap.’” (For anyone who doesn’t know about golf, this is a pretty damn good handicap. If you get to zero you’re a pro.)

He clearly thinks it’s important to have other things in his life besides acting. I wonder if The Crown will change his profile completely and propel him to a level where he won’t be able to play so much golf. “Any time you’re in something that big, it can’t harm you,” he says, “But I’m hardly Benedict [Cumberbatch]. I’m very lucky. I’ve had some sort of niche. I’m not sure what it is. With Benedict you can point to Sherlock as the part when people went “Wow” and now he’s riding very high. God bless him for it, he’s a good friend. I’m aiming for longevity. Just as long as I can pay the mortgage, I’m happy. You can be as ambitious as you want but you’re very lucky if something lands in your lap that a bigger actor hasn’t taken. My ambition is to work with great scripts and great directors.” He pauses. “But I hate talking about it. It makes me sound like an arse.”

No, it doesn’t. It makes him sound like a normal person who just wants to do well. A normal person in an incredibly attractive package who is very good at portraying rather delightful aristocrats. Even if he claims that’s all a bit of an accident. “I’m not a “port out, starboard home” sort of guy,” he shrugs, referring to the expression that originally gave “posh” its name (meaning people who could afford to go on cruises), “But it has turned out to be my bread and butter.” Long may he feast on it.

The Crown Season 2 is available on Netflix now

Matthew Goode lords it up as Snowdon in The Crown

The Times November 25th 2017 – Andrew Billen

The outspoken actor is going up in the world — from Downton Abbey to playing Princess Margaret’s husband. Andrew Billen meets him.

When I interviewed Lord Snowdon 11 years ago for this paper he was much offended by our photographer’s assistant wearing a cap inside his house. It was evidently a breach of etiquette and, I am pretty sure, of the respect he felt due one of Britain’s leading photographers — and a former husband of Princess Margaret. The encounter ended with a ticking-off and Snowdon sneeringly hanging his cap up for him.

Now I am sitting in a London hotel room in front of the actor playing Snowdon in season two of Netflix’s The Crown. And Matthew Goode is wearing a hat, probably the one he has in ITV’s The Wine Show, the programme in which he and his mate Matthew Rhys josh and gush over vintages brought to them in a “hilltop Italian villa” — a for-real version of Brydon and Coogan’s The Trip. The bibulous old rogue Snowdon would have appreciated the wine and the banter, but what would he have said about his future impersonator’s ever-on hat?

“He was a nightmare,” says Goode, who admits to rather liking Snowdon. “I spoke to one of the guys who used to help him when he was a photographer, and he said, ‘I can’t use the expletive, but it describes an area of a woman’s body — that’s who he was.’ It was so annoying. He could be charming and brilliant, then in two seconds’ time behave like the most disgusting person in the entire world.”

Snowdon was 76 when I met him and although he had been divorced from Margaret for nearly 30 years, he still behaved like minor royalty. His servants, I noted, called him m’lud. In the period depicted in The Crown, however, Snowdon was New Britain on the march, storming the palace gates to modernise the monarchy. That early model, the pre-peerage Tony Armstrong-Jones, might even have admired Goode’s hat.

Having once compared Margaret to a Jewish manicurist (he was part Jewish himself), he would certainly have enjoyed Goode’s outspokenness, a trait that has got the actor into trouble in interviews before — which may be why his publicist is sitting behind me. She keeps her counsel, however, probably having already realised that Goode’s chance of appearing in the next honours list is about as likely as The Crown ushering in a republic.

A file of background notes passed on by The Crown’s producers persuaded Goode that Snowdon’s faults were sourced in an unhappy childhood. His mother, Anne Messel, showed him little affection, referring to him as her “ugly son”, doling out her love instead to the two boys from her second, longer-lasting marriage to an earl. He was sent to boarding school at eight and at 16, while at Eton, contracted polio (there is a touching moment in The Crown when he hides his stick when Margaret turns up at his studio). Anne, rather than nurse him at home, packed him off to Liverpool Royal Infirmary, but she never visited him.

“Exactly what that kind of damage does to a child I have no idea, but emotionally and psychologically, quite a lot, I would imagine,” says Goode. “I think it’s why he married Princess Margaret. I think he did it to please his mother rather than himself.”

Demonstrating that he was good enough to marry into royalty? “It’s far more complicated than that, I’m sure, but it’s one of the solutions.”

The Snowdons were soon into an 18-year marriage notable for its private rowing and public putdowns. Yet, says Goode, the royal family loved their new recruit and always blamed Margaret for any trouble. “He was terribly funny as well. So with this incredibly acerbic, nasty, vitriolic, spiteful side comes this flamboyant, wonderfully debonair, extremely funny, witty man.”

The pair, he summarises, were “very charismatic, very smart and vile”, but what we can be sure of was that the sex between them was spectacularly good — although not good enough to dissuade their lusty libidos from straying beyond marriage. Soon both were having affairs. Within weeks of the marriage, another woman, Camilla Fry, had given birth to Snowdon’s illegitimate daughter, sired, the show suggests, during a three-in-a-bed encounter with her and her bisexual husband, Jeremy.

“When I first met Noo,” Goode says, referring to Vanessa Kirby, who plays Margaret, by her nickname, “I was quite terrified because I was a fan of the first series. I was a little star-struck, I suppose, and I thought it might make for uncomfortable love scenes, but we ended up just finding it hilarious. It was a really good giggle. She’s brilliant. She’s really dynamic as an actress and really fun to work with because she’ll bat it back. She listens, really listens, and responds.”

Perhaps it is because of their rapport that they manage to convey how alike the princess and her parvenu husband were. They were control freaks (that cap business) and poisonous to those who would not be controlled. They were rebels, but also lovers of status. As Goode points out, Armstrong-Jones may have been the first commoner in 40 years to marry the daughter of a monarch, but he was also dead posh. In fact, Goode’s dialect coach encouraged him to “dial back” the vowels, lest people found them confusing.

Since his breakthrough role as wealthy Tom in Woody Allen’s Match Point in 2005, and certainly after his Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited three years later, Goode has played mainly posh boys. He was brought up in Devon the son of a geologist and his wife, a nurse, but did go to a private day school. Yet Goode is not quite acting aristocracy and since this cannot be because of his talent, or his looks — dark hair, blue eyes, 6ft 2in — this may be something to do with his habit of speaking his mind. In an interview in 2010 he complained about being left with “nowhere to go” by the director of Brideshead. When Tom Ford’s excellent A Single Man came out, he criticised the Weinsteins for featuring Julianne Moore rather than him with Colin Firth in the advertising, thus downplaying the central gay relationship. In 2013 he said he had been working “a lot of scale”, meaning the minimum rate.

Then, on This Morning last year, he said he did not think the modern Bond films were working as well as the old ones. The papers, which had tipped him as Daniel Craig’s successor, declared he had blown his chances.

“I’m way over the hill, darling, what are you talking about?” he responds, although he is 39 and only a few years older than Craig when he started. “I didn’t mean it in a bad way.” What he meant was that there could be two Bond franchises, one contemporary Bond and another set in the Sixties. “It’s just an idea. But apparently you can’t have an opinion.”

Recent years have been kinder to him professionally. In 2014 he joined Downton Abbey as Henry Talbot, the racing diver who sped off with Lady Mary. Around the same time he won a regular gig on The Good Wife in America. The Wine Show is about to return to ITV, with Goode joined by a new drinking buddy, James Purefoy. There are, of course, still disappointments. Cast as a morphine-addicted ex-public schoolboy in Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence, Goode now finds that the three-parter has been pulled from the BBC’s Christmas schedules after sexual allegations against his co-star Ed Westwick (who robustly denies them).

Goode says there are two ways of looking at it. The first is that the BBC has spared the cast some awkward interview questions. “But some would also say that they should have stood by Ed. Possibly. I mean, I don’t know. I’m not the controller of the BBC.”

So, is he in favour of the postponement? “I’m not really in favour of anything because I don’t have to make that decision. I believe you’re innocent until proven guilty.”

But has the BBC prejudged the matter by pulling the show? “No, not now, because there are three allegations now.”

Goode has lived with the mother of his three children, Sophie Dymoke, for 12 years. When she became pregnant with their first daughter, she gave up her life in the fashion industry in New York. He was thrilled to be able to return with her to film The Good Wife, but by then her heart was no longer in her career. Is he guilty about that?

“Of course I am. Of course I am. She has to put up with living with some f***wit who doesn’t really live in reality occasionally and has some slight psychological problems occasionally through work. She’s retrained as an interior designer and she’s so talented at it.”

What psychological problems? “Well, this [show] is part of it. If you tie all of your hopes to the net product of your work, then you’re going to get depressed because sometimes you feel like you’re working really well and then you watch it and you go, ‘I am terrible.’ I don’t watch my stuff any more.”

I assure him he is excellent in The Crown, but it was a one-off gig. Series three will be recast with older actors (he thinks Paul Bettany would be a good choice). “Peter Morgan [the writer] said, ‘I’ve just written the most fantastic argument for Tony and Margaret in series three.’ I was, like, ‘Oh good. What a thrill for the next guy.’ ”

He got the part days after Lord Snowdon died in January this year, 15 years after Margaret. His death avoids any unpleasant collisions in restaurants and Goode hopes that none of his children will want to spit in his face. He reports that Matt Smith was introduced to Prince William at a function before the first series was shown. The prince said he had heard he was playing his grandfather, Prince Philip. “And Matt was, like, ‘Yeah, yeah, anything to say about that?’ And William just said, ‘LEGEND.’ ”

“I think as we come towards where we are now, it will be slightly uneasy and slightly problematic. I think it could open up a few wounds that people are still a little bit grieving over and feeling complicated about. Poor old Charles is probably going to get it in the neck. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’m out of there already.”

In one way, however, Lord Snowdon did members of the royal family a favour. The show’s slogan is that “the crown always wins”. In the Snowdon case, monarchic tradition was unable to prevent Margaret and her husband from divorcing and pursuing happiness with others. Perhaps without their example, Charles, Anne and Andrew might still be all miserably married. The Snowdons were trailblazers!

“Were they the first? They were. Yes, they were! So, the trailblazers. Trailblazers is a word that suits them extremely well,” Goode says enthusiastically.

And for that, let us all take off our caps to Lord Snowdon.
The Crown series two is available on Netflix from December 8


Entertainment Weekly  Deborah Harkness on her upcoming A Discovery of Witches adaptation: ‘I walked onto the set and I cried’  MAUREEN LEE LENKER AUGUST 22, 2017

[Extract] Was Matthew Goode someone you ever thought of when you writing? Were you a fan of his from his previous work?
I am a huge fan of his because I am really struck, when I look at his body of work, by the extraordinary range of roles he’s played, both on television and on film. That takes a certain kind of courage and integrity as an actor to be able to do that. Of course when I started writing it was 2008, so Matthew Goode was quite a bit younger than he is now. The reality is, decades can pass between a book being written and it being made into a television show or a film. I had very clear visions of them in my mind, but I really resisted the casting urge. And then come to the moment, Matthew Goode is the perfect age to play this character, he is so perfect in every way — hearing him say the lines, watching him act with Teresa, the layers of meaning he brings to it; it’s astonishing. When we got to the moment when we were casting, I said, “What about Matthew Goode?” I will take credit for saying, “He would be perfect, he is my Matthew, he would be great.” For him to be available, for him to be willing to take on the role, all of those things, it was almost too good to be true and you sort of have to pinch yourself.
Yeah, I mean he has an appreciation of wine just like the character as evidenced by his television series with Matthew Rhys.
I know — it’s uncanny, is what it is. Again, it’s like having Bad Wolf make a book by Harkness into a show. He is absolutely perfect for it in every respect. And he’s a damn good actor. I mean really, he is a damn good actor. And what I always say to my readers, they say, who do you want to play the role? And I say, “a good actor” and I got it in spades with Matthew Goode.
With both him and Teresa, what most excites you about them? And what clinched it for you with the two of them?
Well, with Matthew it really was a combination of knowing his work, knowing the range of his work, the complexity of characters he brought to the screen. Obviously, physically he’s very like the character. And again just being able to really envision him inhabiting that role, that was the clincher. Teresa, similarly, I had seen in her Hacksaw Ridge, and I had been really struck by her performance. I was shocked that she was Australian because she was such a convincing American. Obviously that was a period piece, so seeing pictures of her today in a contemporary sort of setting, I was just so struck by her warmth and her intelligence and her vivacity. I could just immediately see her as Diana. She has this amazing range and this quiet authority in the way that she performs. And she just lives inside her characters and quite difficult moments and quite intense moments. Then I saw a chemistry reel — it was just breathtaking to see them acting a very, very small scene with no props, nothing around them, just the strength of their own acting abilities. I was absolutely clear they were the right pair to play Matthew and Diana.