Actor Rufus Sewell stands up for Prince Andrew: ‘He is only a product of his environment’


You may remember it BBC Newsnight interview in 2019 with Prince Andrew, which marked the end of his royal career. The prince came across as a pompous, unworldly man who distanced himself from all accusations of sexual abuse. He called maintaining his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein “a matter of honor.”

Prince Andrew was suspended from active duty

The prince himself thought that it had gone quite well afterwards, but the rest of the world (including his mother, Queen Elizabeth) had a different opinion. Andrew was suspended, lost his honorary jobs, his Royal Highness title and has since led a secluded life in and around the Royal Lodge near Windsor Castle.

Film adaptation of Andrew’s catastrophic interview

The interview has been filmed as scoop, starring Rufus Sewell. He hesitated for a moment before accepting the role. “I didn’t want it to reflect public opinion,” he says Good Morning Britain. The actor also wanted to show other aspects of Prince Andrew’s character.

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“It is important to realize that no matter how high or low you are in the tree, they are still people and that people are the product of their environment. That’s why I wanted to portray him as honestly as possible – at his best and at his worst – because all people are a mix of the two.”

Showing light and dark sides

Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew in ‘Scoop’ starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as journalist Emily Maitlis.Image Netflix

Rufus Sewell: “When I saw the interview – and I watched it obsessively in my attempt to understand Andrew – I remembered images of him when he was younger, and how he interacted with people more recently. People who support him say: ‘He is so good with people’ and you see proof of that in the film. My responsibility in this film, and in whatever character I play, is to show the light and the dark side. We all have them.”

Empathy for the prince

What does Sewell think about Prince Andrew thinking the interview went well? “I think the prince is not used to people who don’t talk to him,” says the actor.

Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell as Emily and Prince Andrew.Image Netflix

“Like I said, people are the product of their environment and the way they grew up. Prince Andrew is someone who was not often told the truth from an early age. Then you can start to think that you are better at something than you actually are, because your self-image is largely determined by how others treat you.”

‘Personal Magic’

“In the interview, Prince Andrew found someone who approached him critically. Emily Maitlis (played by Gillian Anderson) wasn’t rude to him, she treated him like anyone else. And what he saw as his personal magic failed him at that moment. You see him gasping for breath at some points and that’s not necessarily his fault. That is also because of the way he has always been treated by everyone.”

The room in Buckingham Palace where the interview was held was recreated exactly for the film.Image Netflix

“He may be combining guilt with victimhood. I can imagine that people who go through unpleasant things when they are guilty of something, feel like victims at the same time.”

Scoop can be seen on Netflix from April 5.

Prince Andrew still doesn’t fully understand where things went so wrong in his life and that is part of the problem.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Actor Rufus Sewell stands Prince Andrew product environment


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