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The Diplomat is a brand-new series about the work of the British Consulate in Barcelona. The show will be starting on UKTV’s Alibi channel tonight (February 28) at 9pm. The six-part series will follow Sophie Rundle’s titular diplomat Laura Simmonds, who will be working alongside her colleagues to help out British nationals in distress in the Spanish city.
In an interview with Steven Cree, who plays British Consulate newcomer Sam Henderson, the actor opened up about shooting the new series and his character who is something of a shady figure.
Cree, 42, said: “I hurt my knee or my back, I can’t remember but not necessarily through the job. The production office got me to see a Brazilian physio who was based in Barcelona.”
He continued: “And he was the physio for the Barcelona indoor football team.” The pair formed a firm bond and even went wakeboarding together.
Cree joked he got his injury through “being in my 40s” and said: “You get niggles that you never used to get”.
The Scottish actor is best known for his roles in A Discovery of Witches, Outlander and Deep Water.
He previously worked with The Diplomat’s creator Ben Richards on Cobra and was “interested straight away” after finding out the writer was involved in the series.
Cree said: “I had one of the best times working on Cobra with Ben. He writes fantastic scripts and fantastic, gripping stories. Cobra was certainly like that for me.”
The opening episode of The Diplomat sees Laura and her team assisting a grief-stricken father Colin Sutherland (Danny Sapani), who travels to Barcelona following the death of his son.
However, each episode will take on a different case with the British Consulate’s remit covering everything from death to missing passports to tourist muggings.
Viewers will also see guest cast members joining the series alongside the core cast including Sam.
The star said he found it intriguing reading the character breakdown for Sam, which didn’t give too much away.
“And then when I found out a little bit more about him, it was exciting to get the opportunity to play somebody who is… I guess you could say conniving or manipulative,” he said.
Adding: “But ultimately he has an agenda and I don’t think he would see it like that. He would see it as he’s doing what needs to be done.”
He carried out research about the role, finding out what it was like working at the British Consulate and the role of the British Consul.
Cree also had a journalist friend, who gave him some insight into the world of diplomats and ambassadors.
He said these figures were often the “go-between” and there “to be seen” by attending parties and events.
The actor teased about his research: “I found out some really interesting stuff”. However, he couldn’t say too much without giving away any spoilers about the series.
Cree said: “The morality of the characters is questioned more in this and who maybe traditionally we see as the bad guys, you could maybe side with him more or less.
“I think the lines are lines of morality are blurred, I think that’s what’s really interesting.
“In this world in particular, as we go deeper into as the series goes on, the lines are blurred and I think that’s true to life as well. Nothing’s necessarily as black and white as we think.
“The characters, certainly Sam, isn’t completely black and white which for me was really interesting to play but hopefully as an audience will be interesting to make your own judgements around his behaviour.”
The Diplomat starts on UKTV’s Alibi this evening at 9pm
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