What impact does Compeyson have on Pip’s journey?
We first see Compeyson in Pip’s life on the marshes. He’s just escaped the hulk, and he and Pip stumble across each other–there’s some distance between them–and Pip knows that there’s something wrong with this person, something quite insidious and malevolent, and decides not to approach him, but Compeyson, being the charmer that he is, thinks he can talk anybody round, thinks he can get close enough to silence him, because Magwitch is on the marshes looking for Compeyson, and he doesn’t want anything to thwart his escape. So the it’s quite a horrible introduction for Pip to Compeyson.
What has it been like working with Olivia Colman?
Working with Olivia Colman was incredible. We had a couple of big scenes and she just made it effortless, very easy, very seamless. We had a laugh, and it was huge honour; it’s a huge honour to be on this set with everybody. You feel incredibly blessed. Olivia is a national treasure. I have to point a gun at her at one point and I was very nervous about that, and I have to push around a little, and she’s a national treasure, so if you harm Olivia you might as well ask Jeff Bezos for a trip to the moon, as there’s no place here to hide.
Have there been any funny moments on set?
There was a moment that made me laugh, looking back: the first day of working with Johnny Harris, who is an incredible actor. I remember once accosting him on the Walworth Road a few years back, and he remembered, when I fan-boyed over him. Our first day was on the marsh, kicking hell out of each other. He’s a tough, fit guy and there’s a big fight where halfway through the first take I thought oh my god, I’m about to shed a kidney here, I can’t keep up with this guy, he’s such an incredibly fit person. I remember pushing him into the mud and I just saw his face disappear into this pool of mud, and I was so relieved, I pressed on his chest a bit longer than I should have and kept him in the mud, just to give myself some respite. I think trying to kill Johnny Harris on my first day is something of an anecdote.