Dark Heart: new interviews reveal an edgier style of drama for ITV Encore

An interview with Tom, for today's Daily Express reveals a bit more about his character in Dark Heart, and a new tit-bit about working as a student. Read it in full on the Daily Express website. A second new interview for Inside Soap is a bit of a sweatier read, with new photos of Tom as Wagstaffe. 

The chilling two hour drama sees Riley star as Detective Inspector William Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his mother and father when he was a teenager. The dark and often gruesome thriller (which begins with a suspected paedophile being tortured with a blow torch) sees DI Wagstaffe on the hunt for a serial killer, who has been murdering men accused of sexual offences against children. Riley, originally from Maidstone, Kent, speaking exclusively to express.co.uk said he was drawn to the part because it was the chance to play a character driven by his emotions.

The Da Vinci’s Demons star described his character as: “A guy who is too emotionally immature for the job even though he is completely mature enough to be a great detective and three or four steps ahead of the rest of his team.”

The one-off drama, also starring Peaky Blinders actress, Charlotte Riley, will be broadcast on ITV Encore, which is to allow for an edgier style of drama. “In its detective heyday, with things like Prime Suspect and Cracker, [ITV] were known for their dark crime dramas," Riley said. “This [Dark Heart] sort of takes it and pushes it up a notch. It gives them [ITV Encore] a chance to push the limits of what they can show on ITV itself.”

Riley, a LAMDA graduate, has been involved in acting since the age of four but opted to go to university before going to drama school. During his studies, he had to support himself with various different jobs in bars and pubs, but one particular job at a cocktail bar in Birmingham stands out.

Riley recalled: “I remember the bar manager took me out onto the corner of the bar and the bar looked out over a Wetherspoons and somewhere else. “He said to me: ‘Sometimes I come and stand up here and I feel like a king… You could be the king alongside me’. “That was probably the weirdest experience I’ve ever had in a job. That was a great three days. I think I left after the ‘king’ conversation.”

Riley, now 35, is engaged to American actress Lizzy Caplan (star of Masters Of Sex and Mean Girls) and splits his time between Los Angeles and the United Kingdom.