A new interview with James Norton, promoting his new film Mr Jones, also mentions his role in The Nevers. Speaking to Collider, James reveals that the Joss Whedon series for HBO has a comedic element which I assume will be familiar to fans of Da Vinci's Demons. Read the interview in full on Collider. As we already knew, the series is half way through filming, and likely to be preparing to resume the shoot as soon as the recent covid 19 safety guidance can be implemented. Tom Riley plays Augie Bidlow, best friend of James Norton's character in the 10 episode sci-fi drama series.
You’re also attached to Joss Whedon’s sci-fi TV series The Nevers, which sounds very cool. Have you already shot that? Is that finished?
NORTON: That’s very different from Mr. Jones. No, we were half-way through. I think we’ve shot about five episodes. We’re basically almost exactly half-way through. We’ve got about five more to shoot. We’re filming in London, and Joss is here. The first half of the shoot went really well. We’re really excited about it, and I think HBO is excited about it. Unfortunately, we were just one of the many productions who were cut short, but there is every intention to complete it. We haven’t had any clear dates yet, but there are lots of conversations going around, in the UK in general, about what measures we can put in place to protect everyone. I talked about being blessed with someone like Gareth Jones, but Joss Whedon is a whole other type of blessing, but one which I’m very grateful to be able to experience. His mind is something extraordinary, and I’m in awe of it, with his creativity, energy, inquisitiveness and humility, all mixed in one. The man wields immense power, intellectually and as a director, and yet he’s the most humble, soft-spoken and self-deprecating person on the set. I have a lot of love for Joss. That world sounds really interesting, and the descriptions of each of the individual characters sound very interesting.
What was it about your character that made you want to explore him?
NORTON: If you’ve read the character description, that says it for me, really. It’s the world, it’s Joss, and it’s character. The interesting thing is that I’m still yet to fully learn who Hugo Swann is ‘cause we’re only half-way through. Part of the processes is the actual making and telling of the story, and so much of his journey is still to come. I’ll be better positioned to answer that question in a few months time. The great thing about Joss is that he’s all about character, so you’ve got this incredibly larger than life, very big, playful character who’s pansexual and sex-crazed, and he runs this club. It’s all very big and delicious and gaudy. If it was in the hands of a different director or writer, I’d be a bit more wary. But the great thing about Joss is that you can be assured that he’s all about character, so there will always be a heart and a soul and a subtext underneath the fun and the theatricality. You can really chew on something fun and outlandish, and at the same time, find an inner rootedness and a quality that Joss will never, ever let you deny. Like I said, I’m still working out this madman that is Hugo Swann, but it’s been a joy so far.
Is there a genre that you’d love to work in, that you haven’t gotten the chance to do, or that you feel you haven’t gotten to do much of?
NORTON: That’s a good question. One thing which this role is allowing me more to explore is comedy, which I haven’t really been allowed to do. When I was in university, I loved dabbling in comedy. It was never my reason for going into the industry, but I’ve loved performing in the little bits of comedy that I’ve done, and I love watching it. At the same time, I would never claim to be a comedian or a comedic actor by nature. You’re walking out into this world where there are some masters at play, and I don’t want to lay claim. The Joss project is a really fun challenge because it has that comedic side to it, but it’s still rooted very much in drama and character-driven drama. But I would love to maybe have a go at comedy. To be honest, I’m up for everything. As long as the character is there, the genre of whatever it might be is a Trojan horse. It’s always about character, front and center, for me. If the character is fully formed, but it’s comedy or horror or sci-fi, or whatever, I’m up for it. I’m up for it all, as long as the person is there. That’s key.