Malcolm McDowell talks about his new show and his life coming full circle
The musical drama Mozart in the Jungle has brought to screen some familiar faces such as Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries, Amores Perros) and the British actor Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey). We catch up with McDowell about his character on the show as Thomas Pembridge, a classical maestro whose post in being usurped by a younger genius, Rodrigo De Souza (Bernal).
What makes Thomas such a compelling character?
What’s interesting about Thomas is that it is a study in ageing. He is emotionally a child. He’s been brown nosed and called maestro for 40 years and everybody loves him. But when a young man comes in who is brilliant and takes over from an older one, the older one is always looking over his shoulder.
Why do you think the show has been an enormous hit all over the world?
If you say to people, “We’re doing this show thing about an orchestra, they go, “Eugh!” But it’s beautifully written and there’s nothing like it. It’s original.
What role does music play in the series?
It’s not about the music, although the music is definitely an important character. It’s more about politics, love and sex. Actually, I’ve come full circle, because that’s exactly like the ad for Clockwork Orange 44 years ago.
What has it been like working with director Paul Weitz?
I’ve known Paul quite a while. I’ve worked with him before on movies, and I think he’s a fantastic director. I think television has been good for him, because it makes you think fast on your feet and you can’t labour it.
Saturdays 10 pm. On Colors Infinity.