Ben Whishaw on A Very English Scandal & meeting Norman Scott | London Live

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Ben Whishaw plays Norman Scott in A Very English Scandal, opposite Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe.
Toby Earle spoke to Whishaw about what he wanted to evoke in the role, how Scott shouldn't be perceived, and what happened when he met Scott when preparing for the role.
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Published on


May 22, 2018




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Comments 74
teenie beenie
teenie beenie Month ago
I adore this actor ….his brilliance/wit shines in all he does...congrats on ur awards sir. bless ur honesty...
Eddy191152 Month ago
I wish he would have stand still in this interview!
j pugh
j pugh 4 months ago
he IS paddington
sunkist69 10 months ago
i just was watching episode 1, and felt Thorpe was like a pedofile towards Norman. Even if Norman was gay when they first met, u got the feeling that he had already been sexually abused or molested as a child. Thorpe coming into his bedroom without knocking with a jar of vaseline in his hand (tho i know this was the writer/director's sense of black comedy too). What a creep. the way he spoke to Norman before telling him to get on all fours on the bed, after he had just burst into tears like a terrified child but then said it was because nobody was ever this nice to him before. i love the compassion Ben Winshaw has for Norman here, emphasizing that he's not a victim and telling what he loves about him. Protective of him.
lee mavis
lee mavis Year ago
Andres Moreno
Andres Moreno Year ago
Marry me ♥️
Sandra Naylor
Sandra Naylor Year ago
Ben was also great in a BBC production called "The Hour"
msvisualize Year ago
Now one of my favorite actors. Top 2 . Awesome mini series. His acting is absolutely adorable. Organic.
jp Year ago
he’s on coke here
bwlboy123 Year ago
Having seen Ben Whishaw in this and the Hollow Crown a few years ago I think he's finest British actor of his generation.
Congratulations to Ben on his well deserved Golden Globe
Sonaira Khan
Sonaira Khan Year ago
Young David Essex....
rowel villarin
He did very very very best...
jennifer curtis
Is he high? Stand still stop stuttering !! Very animated odd interview!
Lovely Lexi
Lovely Lexi Month ago
Its not uncommon to act like that without drugs. I am just like this when I'm either restless, anxious, or distracted. So, you never know.
Maria A
Maria A Year ago
Golden Globe 2018 Nomination! Congratulations Ben!
Ricca Shaps
Ricca Shaps Year ago
Ben Wishaw didn't play Freddie Mercury after being considered but I can see how he can easily do a biopic on various legends and icons. He looks like a very versatile actor.
mark elliott
mark elliott Year ago
what a mess
eakherenow Year ago
Why play Scott as so gay when he never presents himself that way in interviews?
Anonyme User
Anonyme User Year ago
0:24 *when someone eats pizza in front of you.*
MyName IsRamen
Dan Tyn
Dan Tyn Year ago
Nice shirt
Candolad Year ago
I first saw him in "Lilt". I was impressed even more when I read that he shuns the idea of fame as acting is simply his job and deserves no pedestal to pretentiously hold him up high above other more noble vocations.
Candolad Year ago
He appears to be displaying behaviour consistent with having just taken cocaine. Possibly to help with the interview or to cope with whatever activity he was doing immediately prior to the interview.
Palzor Lepcha
Palzor Lepcha Year ago
True though - Norman won in the long run, he never gave it to depression too when he had every reason to.
Edward Curuvija Penrose
Horrible portrayal of Norman, in no way anything like him, very sad he created someone that does not exist. Very disappointing.
Daniel Ouellet
he should monitor his consumption, because we already see several indications that the '' products '' have begun to do damage to him ... the dry mouth, the nervous movements, his formulations, his slow reflections ... the dark circles around him eyes, are all well known to consumers ... il devrait surveiller sa consommation, car nous observons déjà plusieurs indices que les ''produits'' ont commencés à faire des dommages sur lui... la bouche sèche, les mouvements nerveux, ses formulations, ses réflexions lentes...les cernes autours des yeux, sont tous bien connus des consommateurs...
Lissy London
Lissy London Year ago
Norman Scott is just so unlikable. He is like an unfunny gay version of Sheldon Cooper.
Christopher Moffitt
Ben is so over the top on ....caine its funy!
Musiclover Year ago
I adore Ben,
borderlad 2 years ago
the damn comments complaining about him being fidgety are pissing me off because he could be socially awkward or anxious and that doesnt make him a freak :^) but to each his own i guess (evn tho he has had trouble with calming down for interviews before like,, just let the man live)
bigballetlover 2 years ago
It was wonderful, Ben was wonderful, Hugh was wonderful - if was funny and sad in equal measure - I loved it.
Twitting On Trender
Great actor and played the character brilliantly, but doesn't look like Scott. I tended to sympathise with Ben more than I did with Scott because Ben played him so vulnerable-y. Scott had an arrogant, sneering quality - I can see how he might have rubbed the judge up the wrong way (pardon the expression).
Kutta Kyte
Kutta Kyte 2 years ago
Was his father a giraffe? That's the longest neck I've seen.
Phil McNamara
Phil McNamara 2 years ago
What an amazing performance he did.
chel3SEY 2 years ago
Norman Scott reported Thorpe to the police for being a homosexual when that was illegal in the UK. This risked Thorpe's political career, which he had spent his life building up, and his marriage, and meant he could have gone to jail, all because he dumped Scott. That's pure wickedness. Scott is a malicious cretin.
Steve Payne
Steve Payne 2 years ago
chel3SEY Simple being an accurate description of one of us here (clue: it's not me).
chel3SEY 2 years ago
You seem a bit thick, so I will repeat: Thorpe's behaviour (allegedly plotting the death of Scott) is obviously wrong and wicked. That's too obvious to need stating (except for you). And this clip is about Scott. Get it now? It's really very simple.
Steve Payne
Steve Payne 2 years ago
chel3SEY Ah, the behaviour of both Scott and Thorpe was "pure wickedness" _now_, but you only thought to use the phrase in connection with Scott? I see ...
chel3SEY 2 years ago
What do you think? Pure wickedness too. You seem to think they couldn't both be wrong here. You seem to have your head up your arse.
Steve Payne
Steve Payne 2 years ago
chel3SEY And yet you said that Scott's behaviour (given that he has a lifetime history of psychological/emotional problems) was "pure wickedness." If that's the case, what term would you apply to Thorpe's behaviour?
Ron Taylor
Ron Taylor 2 years ago
He reminds me of his character in this interview; lots of nervy little ticks, and a certain intensity. What a sweet guy, and very 'sensitive', going by the rules of Chinese face reading. Seriously.
Raphael Miller
Raphael Miller 2 years ago
You don't need an effing National Insurance Card. You just need a number. The card is a memory aid, not a form of identification!
Raphael Miller
I didn't know this. I think it is therefore shocking and scandalous that he has never received his NI card. Will justice be done for Norman and will he yet receive his national insurance number card?
Andrés Access
In the 1970s, there were not so many computers, hence NI cards looked and acted a bit differently from now, being used as a record of contributions paid.
Brian Edward
Brian Edward 2 years ago
I expect BAFTAs galore next year. Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Drama, Best Screenplay at least. The music was great as well.
IAN PAYNE 2 years ago
The whole scandal is complex and confusing if you ask me....!!!!
Madgeney 2 years ago
IAN PAYNE, just like every other British scandal.
IAN PAYNE 2 years ago
I remember when Thorpe was found guilty, not many believed the verdict in reality, many thought it was a whitewash of Britain's legal system....
IAN PAYNE 2 years ago
found "not guilty" I mean....
Trev S
Trev S 2 years ago
Ben is one of them special people that make our world a brighter place
loonylinda 2 years ago
i loved this mans acting..he played Norman Scott very very well
Tempus Fugit
Tempus Fugit 2 years ago
Has Ben Wishaw got a drug problem ? His inability to stand still and his projection of himself is as if he is still acting the part of Norman. ... ???
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
Pandorasbox hope he’s got a lot of nervous energy, always has had, and finds interviews difficult and unnatural.
Ryan Matthews
Ryan Matthews 2 years ago
he does seem unusually uncomfortable
Sandi Small
Sandi Small 2 years ago
Ben's still in character! He looks every bit the flibbertigibbet!
Flibbertigibbet6 2 years ago
Hey, you said my name!
stringer 2295
stringer 2295 2 years ago
Stupid fucking luvvies. Oh how we suffer for our art. Dicks.
Franca Perotti
Franca Perotti 2 years ago
He seems to have ADHD because of he is constantly moving and finds it hard to keep eye contact.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
He said once he had anxiety issues and famously finds interviews uncomfortable.
s tanner
s tanner 2 years ago
Tiresome production on a tiresome subject. Pure drama? More like poor drama.
s tanner
s tanner Year ago
Isleofskye I gave up watching after an hour. It was not engaging enough for me on any level. I don't usually allow more than 10 minutes of time if the programme or film has a poor start.
Isleofskye Year ago
You may be right in general but by any criteria this was a superb 3 part Drama, little of which I suspect you actually watched,
s tanner
s tanner 2 years ago
Laura Lauristan Firstly you could not know that stated in your comment. Many who watch the dross spewed out on tv have little analytical ability or knowledge and simply go with the flow on the current whim of the day so that they feel important. Comparable to those who blindly believe media interpretation of current affairs even when to the sane it is obviously lies.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
You are in a minority
Lynne Gill
Lynne Gill 2 years ago
You may find the subject tiresome - wonder why? It has hardly been 'done to death', in fact it hasn't been in general discussion for decades. However you cannot describe such a brilliant production as tiresome. You may say you didn't like it, but your criticism of the actual production has no foundation.
Sailorbuoy Petrov
Sailorbuoy Petrov 2 years ago
Ben Wishaw is yummy. I sat in on the trial (Exeter Crown Court circa 1976...... I was a foetus at the time!) of the people who failed to murder Norman Scott. I saw Norman Scott a lot at that time. Ben Wishaw has captured his mannerisms, but Norman Scott was not yummy at all.
Anonyme User
Anonyme User Year ago
Sailorbuoy Petrov *why? are you a cannibal?* 😂😂🤣
Sally Leggett
Sally Leggett Year ago
Yes he was/is
justin spencer
justin spencer 2 years ago
This drama is bloody brilliant! Fantastically dark potentially - yet at times, laugh out loud funny. It has a wonderful warmth and charm - especially when considering the subject matter. A wonderfully produced and well acted thing to behold. On part 2 right now and loving it!
Mark Jones
Mark Jones 2 years ago
i noticed normans missing national insurance card was not in the credits surely they should give it a bafta next year it played such a vital role even in absentee but due credit too bbc a brilliant drama which happened
P Smith
P Smith 2 years ago
He's got a touch of the Tom Courtney about him, quite a sixties figure.
vic b
vic b 2 years ago
is Ben still in character in this???
TrainInVain 2 years ago
What an odd boy
heideggerdowson 2 years ago
he reminds me a bit of Peter Hammond
EVILBUNNY28 2 years ago
Thorpe. Did. Nothing. Wrong. Norman had made such a big deal over his spilt milk, he still felt for Thorpe, but in life you had to move on. Moving on was something Thorpe was very good at, but Norman couldn’t leave it all behind.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
EVILBUNNY28 you know full well that trial was a farce.
Lynne Gill
Lynne Gill 2 years ago
I think you are being deliberately contentious in order to provoke. He was patently guilty, the jury being grossly intimidated and mislead by a wholly unprofessional and biased judge. And quite apart from conspiracy to murder, he was a particularly unpleasant person, riding roughshod over the lives, dignity and feelings of TWO wives, badly misused his best friend, and lying continually to just about everyone. No, I'm glad he never recovered from the trial because that was really the only justice he got. Norman Scott was a detestable weasel (though played delightfully by Ben Wishart, as a far nicer chap than he was), but he was not the one with the power or wealth, and other resources. Thorpe was a monster.
EVILBUNNY28 2 years ago
Laura Lauristan he was acquitted, and rightfully so.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
EVILBUNNY28 so the plotting to murder his ex was all fine, then?
Sabine Dor
Sabine Dor 2 years ago
Ben Whishaw is a brilliant actor, love the fact that he gets a bit obsessed with the characters he plays. In this interview at least he seems to be part himself, part still in character as Norman Scott, And It's not the only one...in his interviews for 'Bright Star' he appears very romantic and melancholic, for 'Brideshead revisited' sensitive and a bit fey, for 'Skyfall' and 'Spectre' quite confident and funny, for 'Perfume' quite tense and almost autistic, and for this interview very fidgety, impulsive and slightly defensive. He can be as odd in interviews as he likes, he still tends to outshine his co-stars in every film he's in!
Becky ginger
Becky ginger Year ago
... isn't he just high?
frog witch
frog witch Year ago
"almost autistic" as an autistic person i want to say - WTF??
Sandy Parker
Sandy Parker 2 years ago
Absolutely. He’s a sweetie!
ABC DEF 2 years ago
Ben Wishaw looks as if he has a drugs issue here.
Anonyme User
Anonyme User Year ago
ABC DEF 😂😂🤣 😂😂🤣
Mia7189 2 years ago
I saw him on Broadway a few years ago in the CRUCIBLE. He was AMAZING.
Ella Taylor
Ella Taylor 2 years ago
There is something very beguiling about Ben Whishaw as an actor. I could watch him all day and I am a straight woman. In this clip however he made made feel sick with his rocking from foot to foot, lay off the speed man.
Anonyme User
Anonyme User Year ago
Mai Chan *cough* he's gay *cough*
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
He’s always like this.
Ella Taylor
Ella Taylor 2 years ago
sex is what it is all about
Mai Chan
Mai Chan 2 years ago
Ella Taylor What does your sexuality literally has to do with anything?
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
He's just still in the character of Norman Scott.
sticksman1979 2 years ago
He sounds a bit affected. Anyway, I'm keeping my NI card in a safe place!
sticksman1979 Year ago
Someone needs to tell Norman.
Lissy London
Lissy London Year ago
I have no idea where mine is- probably in storage.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
I always found it amazing how calm he is when he performs compared to how twitchy and alarmed he is when he’s off stage.
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
There are no NI cards now. The records are digital and held online.
paperchain 123
paperchain 123 2 years ago
He sounds and looks as good as NS - very unnerving
Brian Eduardo
Brian Eduardo 2 years ago
He cannot stand easy for 2 seconds
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
I think he's still in the chracter of Norman Scott as this is the way he is in the TV show but not the way he is in normal life in other interviews. He has said that characters take him over until he has finished the shows they are in.
Brian Eduardo
Brian Eduardo 2 years ago
Ben Whishaw is very like the Norman Scott he portrays... beautiful.. but very twitchy and uneasy... feel the programme plays it too much for comedy
Twitting On Trender
Much as I enjoyed it, I did find myself wondering would it have been so funny if Margaret Thatcher or Cyril Smith had tried to have someone offed? Would it even have been commissioned?
Twitting On Trender
But there was a green postbox in every scene! It MUST have been Dublin!
Ron Taylor
Ron Taylor 2 years ago
Good point.
Brian Eduardo
Brian Eduardo 2 years ago
I agree but trying to have someone murdered is a serious business - I think it suffers for the way it is portrayed and scenes in Dublin were ludicrous... I don't know where it was but it was not Dublin ... ditto California I would say
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
There were a lot of farcical things in the story though it was tragic at the same time. I'm not sure that it would have aroused people's sympathy for the characters if it was just played as tragedy because Thorpe is both an exploiter and a man who became obsessed with trying to arrange the murder of Scott, while Scott is a manipulative and obsessive character in his own way.
stephen Taylor
stephen Taylor 2 years ago
Does vulnerable really well.
Bill MacNeil
Bill MacNeil 2 years ago
All of the other points made here are well taken. Nevertheless, Ben is one hot man!!!
theresa wareness
theresa wareness 2 years ago
Is he on the bizzo?
Brian Eduardo
Brian Eduardo 2 years ago
I agree
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
He looks to be still in character to me. Watch the show, he plays Norman Scott in just this way.
Brian Eduardo
Brian Eduardo 2 years ago
what's that? he is very twitchy
Walter Blythe
Walter Blythe 2 years ago
I'm a big fan of Ben, and this interview shook me. His usual unwordly quality with that compelling undercurrent of intensity has descended into a disturbing scattered disjointed randomness. He always did pause to search for words, and have quick, light gestures; but in this isn't coherent at all, and his mannerisms seem entirely artificial and fussy. He also looks very drawn out, with big bags under his eyes. His interviews on Paddington 2 and Julius Caesar were much more focused and natural.
Theresa Francis
it's method acting that he seems to have carried past wrapping the show.
Candolad Year ago
He's displaying behaviour consistent with having just taken cocaine. Possibly to help with the interview or to cope with whatever activity he was doing immediately prior to the interview.
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
Izaya Orihara. Jeremy Thorpe, who was once the leader of the third largest political party in Britain, was a closet homeosexual. At that time homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. An ex boyfriend (Norman Scott) was publicly complaining about him which threatened to reveal his homosexuality. A murder attempt was made on the life of that ex boyfriend but only his dog was killed because the assassin's gun jammed. Jeremy Thorpe was charged with arranging to have Norman Scott murdered. A clever lawyer managed to get a 'not guilty' verdict but Thorpe's career was ruined after all the publicity.
Wuhei Heike
Wuhei Heike 2 years ago
What the scandal is about anyway?
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
Just to make sure :-)
Dr Parnassus
Dr Parnassus 2 years ago
Reading interviews with Scott, he seems to be more unhappy that his ex-boyfriend tried to have him killed and got away with it than about his NI card as such.
Master Race
Master Race 2 years ago
How were those coke lines Benny boy??
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
No, he's still reacting in the character of Norman Scott
Peter Neate
Peter Neate 2 years ago
Ben is superb in this excellent drama.
Benjamin Burkhardt
Peter Neate that courtroom scene
James Humphreys
James Humphreys 2 years ago
They filmed this in Bridgend in South Wales, it was used as Dublin.
MrDavey2010 2 years ago
I like Ben Whishaw but he's terribly uncomfortable & slightly odd here.
rowland4183 6 months ago
@blackmore4 Ben Wilshaw is gay and happlily married to his husband composer Mark Bradbury
rae0521 11 months ago
@blackmore4 Ben is openly gay and entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw in August 2012. Look him up in Wikipedia - with his list of credits you'd think he'd be 70 years old by now instead of 38. He works incredibly hard and flies all over the world to do interviews to promote the productions he's in. That is extremely tiring WORK and I doubt very much he finds it fun.
Giradox Year ago
Nah, he is just thoughtful. He's obviously not uncomfortable at all. Fucking RUvid armchair psychologists...
docstef MD
docstef MD 2 years ago
bigballetlover, I really like him too ... but something is off with him in this interview!
bigballetlover 2 years ago
I think he's just a bundle of energy and that's what makes him so likeable.
MrDavey2010 2 years ago
I like Ben Whishaw but he's terribly uncomfortable & slightly odd here.
tony bennett
tony bennett 2 years ago
Master Race....How do you know? Do you have incontrovertible evidence, or are you his dealer?
Helen Trope
Helen Trope 2 years ago
He's still in the character of Norman Scott to my mind. This is how he plays him on the show and he has said in the past that characters take him over until he has finished filming.
Laura Lauristan
Laura Lauristan 2 years ago
He’s always odd. The oddest he’s ever been is an interview for Brideshead, where he seems like an autistic seven year old.
Master Race
Master Race 2 years ago
He isn't uncomfortable. He's on coke.
Andrew Paton
Andrew Paton 2 years ago
why can't he just say he lost it and get a new one ??
Freddie Grace
Freddie Grace Year ago
Wow! Cant you just get another one? Did it used to be hard to get one if you lost yours?
Lissy London
Lissy London Year ago
Think of it like a US Social Security card. It has a national insurance number which you use for everything from going to your local hospital to getting a job. It ensures that you get your pension or benefits when you retire. Without it you really don't have proof you exist in the system.
Freddie Grace
Freddie Grace Year ago
I am an American so what is a national insurance card? I just kept thinking cant this guy get another one?
Andrés Access
@johnpauljnes: An excuse for what?
Andrés Access
@asha, Did he get much money?
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