Jamie, tell us about your character’s journey from season 1?Jamie Dornan:
I play a man of many identities. In the beginning of the first series, Elliot finds himself in Australia and after a long car chase with a truck, Elliot gets hit off the road and has an accident, waking up with no memory of who he is. A couple of people help Elliot piece things together and try to find answers which essentially leads him to some very dark places. For the second season we pick up with Elliot in Ireland where he tries to discover his real family and get some answers on who he is. Whilst Elliot is in Ireland, he also gets caught up in all kinds of craziness with people trying to kill him.What were you expecting from the second season and what made you want to continue the project?Jamie:
You are always hoping to find an audience that is sort of willing and hungry. We were only ever meant to have the one season; I remember Jack and Harry Williams who created the show saying it will just be one. I don’t think we expected it to be the most watched show in the UK that year and when there’s that much of an appetite, it felt like the right thing to give people more. With it being so successful there’s also a lot of pressure on the second season. You want to get it right and it’s a very different setting. For the second we are in Ireland, which has a very different vibe. It’s tricky trying to establish the different settings and make it its own thing but also honour what people loved about the first series. I was excited by it, it’s an exciting thing to continue the journey. Selfishly for me, not having to uproot my entire family again was quite a good thing.You are an executive producer in season two, how has the experience been?Jamie:
It’s been great. It was one of those opportunities that presented itself to me and I was excited to do it. It’s also nice to do it in a capacity where I already have the relationship with everyone involved and to come into this realm having already committed so much to the project. It’s been nice to have a bit more say over the creative aspects of the show and it’s something I’m proud of.For people who have not seen the previous season, would it be easy for them to step into the story and what should they know before they start watching season 2?Jamie:
They should know It is going to be totally different from what they have watched before, Jack and Harry (the creators and writers of the series Jack and Harry Williams, e.d.) went for really smart, bending and merging genres. If you have watched it from the first episode of season 1, you’d be convinced you are watching something super-dark and dramatic at the beginning and pretty quick you will realize that is sort of warped humor. Once audiences accept that they are going on this pinbally journey of these genres and feels then they will relax into it.
The Tourist - Conor MacNeill and Danielle MacdonaldDanielle Macdonald:
It does fell like a whole new story in a way. I always think you could come in “blind”, without having seen season 1 and you pick up really quickly- it’s a guy who has lost his memory and he’s trying to figure things out and it is a whole new cast of characters almost so you don’t really need to know that much, I feel you can piece it together quite easily…
Jamie: You should watch the first season… Danielle:
Yes, you should watch the first season (laughing), you want the depth… Conor, tell us about the character of Detective Ruairi Slater?Conor MacNeill:
Ruairi is a detective who meets Helen very early on in the series and becomes sort of embroiled in the investigation of these two warring families that Elliot Stanley is also very much involved in. I think Helen reminds him of someone and he has a real affinity with her very quickly.Danielle, what do you think makes The Tourist so appealing to viewers and what can viewers expect from season two?Danielle:
I’m excited that it resonated with audiences. I think The Tourist is unique and it is in its own kind of genre. It’s got some darkness in there but it’s also quite funny at times. It also has lots of quirky characters. The locations really become a character in the series, and you’ll find Ireland is a big part of season two which will draw people in.The first season was backed up by this beautiful barren outback setting which influenced the journey. How the new setting influenced your performances this season, how the Irish landscape influences the characters’ journeys?Jamie:
The expansiveness and the desolate nature of the outback, as you say, really added to this sort of mass confusion and fear that Elliot found himself in with his loss of memory. There was a bit of worry that, because of how Australian it was, that the continuum of that is so drastically different that it maybe doesn’t work but what happens is that it’s just becomes its own thing and because of the nature of what is going on with all the characters in this second season, being in Ireland, it just makes sense to be in Ireland, with all the landscapes and the greenery of Ireland just works for what is going on there. It becomes as strong a character in season 2 as it does in season 1. You adapt to it rather than change your performance.Danielle:
It is sort of a new own character, It does feel very Irish. Conor:
They also write so specifically to location, so honest to where we are.
The Tourist - Jamie Dornan as ElliotJamie, how does it feel to bring the show home to Ireland? Jamie:
It’s amazing. The first day of shooting we were in Kilpedder in Wicklow, and I was walking through the trees and the worst rain I think I’ve ever seen came in and I thought, this is what it’s like to film in Ireland. I had sort of forgotten it being three or four years since I filmed here but Ireland is beautiful. I’ve been to parts of Ireland that I’d never been to before. We predominantly filmed in Dublin and Wicklow, but we’ve managed to travel a little bit outside of there and got to showcase what a beautiful place Ireland is. Working with an Irish crew having the same sort of sense of humour has been great. It’s been a dream to shoot here.How would you tease the upcoming season to the fans of the show?Jamie:
if you are a fan of the show already that is a good thing (laughing). There will be more madness (laughing) and if you are into the characters then you are going to find out so much more about them and see them in all kinds of crazy scenarios, it is a different ride, a different feel than the first season. If we have hooked you into from season 1 there is plenty more to offer with the second season. Conor:
I think it’s an incredible mystery thriller with a huge comic and joyful heart.Danielle, why do you think so many viewers care about your character so much, there was even somebody who wrote she should get her own show?Danielle:
I think Helen is the moral compass in season 1, the only character you can trust she is telling you the truth. Everyone else has a hidden agenda. And Elliot doesn’t know his past so you can’t really trust his memories because they don’t exist. You learn to trust her pretty early on so that is what makes people connect with her. Also, she is going thru very real struggles, there is a lot of wild stuff that happens, lots of circumstances that never happen in real life while Helen goes home to an emotionally abusive relationship and people are “hm, I can relate to that” and she is insecure and people say “ I felt that”. She is someone that is very relatable and trustworthy. Did you get a lot of reactions regarding the controlling behavior of her cruel fiancée?Danielle:
I was aware of it when I was doing the show but that was secondary to all the craziness that was going on with Elliot’s character so when I was doing press for S1 that was the N1 question I was asked and people talked to me about it, it really resonated with people – which I didn’t quite realize or expect. Which is sad that so many people can resonate with it but is also right that people can say that is wrong, that is toxic, that people can see that. There are some incredible stunts in The Tourist, what was the most challenging to shoot?Jamie:
I had to hang off a cliff for a long time. I was harnessed but you couldn’t really see it and the whole point of the scene is that I’m hanging there for a comically long period of time. So, this does mean to film it, I really was hanging there for a long time, and I have a dodgy shoulder which really paid the price for hanging there for a whole morning. That was the most tricky and annoying scene to shoot because I’m an old man and my shoulders don’t work.That balance between comedy, action and almost kind of absurdity in the show is brilliant – how does it look like in the script and what are the challenges for you as actors to translate that on screen and did you have the freedom to explore that after the script was written?Conor:
My character has such hugely polarized personalities that are very very different but they write so well those guys, you just have to trust it. I am trying to make it as real as possible, in comedy it is always the best way because the lines are funny.
The Tourist - Danielle Macdonald as Helen ChambersJamie:
it’s easier for Conor coming in, having to do that in the second season and try to fall in step with the sort of odness of the jumping around tone-wise whereas at least Danny and I had a whole season of getting comfortable with that and you sort of don’t ever get totally comfortable with it which I think is a good thing. You should always be on your toes and always be scared - that gives it the energy it needs so you never get comfortable - that’s what we are trying to say which is a good thing. When you are reading it sometimes you are like “oh my god why is he making a joke there like he’s just found out this horrific thing”.Danielle:
I had no idea what to expect for season two. I just love the writers and I had an amazing time with them. I think that they have such an interesting way of writing; it’s so quirky and grabs you in. So, when they said they had an idea for season two I said yes before I even knew what it was. Mainly because I wanted to work with them again and we had such an amazing time filming season one. Jack and Harry have a unique writing style. You never know where their writing is going to take you or where it’s going to lead to. They’ve got a lot of little “Jack and Harry-isms” in the scripts too which are fun. I think they write because they love the stories, and they don’t force it. I also love working with Jamie, so I was in straight away.