And I got the part.
In the commentary for the first episode of TTOI, Armando (and maybe Adam Tandy?) talk about how they didn’t know if the show was going to work until seeing the humanity vacate Malcolm’s eyes in the Cliff Lawton sacking scene. For them, they knew it would work when they saw that physical reaction.
But what I think is fascinating, is a far back as auditioning for Malcolm (which is what Peter is talking about here), his lock on the character came from Malcolm’s words. And in this case, Malcolm’s words were Peter’s words as his audition scene was completely improvised with Armando around the same situation that would later become Malcolm’s first scene in the show.
Armando: There is another side that I kind of like in this episode which is that Malcolm out of office, Malcolm in casual wear going to the BBC —that’s the actual BBC there—and just, and Peter playing it differently. Peter playing it as if he’s had, as if he’s been crying for forty-eight hours and he’s now stopped, but he’s sort of exhausted and his face looks a little bit tired, but he can’t, there’s no energy. The energy’s gone out. It’s all a quieter, kind of subdued Malcolm.
Jesse (or Adam): And again the civvies, just sending out all the wrong signals. You just feel so uncomfortable watching him out of his environment.
The too-big shirt collar really adds to the sense of how small and uncertain Malcolm is when he’s just himself, without the armor of Downing Street authority.
“You fucking think you know me? You know daddy fucking chank about me. You know fuck-all about me! I am totally beyond the realms of your fucking tozzle here, fuckin’ dim-witted compre-fuckin-hension. I don’t just take this fucking job home, you know? I take this fucking job home, it fucking ties me to the bed and it fucking fucks me from arsehole to breakfast then it wakes me up in the morning with a cup full of piss, slung at my face, slaps you about the chops to make sure I’m awake enough so it can kick me in the fucking bollocks. This job has taken me in every hole in my fucking body. Malcolm is gone! You can’t know Malcolm, because Malcolm is not here! Malcolm fucking left the building fucking years ago! This is a fucking husk. I am a fucking host for this fucking job. Do you want this job? Yes, you do fucking want this job. Then you’re going to have to fucking swallow this whole fucking life and let it grow inside you like a parasite, getting bigger and bigger until it fucking eats your insides alive and stares out of your eyes and tells you what to do.”
“No, I want to say something, I want to say something.”
MALCOLM COME BACK
MALCOLM I LOVE YOU
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